USPSTF Recommends PCPs Provide Interventions To Children, Teenagers To Prevent Tobacco Use

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently issued a ¡°B¡± draft recommendation encouraging primary care physicians to provide interventions, including short counseling sessions or education, to prevent school-aged children and teenagers from starting to use tobacco, according to a press release.

The USPSTF also gave an ¡®I¡¯ to a draft statement indicating more research is needed on how clinicians can help youth who use tobacco to quit.

For the first time, the USPSTF is including vapes and e-cigarettes in its draft recommendations, the task force wrote. Other products included in past recommendations like cigarettes, cigars, and pipe and hookah tobacco; smokeless tobacco such as snuff and chewing tobacco, are also included.

Although the ¡°I¡± level recommendation is new, the ¡°B¡± recommendation is consistent with the 2013 USPSTF recommendations in this same clinical area, the task force added.

¡°Preventing tobacco use among our young people is critical to the health of the nation,¡± Michael Silverstein, MD, MPH, task force member and vice chair of research for the department of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine, said in a press release. ¡°All youth are at risk for tobacco use and should be provided with interventions to help prevent them from ever starting,¡± he continued.

The draft recommendation statement indicated that the CDC, FDA, Surgeon General and National Cancer Institute¡¯s websites have resources physician can consider using when talking to children and teenagers about the consequences of tobacco use.

The USPSTF suggested studies in the following areas: specific details of behavioral counseling cessation interventions that provide outcomes at 6 months or later; benefits and harms of medications to help youth with tobacco cessation; ways to prevent use from ever starting and strategies to promote cessation of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) use in youth.  Enditem