The quitting experience for smokers in sixth through twelfth grades

Addict Behav. 1989;14(4):365-78. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(89)90024-5.


The present study examined the withdrawal process for adolescents who had attempted to quit smoking. A sample of 622 6th through 12th graders were interviewed. Smoking status was reported prior to attempting to quit and its relationship with the withdrawal experience was evaluated. Although over half of those who smoked regularly reported trying to quit, 78% of the "quitters" were smoking six months after their quit attempt. Experiencing adverse withdrawal symptoms was related to smoking at daily levels before quitting; delaying trying to quit was associated with initiation of smoking at an early age; and quitting success was predicted by early quitting age, lower pre-quitting smoking levels, a lack of a prior quitting failure, and peer smoking. The results suggest that smoking intervention programs for adolescents should include components facilitating the quitting process that take into consideration youngsters' smoking and quitting histories.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking / therapy
  • Social Environment
  • Social Facilitation
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / etiology*