To conduct a systematic review of controlled trials for adolescent smoking cessation.
Online bibliographic databases were searched as of June 2002, and reference lists from review articles and the selected articles were also reviewed for potential studies. The methodology and findings of all retrieved articles were critically evaluated. Data were extracted from each article regarding study methods, intervention studied, outcomes measured, and results.
The abstracts or full-text articles of 281 relevant studies were examined, of which six met the selection criteria. Included were three school-based studies, a study in pregnant adolescent girls, a hospital-based study, and a trial of laser acupuncture. All three of the school-based studies reported significant impacts on cessation rates, although only one of these was a randomized trial. None of the studies had follow-up times of >5.2 months.
There is very limited evidence demonstrating efficacy of smoking-cessation interventions in adolescents, and no evidence on the long-term effectiveness of such interventions. Smoking-cessation interventions that have proven most effective in adults, such as nicotine replacement and antidepressant use, have not been studied in adolescents in a controlled manner.
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