Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S., and almost always begins during adolescence. According to leading medical advocates, pediatricians can help get kids to quit vaping electronic cigarettes and using other tobacco products.

According to the FDA, 10% of American students report using tobacco products. Though there have been declines in cigarette use among adolescents, the popularity of e-cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco and nicotine products are on the rise. Smoking and vaping are both harmful to health, particularly to youth, whose brains are still developing and are vulnerable to nicotine dependence. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) developed the Youth Tobacco Cessation Progressive Web App, a free clinical decision resource. The app, which can be used on a computer, tablet, or phone, leads physicians through the following steps:

  1. Ask: Screen for tobacco use with all youth, during every clinical encounter.
  2. Counsel: Ask youth tobacco users to quit and set a quit date within two weeks.
  3. Treat: Link adolescents to behavioral treatment extenders, and prescribe pharmacologic support if needed. Follow up to assess progress and offer support.

The app also provides a flowchart for clinical interactions, links to product descriptions, an AAP policy and clinical report, sample counseling statements, and behavioral support options such as texting services, quitlines, online resources, and information on nicotine replacement therapy.

There is little data on successful youth tobacco treatment strategies, but clinicians can use existing literature and promising practices to support tobacco cessation in young people. Visit to learn more. Tobacco use and nicotine dependence are significant health concerns. Pediatricians are a trusted source of expertise, support, and guidance in providing teens with confidential tobacco cessation care.