Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. and preventing smoking initiation among adolescents is a public health priority and a central element of comprehensive tobacco control. While cigarette smoking is harmful to all youths, those with special healthcare needs are particularly vulnerable to the negative health consequences of smoking, and adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) urgently stand out as a high-risk group. Available literature suggests the prevalence and risk factors for smoking among adolescents with T1D are strikingly similar to the general population. Moreover, smoking negatively affects T1D management and increases risk for and progression of adverse health outcomes related to T1D. Adolescents with T1D are also influenced by disease-related social and behavioral factors that affect decisions about smoking. Pediatric health care providers (HCPs) are optimally-positioned to screen and counsel adolescents with T1D to avoid smoking, as they have well-established relationships with young patients and regularly scheduled visits surrounding T1D management. However, several barriers inhibit HCPs from screening/counseling adolescents with T1D for smoking on a regular basis. Well-established strategies for behavioral counseling for smoking in the healthcare setting may be effective to prevent and reduce smoking among adolescents with T1D. HCPs who care for these young patients can tailor proven counseling approaches to the context of T1D to address smoking alongside other behavioral factors that are central to disease management. Empirical research is also needed to inform the development and deployment of healthcare-based interventions and maximize their impact within this population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism