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Saturday, November 1, 2014
Smoking and Tobacco
Smoking Cessation for Young Men
I am a community health educator at a local health department in Maryland. The men in our county, aged 18-34, have particularly high rates of smoking. As a result, I have been charged with finding effective smoking cessation programs for this population. Unfortunately, after searching every government web site under the sun and studying several different journals for research data, I have come up empty. There does not seem to be any programs specifically designed for this population. Young women have had gender-specific studies as a result of programs designed for pregnant women, but men do not have a similar avenue of study available. My question to you is this: Where do I look to find this information? What traits do hard-core male smokers have that we can use to kick their habit? Any help you can give is appreciated.
While there may not be a specific tobacco treatment program for young adult men - it would be useful to examine the new AHRQ Tobacco Cessation Guideline (2000)at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco/smokesum.htm. (See link below.) These specific recommendations are for all smokers and include clinician support; social support; problem-solving skills; and pharmacotherapy. The recommendations are based on meta-analyses of many studies and conclude that there is a significant effect of pharmacotherapy (nicotine replacement and bupropion SR) and a dose-response relationship with number of clinician contacts and successul tobacco cessation. For example, four or more contacts improve success. The "hard-core" smoker with interest in quitting will be better able to manage nicotine craving with the assistance of pharmacotherapy. In your role in community health, you are also aware of the importance of working through persons who are part of the group for whom you intend to provide a service. Lay educators - such as a young adult man who has successfully quit smoking - would be an important component of reaching their peers.
In addition, there is additional treatment information on the Nursing Center for Tobacco Intervention website. http://www.con.ohio-state.edu/tobacco. (See link below.)
Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN
College of Public Health
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University