Getting it right: designing adolescent-centred smoking cessation services

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AimsTo demonstrate the importance of identifying adolescent preferences for smoking cessation in order to inform the design of effective adolescent cessation services.DesignStructured qualitative interviews drawing on means-end theory.SettingThree youth-clubs and two secondary schools in south-east Wales.ParticipantsTwenty-five male and female 13–18-year-olds, mainly daily smokers.FindingsInterviewees did not assume immediately that a smoking cessation service is something that will be available to them, and therefore they initially encountered difficulties in identifying attributes of such support. With further prompting interviewees were able to express a preference for support attributes, but these were not attributes that traditionally form part of cessation provision. Their main preference was for support from friends and family, access to nicotine replacement therapy and non-school-based, flexible support and guidance.ConclusionThe results re-emphasize the inadequacies of existing cessation provision for meeting adolescent preferences and suggest that developing more adolescent-appropriate support requires a reconceptualization of existing interventions, with service users situated at the core of intervention design. The study highlights a number of service development points for intervention planners including: rethinking the timing and location of provision; placing more emphasis on the selection of facilitators; harnessing support from friends and family; and rooting these developments in broader tobacco control strategies.

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