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Open Access Short Report

Long-term effectiveness of adolescent brief tobacco intervention: a follow-up study

Antti J Saari1*, Jukka Kentala2 and Kari J Mattila13

Author Affiliations

1 University of Tampere, Tampere FI-33014, Finland

2 Vaasa Health Care Center, Vaasa, Finland

3 Center of General Practice, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere FI-33521, Finland

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:101  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-101

Published: 16 February 2012



Brief tobacco intervention has been used in promoting smoking cessation and preventing the initiation of smoking. We used a cohort born in 1979 (n = 2 586) from four cities in Finland. Those born on odd days received up to four brief tobacco interventions during their annual school dental check-ups in 1992-1994 (at the age of 13-15). Those who were born on even days were used as a control group. In 2008 a follow-up questionnaire was sent to the cohort. The aim of this study was to ascertain the long-term effectiveness of brief tobacco intervention given in dental health care during school age.


Responses were received from 529 people in the intervention group and 491 in the control group. In the intervention group and control group by the age of 29 there were 15.3% and 18.5% smokers respectively. This difference was not statistically significant. The difference between groups was similar to that observed when they were 14 years old.


Brief tobacco intervention performed in dental health care in adolescence did not show effectiveness in the long-term follow-up. This type of intervention alone is insufficient to prevent smoking but supports other anti-smoking activities.

Trial Registration

This study was registered at webcite (NCT01348646).