A Randomized Trial Comparing the Effects of Self-Help Materials and Proactive Telephone Counseling on Teen Smoking Cessation

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We conducted a 2-arm randomized trial to test the efficacy of self-help materials with or without proactive telephone counseling to increase cessation among teen smokers. Teen smokers (N = 402) recruited from 11 shopping malls and 1 amusement park in the southeastern United States were randomized to 1 of 2 groups: written self-help material plus video; or written self-help material, video, and telephone counseling. Cessation rates based on 7-day point-prevalent abstinence for the self-help and counseling arms were 11% and 16%, respectively (p = .25), at 4 months postbaseline and 19% and 21%, respectively (p = .80), at 8 months postbaseline. Sustained abstinence, reflecting 7-day abstinence at both time points, in the self-help and counseling arms was 7% and 9% (p = .59). Results suggest that minimal self-help cessation approaches that target youth have comparable success to that shown among adult smokers. However, refinements in telephone-counseling approaches may be needed to achieve the success observed in adult populations.

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