Teen Smoking: Ask a Doctor for Help

Want to help your teen stop smoking? Maybe you’re the wrong person to influence their behavior.

A new study of more than 5,000 students from an urban, mid-South school system shows that teens do listen – to their doctor.

Researchers found that physicians who talk about the dangers of smoking helped teens understand the health consequences. Teens who were advised about smoking were more likely to plan to quit smoking in six months. They also reported significantly more attempts at quitting than teens who were not advised.

The study, to be published in the June issue of Pediatrics, underscores the value and benefits of physician communication regarding smoking for teens, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A lot of youths start using tobacco when they are 11 years old. By 14, many of these teens are addicted, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. It causes heart disease, cancers and stroke.

Last year, more than 222,000 new cases of lung cases were reported to the National Cancer Institute. About 157,300 died from lung cancer in 2010.

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