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Younger (<16 years) and non-daily smokers require more cessation attempts to successfully quit than older (>16 years) or daily smokers. Older smokers appear less likely to make a cessation attempt than younger smokers, but if they do, they are much more likely to quit successfully.

Globally, 60- 85% of young tobacco users are likely to have made at least one quit attempt and failed. Desire and attempts to quit begin soon after a regular smoking habit initiates. Novice, adolescent smokers progress through several stages in their perception of the difficulty of quitting.

Youth quit attempts are rarely planned, and they tend to use unassisted rather than assisted quit methods. Increased understanding of the cessation process may help in developing effective tobacco control interventions for novice smokers.

Effective interventions that motivate younger smokers to quit are usually based on cognitive-behavioral or motivational interviewing strategies. Internet and mobile-based cessation interventions show promising results, but more research is needed. There is limited evidence on the efficacy of pharmacological and healthcare professional-delivered interventions on young people. Overall, evidence highlights the need for tobacco control programs to take a comprehensive approach.

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O'Loughlin J, Gervais A, Dugas E, Meshefedjian G. Milestones in the process of cessation among novice adolescent smokers. Am J Public Health. 2009; 99(3): 499-504.

Stanton A, Grimshaw G. Tobacco cessation interventions for young people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013; 8: CD003289.pub5.

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Gabble R, Babayan A, DiSante E, Schwartz R. Smoking Cessation Interventions for Youth: A Review of the Literature. Toronto: Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, February 2015. logo
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