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Introduction. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in Vermont. While the Vermont Blueprint for Health includes compensation for adult tobacco counseling, it includes no specific mention of pediatric populations. Research questions: To what extent are tobacco assessment and cessation efforts occurring in the primary care setting with pediatric patients? What factors influence their practices?

Methods. A 12-question electronic survey, modeled on an American Academy of Pediatrics survey, was distributed to primary care providers throughout Vermont; through the UVM departments of pediatrics, family medicine, the Vermont Medical Society and the Vermont Area Health Education Center. We received 70 completed surveys.

Results. 70% of the surveyed primary care providers begin tobacco counseling at the age recommended (11 years) by the Vermont Department of Health. Only 45.71% of providers are confident in their understanding of the recommendations for adolescent health screening written in the Blueprint for Health. Additionally, only 67.1% of the providers expressed confidence in their ability to provide guidance regarding the harmful effects of E-cigarettes, compared to 92.8% feeling confident regarding conventional cigarettes. 70% of providers listed time restraints as a significant factor in their decision not to counsel adolescents on tobacco use.

Discussion. The Blueprint for Health is a guiding document for provider practices that is not well understood and does not specifically include pediatric tobacco prevention. In an environment where youth E-cigarette use is rising, especially among adolescents, it is especially critical that physicians are confident in their counseling practices.


Jill Sudhoff-Guerin

American Cancer Society: Cancer Action Network

Jill Jemison

The University of Vermont

Jan Carney

The University of Vermont


American Cancer Society of Vermont


Adolescent Health, Cancer, Tobacco Use

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Gaps in Adolescent Tobacco Prevention and Counseling in Vermont