Purpose: Preventing adolescents from smoking and becoming addicted to nicotine is an important public health issue. New research on the genetics of susceptibility to nicotine addition is emerging and may eventually help to identify adolescents at high risk. Over time, genetic counseling and testing for nicotine addiction susceptibility may become incorporated into tobacco control practice, and providers in primary care settings are likely to be at the forefront of these services. As such, it is important to understand the attitudes and practices of adolescent medicine providers toward tobacco control and genetic testing to anticipate better the needs and interests of these individuals and prepare for the future. This study describes adolescent medicine providers' interest, and correlates of their interest, in genetic counseling and testing for nicotine addiction susceptibility among their adolescent patients-a test that is not yet clinically available. Methods: Adolescent medicine providers attending a national scientific conference (N = 232) completed a survey about their patient tobacco control and other screening behaviors, perceptions of their patients' attitudes and beliefs toward tobacco control, and their own attitudes and beliefs about smoking and genetics. Results: Providers who engaged in more regular tobacco screening behaviors with their adolescent patients (odds ratio [OR] = 4.07, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.20, 7.751, p = .00) and those who were more optimistic that biobehavioral research would lead to significant improvements in adolescent smoking prevention and treatment (OR = 2.47, 95% CI = 1.40, 4.37, p = .00), were more interested in counseling and testing. Conclusions: In the future, adolescent wellness visits may present an opportunity to offer genetic counseling and testing for nicotine addiction susceptibility. Implementation at the provider level may depend on tobacco screening behavior and research optimism. Educating providers about safe and effective adolescent tobacco control strategies incorporating genetics will be essential.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health