Smoking Cessation Services Fail to Attract Young People

Cannabis use complicates quitting process
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking cessation services fail to attract young people and have only a modest impact on smoking behavior among the young, according to an editorial published online Sept. 10 in BMJ.

Gill M. Grimshaw, Ph.D., of the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K., and a colleague write that 12 percent of British teenagers smoke, and that worldwide over 35 percent of young people are smokers. Early uptake of smoking is associated with a longer smoking history and higher risk of mortality.

However, approximately 70 percent of young smokers express a wish to quit and repeatedly attempt to do so, the authors note. Many smoking cessation efforts targeted specifically at young people use a combination of education, motivation and psychology, but there is a lack of good quality evidence to support them, they add.

"We are not yet in a position to deliver an evidence-based service, but we know that privacy, confidentiality, respect and an absence of pressure are vital," the authors write. "Young people should be supported non-judgmentally after unsuccessful attempts, and clinicians should be willing to encourage renewed attempts. However, the over-riding problem is cannabis use. Smokers are extremely unlikely to quit using cigarettes while continuing to smoke cannabis mixed with tobacco, and for some people this may be an insurmountable barrier to quitting."


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