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Teen Smoking Cessation Programs Improve Quit Rates

igher quit rates. These two theoretical approaches accounted for two-thirds of the studies included in the review.

Social influence programs, which counter tobacco industry promotions, media images and peer pressure, also significantly increased the quit rate.

Programs conducted in classrooms or school clinics seemed to be more effective than programs conducted in other settings, such as medical clinics. According to Sussman, the school-based programs tended to use the most effective theoretical approaches, so it’s difficult to determine whether the school setting or the content of the programming was responsible for the greater success of school-based programs.

The number of sessions included in a program was also a significant factor in success. Programs that had at least five sessions were more likely to be successful than those with four or fewer sessions.

'In our previous review, it looked like the greater the number of sessions, the higher the quit rate,' said Sussman. 'In this more careful analysis of controlled studies, it appears to be the case that the quit rate levels out at five sessions.'

But Sussman cautioned against interpreting this to mean that more than five sessions would be a waste of time or money. That’s not necessarily true, because we don’t know what the critical material is, he said: 'Which five sessions? '

Interestingly, the review found that studies with a follow-up greater than 12 months showed higher quit rates than studies with a shorter follow-up. Among studies of adult smokers, quit rates usually decline with longer follow-up.

In adult programming, the quit rate may start at 50 percent and then go down to 25, which is the opposite of the trend we saw, said Sussman. 'However, because there are too few studies done in the teen population — and only five of the 48 studies followed teens for more than one year—everything has to be stated tentatively.'

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