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Cancer Control Research

5R03CA086785-02
Murray, Nancy G.
PARENT ASSISTED SMOKING CESSATION

Abstract

Despite years of prevention programs targeting adolescents, adolescents continue to begin smoking, putting them at risk for an epidemic of diseases, including cancers of the lung, larynx, oral cavity, as well as COPD, CHD and stroke. Many adolescent smokers have tried to quit but there are few cessation programs available for adolescents and little research conducted on the effectiveness of adolescent cessation programs. This community-based project provides a unique opportunity to intervene with adolescent smokers who are court-mandated into a tobacco awareness and cessation program. The State of Texas instituted a new law January 1, 1998 that prohibits possession, purchase, consumption, or receipt of tobacco products by minors and requires minors to attend a tobacco awareness program upon conviction or lose their driver's license. Because these adolescents are thrown into the cessation process without their own volition, parental support for a more complete and coherent progression through the stages of smoking cessation may increase the probability that the children will be successful in smoking cessation. Parents are committed to the health and welfare of their children and have timely, constant access to them as part of an enduring relationship. Parent Assisted Smoking Cessation (PASC) is a parent education intervention designed to promote parental support for adolescent smoking cessation. The parent education intervention will be based on the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Social Cognitive Theory. TTM proposes that addictive behaviors change dynamically through processes specific to different points or stages in the cycle of change. Along with decisional balance and self-efficacy, these processes are strategies the individual uses to move through the stages of behavior change. PASC will inform parents about supporting these processes through parental monitoring of tobacco use and association with smoking peers, communication about tobacco, and other support behaviors. In an attempt to reduce coercive and punitive parental behaviors, and help parents tailor their communication with their child to their child's stage of smoking cessation, parents will be informed about the empathetic, non-confrontational techniques of MI. Using theory, data from smoking adolescents and their parents, and the experience of the investigative team, 12 newsletters will be developed. Newsletters will incorporate role model stories, exercises, information, and communication tips, and be tailored to the adolescent smoker's age, gender, and family structure. A pilot study will test the hypothesis that PASC results in increased smoking cessation rates among adolescents. Adolescents and their parents (N=90) will be recruited through the courts, newsletters will be mailed, and data collected by telephone.


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