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Teens Need Peer Support to Quit Smoking

Posted - Mar. 29, 2004 at 5:20 p.m.



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LINCOL, Neb., Mar 29, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The University of Nebraska Medical Center Monday announced plans to recruit teen smokers to test a new plan to help them kick the habit.

Teens who smoke and want to quit face unique challenges, UNMC researchers said. They often make frequent, spontaneous attempts to quit, without planning or support, and often fail quickly because they are not prepared to deal with withdrawal symptoms or temptations.

A UNMC study will determine the effectiveness of peer counseling to assist high school students to quit or reduce smoking, as well as become more ready to quit and have more favorable attitudes about quitting. Part of the study also will assess the effectiveness of the peer counselor training program and examine the role of peer counselors.

A total of 900 smokers in 24 high schools in Nebraska and Iowa will be recruited for the study and assigned randomly to an intervention group or control group.

Researchers estimate about 22 percent of high school students in the schools are regular smokers.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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