Impact of a Statewide Internet-Based Tobacco Cessation Intervention

ClearWay Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55425, USA.
Journal of Medical Internet Research (Impact Factor: 3.43). 02/2007; 9(3):e28. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.9.4.e28
Source: PubMed


An increasing number of people have access to the Internet, and more people are seeking tobacco cessation resources online every year. Despite the proliferation of various online interventions and their evident acceptance and reach, little research has addressed their impact in the real world. Typically, low response rates to Internet-based follow-up surveys generate unrepresentative samples and large confidence intervals when reporting results.
The aim of this study was to achieve a high response rate on follow-up evaluation in order to better determine the impact of an Internet-based tobacco cessation intervention provided to tobacco users in Minnesota, United States.
Participants included 607 men and women aged 18 and over residing in Minnesota who self-reported current tobacco use when registering for an Internet-based tobacco cessation program between February 2 and April 13, 2004. Participants were given access to an interactive website with features including social support, expert systems, proactive email, chat sessions, and online counselors. Mixed-mode follow-up (online survey with telephone survey for online nonrespondents) occurred 6 months after registration.
Of the study participants, 77.6% (471/607) responded to the 6-month follow-up survey (39.4% online and 38.2% by telephone). Among respondents, 17.0% (80/471, 95% CI = 13.6%-20.4%) reported that they had not smoked in the past 7 days (observed rate). Assuming all nonrespondents were still smoking (missing=smoking rate), the quit rate was 13.2% (80/607, 95% CI = 10.5%-15.9%).
This mixed-mode follow-up survey of an online smoking cessation program achieved a high response rate and provides a more accurate estimate of long-term cessation rates than has been previously reported. Quit rates for the Internet-based tobacco cessation program were higher than those expected for unassisted quit attempts and are comparable to other evidence-based behavioral interventions. The similarities between quit rates demonstrates that an Internet-based cessation program may have as great an impact as, and can have wider reach than, other cessation programs such as those delivered by telephone. With over 100000 people having visited the website and over 23000 having registered, a 6-month self-reported quit rate of 13.2% suggests that the program helped over 3000 Minnesotans remain tobacco free for at least 6 months. Results of this study suggest that an Internet-based cessation program is a useful tool in states' efforts to provide comprehensive cessation tools for smokers.

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    • "Online surveys are hosted on a secure server at Legacy; all data transfer is encrypted using SSL protocols. Mixed-mode follow-up (online surveys, telephone for online non-responders; [25]) is used to maximize follow-up rates. Mailed reminders are sent prior to each follow-up. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Reducing smoking prevalence is a public health priority that can save more lives and money than almost any other known preventive intervention. Internet interventions have the potential for enormous public health impact given their broad reach and effectiveness. However, most users engage only minimally with even the best designed websites, diminishing their impact due to an insufficient ‘dose’. Two approaches to improve adherence to Internet cessation programs are integrating smokers into an online social network and providing free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Active participation in online communities is associated with higher rates of cessation. Integrating smokers into an online social network can increase support and may also increase utilization of cessation tools and NRT. Removing barriers to NRT may increase uptake and adherence, and may also increase use of online cessation tools as smokers look for information and support while quitting. The combination of both strategies may exert the most powerful effects on adherence compared to either strategy alone. Methods/Design This study compares the efficacy of a smoking cessation website (WEB) alone and in conjunction with free NRT and a social network (SN) protocol designed to integrate participants into the online community. Using a 2 (SN, no SN) x 2 (NRT, no NRT) randomized, controlled factorial design with repeated measures at baseline, 3 months, and 9 months, this study will recruit N = 4,000 new members of an internet cessation program and randomize them to: 1) WEB, 2) WEB + SN, 3) WEB + NRT, or 4) WEB + SN + NRT. Hypotheses are that all interventions will outperform WEB and that WEB + SN + NRT will outperform WEB + NRT and WEB + SN on 30-day point prevalence abstinence at 9 months. Exploratory analyses will examine theory-driven hypotheses about the mediators and moderators of outcome. Discussion Addressing adherence in internet cessation programs is critical and timely to leverage their potential public health impact. This study is innovative in its use of a social network approach to improve behavioral and pharmacological treatment utilization to improve cessation. This approach is significant for reducing tobacco’s devastating disease burden and for optimizing behavior change in other arenas where adherence is just as critical. Trial registration ISRCTN:ISRCTN45127327
    Trials 02/2013; 14(1):48. DOI:10.1186/1745-6215-14-48 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    • "There is a pressing need to find better ways of helping smokers to stop, particularly those from disadvantaged groups who want, and try, to stop as much as other smokers but find it more difficult (Kotz & West, 2009). One largely untapped mode of support is the Internet, which has the potential for wide reach – 77% of British households now have Internet access (Office for National Statistics, 2011) – and for helping people who do not wish to engage in face-to-face behavioural support (Graham, Cobb, Raymond, Sill, & Young, 2007; Saul et al., 2007). It can also have extremely low cost per user (Swartz, Noell, Schroeder, & Ary, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article reports a pilot study of a new smoking cessation website ('StopAdvisor'), which has been developed on the basis of PRIME theory, evidence, web-design expertise and user-testing. The aims were to i) evaluate whether cessation, website usage and satisfaction were sufficiently high to warrant a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and ii) assess whether outcomes were affected by socio-economic status. This was an uncontrolled pilot study. Two hundred and four adult daily smokers willing to make a serious quit attempt were included. All participants received support from 'StopAdvisor', which recommends a structured quit plan and a variety of evidence-based behaviour change techniques for smoking cessation. A series of tunnelled sessions and a variety of interactive menus provide tailored support for up to a month before quitting through until one-month post-quit ( The primary outcome was self-report of at least 1month of continuous abstinence collected at 2months post-enrolment and verified by saliva cotinine or anabasine. Usage was indexed by log-ins and page views. Satisfaction was assessed by dichotomous ratings of helpfulness, personal relevance, likelihood of recommendation and future use, which were collected using an online questionnaire at 2months post-enrolment. Outcomes according to socio-economic status were assessed. At 8weeks post-enrolment, 19.6% (40/204) of participants were abstinent according to the primary outcome criteria (95% C.I.=14.1% to 25.1%). Participants viewed a mean of 133.5 pages (median=71.5) during 6.4 log-ins (median=3). A majority of respondents rated the website positively on each of the four satisfaction `ratings (range=66.7% to 75.3%). There was no evidence of an effect of socio-economic status on abstinence (OR=1.01, C.I.=0.50-2.07), usage (page-views, t(202)=0.11, p=.91; log-ins, t(202)=0.21, p=.83), or satisfaction (helpfulness, OR=1.09, C.I.=0.41-2.88; personal relevance, OR=0.55, C.I.=0.20-1.56; recommendation, OR=0.98, C.I.=0.34-2.81; use in future, OR=1.45, C.I.=0.49-4.27). The systematic application of theory, evidence, web-design expertise, and user-testing has resulted in a website that shows sufficiently promising efficacy and usability to warrant evaluation in a RCT. The website appears to be similarly effective and acceptable to users across the social spectrum.
    Addictive behaviors 06/2012; 37(12):1365-70. DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.05.016 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    • "Recently, web-based cessation programs have become increasingly available. While the literature supporting web-based intervention is more limited than that of telephone counseling, a growing body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of Internet cessation interventions is emerging [5-7]. The web by its nature has the potential to expand reach of evidence-based cessation interventions to tobacco users worldwide [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This observational study assessed the relation between mass media campaigns and service volume for a statewide tobacco cessation quitline and stand-alone web-based cessation program. Multivariate regression analysis was used to identify how weekly calls to a cessation quitline and weekly registrations to a web-based cessation program are related to levels of broadcast media, media campaigns, and media types, controlling for the impact of external and earned media events. There was a positive relation between weekly broadcast targeted rating points and the number of weekly calls to a cessation quitline and the number of weekly registrations to a web-based cessation program. Additionally, print secondhand smoke ads and online cessation ads were positively related to weekly quitline calls. Television and radio cessation ads and radio smoke-free law ads were positively related to web program registration levels. There was a positive relation between the number of web registrations and the number of calls to the cessation quitline, with increases in registrations to the web in 1 week corresponding to increases in calls to the quitline in the subsequent week. Web program registration levels were more highly influenced by earned media and other external events than were quitline call volumes. Overall, broadcast advertising had a greater impact on registrations for the web program than calls to the quitline. Furthermore, registrations for the web program influenced calls to the quitline. These two findings suggest the evolving roles of web-based cessation programs and Internet-use practices should be considered when creating cessation programs and media campaigns to promote them. Additionally, because different types of media and campaigns were positively associated with calls to the quitline and web registrations, developing mass media campaigns that offer a variety of messages and communicate through different types of media to motivate tobacco users to seek services appears important to reach tobacco users. Further research is needed to better understand the complexities and opportunities involved in simultaneous promotion of quitline and web-based cessation services.
    BMC Public Health 12/2011; 11(1):939. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-939 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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