Compliance with medical therapies may be considered a challenge in many age groups but especially so in adolescence. The adolescent patient with chronic lung disease may struggle to progress smoothly through the phases of adolescence because of fears of peer rejection and isolation occurring as a result of social, emotional and physical consequences of their underlying lung disease and its treatment. Non-compliance can be viewed as a scale from episodic compliance to frequent compliance with patients moving between ends of the spectrum. Health professionals need to consider the likely degree of compliance with therapies that they recommend, discuss the issue of compliance and the consequences of non-compliance with the adolescent patient and arrive at a workable compromise. This article discusses persistent asthma, cystic fibrosis and advanced neuromuscular disease to illustrate practical approaches to enhancing patient compliance in adolescence.