Reported willingness among adolescent nonsmokers to help parents, peers, and others to stop smoking

Christi A. Patten, Keila Lopez, Janet L. Thomas, Kenneth P. Offord, Paul A. Decker, Suzanne Pingree, Ellen A. Dornelas, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background. This study of 1025 adolescent nonsmokers aged 11-19 years examined level of interest and factors associated with reported willingness to help someone stop smoking. Methods. Data were collected from a survey distributed primarily in the schools at four geographic and ethnically diverse study sites. Results. A total of 692 adolescents identified someone close to them who smokes whom they thought should quit. Of these, 90% reported that they would be willing to help this person stop smoking. Multivariate predictors of willingness to help were female gender, less difficulty reading English, and greater level of comfort with talking to the smoker about their smoking. The smoker that the adolescents were willing to help was most often a parent or same age friend. Conclusions. If this strong interest among adolescents could be tapped, engaging teens as support persons could be a novel public health approach to reaching parents, adolescents, and other smokers in the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1099-1106
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Nonsmokers
  • Smoking
  • Smoking cessation
  • Social support


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