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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health