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A systematic review of longitudinal population-based studies on the predictors of smoking cessation in adolescent and young adult smokers
  1. Semanur Cengelli1,2,
  2. Jennifer O'Loughlin2,3,
  3. Beatrice Lauzon2,3,
  4. Jacques Cornuz1,4
  1. 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  2. 2Centre de Recherche du CHUM, Montreal, Canada
  3. 3Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada
  4. 4Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jennifer O'Loughlin, Centre de Recherche du CHUM, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montreal, 3875 Saint Urbain, First Floor, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1V1, Canada; jennifer.oloughlin{at}


Objective To describe the determinants of self-initiated smoking cessation of duration of at least 6 months as identified in longitudinal population-based studies of adolescent and young adult smokers.

Methods A systematic search of the PubMed and EMBASE databases using smoking, tobacco, cessation, quit and stop as keywords was performed. Limits included articles related to humans, in English, published between January 1984 and August 2010, and study population aged 10–29 years. A total of 4502 titles and 871 abstracts were reviewed independently by 2 and 3 reviewers, respectively. Nine articles were retained for data abstraction. Data on study location, timeframe, duration of follow-up, number of data collection points, sample size, age/grade of participants, number of quitters, smoking status at baseline, definition of cessation, covariates and analytic method were abstracted from each article. The number of studies that reported a statistically significant association between each determinant investigated and cessation were tabulated, from among all studies that assessed the determinant.

Results Despite heterogeneity in methods across studies, five factors robustly predicted quitting across studies in which the factor was investigated: not having friends who smoke, not having intentions to smoke in the future, resisting peer pressure to smoke, being older at first use of cigarette and having negative beliefs about smoking.

Conclusions The literature on longitudinal predictors of cessation in adolescent and young adult smokers is not well developed. Cessation interventions for this population will remain less than optimally effective until there is a solid evidence base on which to develop interventions.

  • Smoking cessation
  • adolescent
  • young adult
  • smoking
  • prevention and control
  • smoking
  • epidemiology
  • health behaviour
  • cessation

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  • Funding This study was funded by the Canadian Cancer Society. JO'L holds a Canada Research Chair in the Early Determinants of Adult Chronic Disease.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.