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Experts: Counseling is key to keep kids from smoking

Primary-care doctors need to provide education and counseling to help prevent children and teens from smoking, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

"As a pediatrician, I believe that preventing tobacco use is critical in helping young people live long, healthy lives," task force member Dr. David Grossman said. "The good news is that we have solid evidence that primary-care clinicians can help their young patients be tobacco free. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Research shows that behavioral counseling can reduce the risk that children will start smoking. Doctors can provide counseling to youths in person or over the phone, and individually or in family or group sessions, The final recommendation statement was posted Aug. 26 on the task force's website and appears online in the journal Pediatrics.-- HealthDay

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