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Nicotine Tob Res. 2003 Apr;5(2):189-94.

Evaluation of an Internet-based smoking cessation program: lessons learned from a pilot study.

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  • 1Oregon Research Institute Eugene OR 97403, USA.


The potential contribution of the Internet to smoking cessation seems huge, given that a majority of Americans now have both computers and telephones. Despite the proliferation of Web sites offering smoking cessation support, there is little empirical evidence regarding the efficacy of Internet-delivered cessation programs. We developed a cessation Web site and conducted a short-term evaluation of it, examining recruitment approaches, Web site use patterns, alternative retention incentives and re-contact modes, satisfaction, and cessation rate. The intervention included modules on social support and cognitive-behavioral coping skills configured to take advantage of the interactive and multimedia capabilities of the Internet. Cessation and satisfaction data were obtained from a subsample of 370 subjects followed for 3 months. The program was rated as easy to use, and the social support group component was used most frequently. The cessation rate (abstinence for the previous 7 days) at 3 months was 18%, with nonrespondents (n=161) considered smokers. Among a variety of traditional and Internet-based recruitment strategies, the most successful made use of Internet user groups and search engines. Methodological and procedural issues posed in conducting research on the Internet are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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