Proactive telephone counseling for adolescent smokers: Comparing regular smokers with infrequent and occasional smokers on treatment receptivity, engagement, and outcomes.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Drug and alcohol dependence (2016)


BACKGROUND: Adolescent smoking cessation efforts to date have tended to focus on regular smokers. Consequently, infrequent and occasional smokers' receptivity and response to smoking cessation interventions is unknown. To address this gap, this study examines data from the Hutchinson Study of High School Smoking-a randomized trial that examined the effectiveness of a telephone-delivered smoking cessation intervention for a large, population-based cohort of adolescent smokers proactively recruited in an educational setting.

METHODS: The study population included 1837 proactively identified high school smokers. Intervention receptivity, engagement, and outcomes were examined among adolescent infrequent (1-4days/month) and occasional (5-19days/month) smokers and compared with regular smokers (20 or more days/month).

RESULTS: With regard to treatment receptivity, intervention recruitment did not differ by smoking frequency. For engagement, intervention completion rates were higher for infrequent smokers (80.5%) compared with occasional (63.8%) and regular smokers (61.5%, p<0.01). Intervention effect sizes were not statistically different across groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent infrequent and occasional smokers are at least as receptive to a proactively delivered smoking cessation intervention as regular smokers and can benefit just as much from it. Including these adolescent smokers in cessation programs and research-with the goal of interrupting progression of smoking before young adulthood-should help reduce the high smoking prevalence among young adults.