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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 4:30 PM

Why Kids Don't Quit: Data from the National Youth Smoking Cessation Survey

Gary Giovino, PhD1, Dianne Barker, M.H.S.2, Cindy Tworek, PhD, MPH3, Kathleen Donohue, BS, MS1, and C. Tracy Orleans, PhD4. (1) Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm & Carlton Street, Buffalo, NY 14263, (2) Barker Bi-Coastal Health Consultants, 3556 Elm Drive, Calabasas, CA 91302, (3) Maine Medical Center, Center for Tobacco Independence, 22 Bramhall St., Portland, ME 04102, (4) Research & Evaluation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Route 1 and College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08543

Objective: We investigated the natural history of quitting smoking among a representative sample of older adolescent and young adult smokers in the United States.

Methods: Random-digit-dialing techniques were used to conduct a Baseline Survey with a representative sample of 2,582 16-24 year old cigarette smokers (at least 20 lifetime cigarettes and smoked in the previous 30 days) during 2003. 72% of eligible smokers participated. Of these, 1,696 (66%) were recontacted 12 months later. Baseline characteristics were used to describe the population and assess predictors of quitting.

Results: Ninety percent had ever smoked at least 100 cigarettes; 62% were current daily smokers; 58% had tried to quit during the previous year; and 78% considered themselves smokers. More than 20% had ever tried NRT, but only 2% had ever called a quit line and 1% had ever used an internet web site. Making a quit attempt during the 12 months after the baseline interview was predicted by baseline factors such as number of days smoked, support for quitting, parental smoking, prior quit attempts, intention to quit, and concerns aout smoking. After 12 months, 13% of those followed were abstinent for at least 30 days. In multivariate models, predictors of abstinence included dependence level, motivation, self-efficacy, school performance, smoker-self identity, and functional utility (eg., smoking for anger control).