Treatment of adolescent tobacco smokers: Issues and opportunities for exposure reduction approaches

Eric T. Moolchan, A. Thiri Aung, Jack E. Henningfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The cycle of tobacco dependence typically begins with the initiation of tobacco use during adolescence. Many teenagers try to quit smoking, fail and subsequently desire treatment for their tobacco dependence. Adolescents do not currently benefit from the same level of societal support for quit attempts as adults, and they may be less motivated for total cessation despite the short and long-term health consequences of smoking. Overall, the combination of low participation, high attrition and low complete cessation rates for adolescent smokers in treatment prompts the consideration of alternative treatment endpoints. It is likely that interactions among the processes of child and adolescent development, smoke exposure and trajectory influence patterns of tobacco use and treatment for tobacco dependence in adolescents. A rational framework is needed to integrate the study of these dynamic interactions to address tobacco dependence among youth from an exposure reduction, in addition to a cessation, perspective. This paper considers the issues and potential implications of tobacco exposure reduction therapy as an intermediate treatment goal for adolescent smokers who are dependent or dependence-prone, but for whom initial treatment interventions do not yield complete tobacco cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-232
Number of pages10
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 5 2003


  • Adolescents
  • Exposure reduction
  • Policy
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)


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