Objectives: The main objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an interactive smoking cessation program when first implemented in a naïve population of Romanian adolescents. The secondary objective was to assess youngsters’ attitudes and beliefs towards tobacco dependence, their compliance to smoking cessation interventions and success rate of a standard smoking cessation pilot program.
Materials and methods: A total of 231 subjects 14-19 years old participated in the Adolescent Smoking Cessation (ASC) pilot program in Romania in 2005. Subjects were evaluated based on the ASC questionnaire, a validated set of questions about smoking and cessation profile, whether current smoker or not. Smoking status was validated by carbon monoxide determination in exhaled air. Participants were delivered 6 interactive ASC sessions about smoking hazards and methods to quit smoking. A final evaluation was done to assess overall program’s impact and to reward quitters and reducers by prizes.
Results: Study population was made of 52.4% every day smokers, 10.4% at least once/week but not every day smokers, 6% less than once/week smokers, 23.4% never smokers and 7.8% ex-smokers. Cessation rate was 12.3% in every day smokers and 16.6 % in at least once a week but not every day smokers. Also, 4.1% every day smokers and 30 % at least once/week not every day smokers reduced number of cigarettes smoked/day. The program registered a high attendance rate/sessions as 85.2 % of subjects were present in all sessions. Also, significant changes occurred in participant’s beliefs about smoking and cessation.
Conclusion: Pilot ASC was an efficient program with 12.3% of daily smokers to quit smoking and its positive impact on personal smoking and cessation beliefs in 90 % of participants.