Frank T. Leone
PHILADELPHIA — Most health care providers are “blind” to the proper way of preventing and stopping smoking among teenagers, according to a speaker at the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting.
The CDC recently reported that about 4.9 million middle and high school students were current users in the past 30 days of some type of tobacco product in 2018, up from 3.6 million in 2017. The increase, largely due to an explosion of e-cigarette use, “erased past progress in lowering tobacco use among youth,” according to the CDC.
Frank T. Leone , MD, MS, director of comprehensive smoking treatment programs and professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, said that physicians that "scold” to warn of the dangers from smoking and show pictures of "blackened lungs" to this age group to keep those numbers from going even higher smoking miss the mark.
“Those initiatives are totally on the wrong track” in their smoking prevention efforts. Such strategies ignore what made smoking so appealing to teenagers in the first place, he told Healio Primary Care Today.
“Smoking, or any kind of experiment with nicotine, is attractive to teenagers because in the short-term, it is the safest way for a teenager to display their growing autonomy. They can easily hide their behavior from parents, it does not carry a lot of significant legal consequences, is cheap, and doesn’t require changing their body image,” Leone continued.
He explained how to counteract this rebellion and thus, prevent and stop smoking among teenagers.
Most health care providers are “blind” to the proper way of preventing and stopping smoking among teenagers, according to a speaker at the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting.
“Drive home the fact that by smoking, they are giving in to manipulation, from how that cigarette was made, how it was marketed, how you are doing what other people are telling you to do,” he said.
“These sorts of messages resonate way, way better with teenagers than the health impact type of messages do,” Leone added. – by Janel Miller
Leone FT. “A modern approach to tobacco dependence.” Presented at: ACP Internal Medicine Meeting; April 11-13, 2019; Philadelphia.
Disclosures: Leone reports no relevant financial disclosures.