Tobacco cessation treatment for Alaska native adolescents: Group randomized pilot trial

Christi A. Patten, Oluwole Fadahunsi, Marcelo M.K. Hanza, Christina A. Smith, Paul A. Decker, Rahnia Boyer, Laura Ellsworth, Tabetha A. Brockman, Christine A. Hughes, Carrie A. Bronars, Kenneth P. Offord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: Tobacco cessation treatments have not been evaluated among Alaska Native (AN) adolescents. This pilot study evaluated the feasibility and the potential efficacy of a targeted cessation intervention for AN youth using a group randomized design. Methods: Eight villages in western Alaska were randomly assigned to receive the intervention (n = 4 villages) or a delayed treatment control condition (written materials only; n = 4 villages). Ten adolescents aged 12-17 years were targeted from each village with a planned enrollment of 80. The intervention was held over a weekend, and youth traveled from their villages to quit tobacco use with other teens. The intervention comprised 8hr of group-based counseling. Talking circles, personal stories from elders, and recreational activities were included to enhance cultural acceptability and participation. Newsletters were mailed weekly for 5-weeks postprogram. Assessments were conducted at baseline, week 6 (end-of-treatment), and 6 months. Self-reported tobacco abstinence was confirmed with salivary cotinine. Results: Recruitment targets were met in the intervention (41 enrolled) but not in control villages (27 enrolled). All intervention participants attended the weekend program. Retention was high; 98% of intervention and 86% of control participants completed 6-month follow-up. The 7-day point-prevalence self-reported tobacco abstinence rates for intervention and control participants were 10% (4/41) and 0% (0/27) at both week 6 and 6 months (p = .15). Only 1 adolescent in the intervention condition was biochemically confirmed abstinent at week 6 and none at 6 months. Conclusion: The intensive individual-focused intervention used in this study was feasible but not effective for tobacco cessation among AN youth. Alternative approaches are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberntu004
Pages (from-to)836-845
Number of pages10
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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