Self-initiated quitting among adolescent smokers

Prev Med. Sep-Oct 1998;27(5 Pt 3):A19-28. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1998.0379.


Objectives: This paper reviews the literature regarding predictors of adolescent self-initiated smoking cessation and investigates self-initiated smoking cessation among a large sample of alternative high school youth in southern California. Youth transfer to alternative schools because of academic or behavioral problems, and they are at relatively high risk for cigarette smoking.

Methods: Several demographic (e.g., gender), behavioral (e.g., level of smoking), and psychosocial (e.g., risk-taking) predictors of adolescent smoking cessation were investigated. The alternative high school cohort provided a sufficient sample size of quitters (defined as no use in the past 30 days, measured after a 1-year period) to permit a prospective examination of adolescent smoking cessation.

Results: Although nine demographic, behavioral, or psychosocial variables discriminated among quitters and nonquitters in univariate analyses, only level of baseline smoking, smoking intention, and perceived stress were predictors in a final multivariable model.

Conclusions: Based on the literature review and findings among the cohort, smoking cessation programs for adolescents should include counteraction of problem-prone attitudes, support of wellness attitudes, provision of motivation to quit strategies, and assistance with overcoming withdrawal symptoms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude
  • California
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Peer Group
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Adjustment