Adolescents' experiences of smoking cessation

Drug Alcohol Depend. 1996 Dec 2;43(1-2):63-70. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(97)84351-7.


Recent prevalence rates show that by Year 10 (ages 14-16 years), 15% of students are smoking each day. As the majority of young people do not smoke, schools have traditionally provided an emphasis on prevention. However, the prevalence of daily smoking increases from 15 to 31% across the last 3 years of secondary school, suggesting a need for cessation programs. Therefore, a study of smoking cessation among students was conducted with 2877 Year 10 students in Queensland, Australia. Results of the survey showed that students (i) moderately under-estimated the number of smoking peers who had tried to stop smoking (perceived as 42%, reported as 55%), and (ii) over-estimated the success their smoking peers have (perceived as 29%, reported as 13.6%). The majority of adolescents (57.5%) reported that they had done something to influence a student not to smoke in the last 12 months, including 29% of the smokers. Among those who were current smokers, 64% wanted to stop smoking and 55% had tried to stop in the past year. Withdrawal symptoms were frequently reported among adolescent smokers and more males than females reported being stressed and depressed as a result of their efforts to quit. Intention to quit in the next year was associated with high confidence in ability to quit. These issues deserve attention in prevention programs and the development of age appropriate cessation material for adolescents should have high priority.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Peer Group
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology


  • Nicotine