Table 1 Description of operational definitions of cessation attempt estimates in nationally representative studies* of adolescent smokers
Type of estimateReference timeframeLanguage used to describe cessation attemptNumber of studies
Point prevalence of any cessation attemptIn the past 6 months“Tried to quit”3†30 37 70 74 75
“Made at least one serious attempt to quit smoking cigarettes”
“Tried to quit smoking”44‡§||¶**2 31 33 35 36 38–67 71–73
In the past 12 months“Tried to stop smoking”
“Seriously tried to quit smoking”
“Tried to quit smoking at least once”
“Tried to quit smoking”
“Made at least one quit attempt of 24 h or more”
“Tried to cut down on use of cigarettes”
Lifetime††“Ever tried to quit”8†‡‡2 32 37 68 70 74 75
“Ever made at least one serious attempt to quit smoking cigarettes”
“Tried to stop smoking”
“Tried to quit smoking”“Ever tried to stop smoking and found you could not”
Point prevalence of multiple cessation attemptsIn the past 12 months“Number of quit attempts of at least 24 h duration”56267
Lifetime††“Number of quit attempts”337 68 74
“Number of times tried to quit”
“Tried to stop smoking”
Point prevalence of relapse within a specified duration following a cessation attemptLifetime††“Longest time successfully stopped smoking”“Longest time you ever quit smoking”337 70 74
“Longest time you stayed off cigarettes”
  • *We defined a study as a sample of individuals in a particular place during a particular time period.

  • †Multiple reports were based on the 1989 US Teenage Attitudes and Practices Study.30 74 75

  • ‡One publication included estimates from nineteen nationally representative studies.33 Another publication included estimates from seven nationally representative studies.31

  • §Estimates for the same study population were provided by multiple reports as follows: Barbados (1999),31 33 71 Canada (2000)66 67 Costa Rica (1999),31 33 71 72 Dominica (2000),33 47 71 Fiji (1999),31 33 Grenada (2000),33 41 71 Jamaica (2001),33 48 71 Jordan (1999),31 33 Philippines (2000),33 38 South Africa (1999),31 33 39 Sri Lanka (1999),31 33 St. Vincent and the Grenadines (2001),33 71 and Suriname (2000),33 71 73 Trinidad and Tobago (2000),33 49 71 US (2000),33 36 71 Venezuela (1999).31 33 42 71 If estimates for the same population stratum differed between the multiple reports, only those provided by The Global Youth Tobacco Survey Collaborative Group33 were retained in subsequent tables.

  • ||One US study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention35 measured cessation attempts in the same population through two different questions, thus providing two unique estimates.

  • ¶Emmanuel69 reported an outlying estimate of the point prevalence of any cessation attempt in the past 12 months of 5.5% in a St. Lucia (2001) population. However, two subsequent reports33 71 indicate “data not available” for this country. Therefore, the outlying result was omitted and assumed an error.

  • **Perez-Martin and Peruga71 reported results for Cuba (2001) and Haiti (2001). However, results for these countries were not included in the present review because a subsequent report33 indicated that the sampling frame for these two countries was subnational.

  • ††We assumed a lifetime occurrence when a specific reference timeframe for measuring the cessation attempts was not described.

  • ‡‡One publication reported the lifetime prevalence for three distinct US populations defined according to time, and therefore, was counted as three studies.2