The Importance of Helping Youth Quit Tobacco
Tobacco use by adolescents and young adults is an immediate health concern. Youth who use tobacco products are beginning a trajectory of nicotine dependence that often continues into adulthood. They are also uniquely vulnerable to nicotine dependence because their brains are still developing, according to a 2014 Surgeon General’s report. Data has shown that nicotine addiction progresses faster in youth than it does in adults; youth may become dependent on nicotine prior to daily use.
However, further research is needed. The evidence base for youth tobacco cessation interventions is limited. Research is needed to fill gaps in the literature, according to the US Preventive Services Task Force.
Pediatricians Can Help Youth Quit Successfully
CDC data shows that most youth who use tobacco products want to quit. Behavioral and pharmacological supports exist to help youth quit successfully. Tobacco dependence treatment for youth should be tailored to the patient’s level of nicotine dependence and readiness for change, per AAP Policy. The resources below are intended to support pediatricians and other healthcare professionals who care for youth in helping their patients quit successfully.