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 Institutes 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