Efficacy of Smoking-Cessation Interventions for Young Adults

Although the majority of smokers begin smoking in adolescence, for most, long-term smoking habits are crystallized in young adulthood. Approximately 22 percent of individuals ages 18 to 24 currently smoke. Despite these statistics, young adults are more likely to attempt to quit, compared to older adults. Young adults, however, tend to under-utilize evidence-based cessation treatments compared to other populations.

This meta-analysis investigated the effectiveness of cessation programs for young adults. Studies measuring the effectiveness of smoking cessation programs were identified, and data measuring the effectiveness on young adults’ smoking behaviors were analyzed.

In this sample, any type of cessation program was more effective than the control. When treatment programs were effective for the larger population, they were also effective for young adults. Thus, motivating young adults to access evidence-based smoking cessation treatment may improve their quit rate.