Adolescence may represent a uniquely challenging life period for smoking-cessation efforts. Many current cigarette smokers began smoking during adolescence, and there is substantial evidence that the vast majority of adolescents who ever smoked daily continue smoking into adulthood. However, as many as 65% of adolescent daily smokers report wanting to quit or reduce smoking. The disparity between adolescent smokers reporting an interest in abstinence and the percentage of these adolescents who ultimately continue smoking into adulthood illustrates the need for feasible and powerful behavioral treatments to support this population. In response to the need for treatments appropriate for adolescent smokers, this research (utilizing a two-group randomized-control design, n = 63 per group) will evaluate the effectiveness and efficacy of a new and innovative Internet-based contingency-management (CM) program for smoking abstinence with adolescent smokers. Because this CM program is Internet based it can be completed from home, which stands to be more viable as a treatment option for adolescent smokers than other treatments requiring frequent trips to a clinical facility. From preliminary work with adult and adolescent smokers, it is expected this treatment program will be highly effective in creating favorable changes in adolescent smoking behavior. This research will also involve eight monthly post-treatment follow-up sessions to determine long-term consistencies or changes in smoking behavior. A secondary goal of this research is to explore pre-treatment assessments of different dimensions of impulsive behavior as predictors of treatment outcome. These behavioral assessments will provide highly detailed information about the specific behavioral styles of adolescent smokers who are unable to effectively change their smoking behavior during treatment. This information should provide new points of emphasis for treatment- program modifications to improve these programs to be more effective for adolescents most challenged in their efforts to quit or reduce smoking.

Public Health Relevance

Cigarette smoking is the top preventable cause of death in the United States. This study will evaluate a novel behavioral treatment for cigarette smoking cessation with adolescent smokers. Further, this study will advance our understanding of the different behavioral styles associated with an adolescent's ability to quit or reduce smoking during a treatment program for smoking cessation. This latter aim is expected to guide smoking treatment modifications to make these treatments more effective for adolescents who are trying to quit or reduce smoking.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-GXM-A (06))
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Grossman, Debra
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Nationwide Children's Hospital
United States
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