The University of Arizona

Teen Quit-Smoking Study Continues to Seek Participants

By George Humphrey, August 14, 2000

Teens between the ages of 14 and 17 who smoke cigarettes and are interested in quitting can call the free University of Arizona "Teen Quit Smoking Study" number at 1-877-850-1080 to enroll. The National Cancer Institute has sponsored The University of Arizona College of Public Health to evaluate Zyban( in conjunction with healthy lifestyle counseling as an aid to help teens to quit smoking.

Teens will attend 11 clinic visits at 140 N. Tucson Blvd. (Arizona Program for Nicotine and Tobacco Research Clinical Research Group) and must be available for six months. Treatment is free and parents/guardians and teens receive payment for time and travel. Note: Parental consent is required.

While most approved medications for smoking cessation provide nicotine replacement, recent studies evaluating the effects of non-nicotine medications indicate significant improvements in quit rates are possible. One of the most promising non-nicotine medications is Zyban(. Because the efficacy of Zyban( for adult smoking cessation is greater than nicotine replacement it is the clear choice for investigation as a pharmacological treatment for teen smoking cessation.

Teens continue to smoke cigarettes at an alarming rate of 13 percent in middle school and 35 percent in high school. According to the 1997 Substance Abuse and Public School Students Report, Arizona's teens smoke cigarettes at a rate of 19 percent in middle school and 31 percent in high school (up from 27 percent in 1991). Nationally, more than 3,000 teens begin to use cigarettes daily. Teen smokers recognize the health risks of smoking, express motivation to quit and attempt to quit, yet few research studies have examined stop-smoking interventions to help teen smokers quit.