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Task Force Recommends Anti-Smoking Counseling for Kids

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Are programs that aim to keep kids from smoking doing the trick? One group says -- sort of.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force has given current programs like doctor counseling a "B" in how well they prevent kids and teens from lighting up. Task Force Member Sue Curry says there is definitely room for improvement.

"To get an A, there has to be strong certainty of a strong benefit," Curry says.

Every day almost 4,000 young people ages 12 to 17 try smoking for the first time, according to HealthDay News. One thousand become daily smokers.  Though it can take as long as two years for addiction to develop, some kids can become hooked on nicotine much faster, HealthDay reports.

The task force determined that children and teens could benefit most from counseling and educational programs. Curry says a child's doctor visit is a great place for the anti-smoking message to be driven home.

"It's an opportunity for the child's doctor and parent to communicate as well and for the clinician to provide some help to the parent in reinforcing the message," she says. "Using the influence and respect that youth have for their clinicians is another place where smoking prevention messages can be effective."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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