Importance: Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the US. An estimated annual 480 000 deaths are attributable to tobacco use in adults, including from secondhand smoke. It is estimated that every day about 1600 youth aged 12 to 17 years smoke their first cigarette and that about 5.6 million adolescents alive today will die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. Although conventional cigarette use has gradually declined among children in the US since the late 1990s, tobacco use via electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is quickly rising and is now more common among youth than cigarette smoking. e-Cigarette products usually contain nicotine, which is addictive, raising concerns about e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction in children. Exposure to nicotine during adolescence can harm the developing brain, which may affect brain function and cognition, attention, and mood; thus, minimizing nicotine exposure from any tobacco product in youth is important.
Objective: To update its 2013 recommendation, the USPSTF commissioned a review of the evidence on the benefits and harms of primary care interventions for tobacco use prevention and cessation in children and adolescents. The current systematic review newly included e-cigarettes as a tobacco product.
Population: This recommendation applies to school-aged children and adolescents younger than 18 years.
Evidence assessment: The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that primary care-feasible behavioral interventions, including education or brief counseling, to prevent tobacco use in school-aged children and adolescents have a moderate net benefit. The USPSTF concludes that there is insufficient evidence to determine the balance of benefits and harms of primary care interventions for tobacco cessation among school-aged children and adolescents who already smoke, because of a lack of adequately powered studies on behavioral counseling interventions and a lack of studies on medications.
Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends that primary care clinicians provide interventions, including education or brief counseling, to prevent initiation of tobacco use among school-aged children and adolescents. (B recommendation) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of primary care-feasible interventions for the cessation of tobacco use among school-aged children and adolescents. (I statement).