(HealthDay News) – The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that primary care physicians offer behavioral counseling and educational interventions to prevent tobacco use among children and adolescents. This Recommendation Statement is based on an evidence review of 19 trials published online Dec. 11 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

To prevent children and adolescents from starting to smoke, Carrie D. Patnode, PhD, MPH, from the Oregon Evidence-Based Practice Center in Portland, and colleagues from the USPSTF recommend use of interventions, including private or group/family in-person interactions with a health care professional; telephone counseling with a clinician; activity guides, newsletters, workbooks, and other print materials as well as preprinted prescription forms with anti-tobacco messages; and educational videos. Based on strong evidence, the USPSTF recommends screening all adults and pregnant women for tobacco use and providing assistance for quitting smoking.

The draft Recommendation Statement is available for comment from Dec. 11, 2012, until Jan. 7, 2013.

“As a pediatrician, I believe preventing tobacco use is critical in helping young people to live long, healthy lives,” Task Force member David Grossman, MD, MPH, said in a statement. “The good news is that primary care clinicians can play an important role in preventing tobacco use among their young patients.”

Draft Recommendation Statement
Comment on Recommendations
Background Review