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Addiction. 2004 Mar;99(3):369-77.

The effectiveness of personally tailored computer-generated advice letters for smoking cessation.

Author information

  • 1VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control, Carlton Victoria, Australia.



To assess the effectiveness of a new computer-generated tailored advice programme designed to be used by smokers and recent quitters having problems staying stopped.


Randomized trial comparing a series of questionnaire assessments leading to tailored computer-generated advice letters mailed at strategically relevant times, to a no extra treatment control sent standardized printed self-help materials.


Victoria, Australia.


A total of 1058 smokers or recent quitters recruited from callers to the Quitline.


Smoking status and sustained abstinence at 12-month follow-up, plus extent of participation in the intervention.


Using a conservative analysis (missing data coded as a treatment failure), 6-month sustained abstinence was reported by significantly more participants in the computer-generated tailored advice (20%) than the standard printed materials condition (12%) at 12-month follow-up OR 1.82 (1.31-2.55)). Group differences in point prevalence abstinence (28% intervention, 25% control) were not significant. Among participants in the tailored advice condition, 6-month sustained abstinence was associated with the number of advice letters received.


The provision of a series of tailored, computer-generated advice letters resulted in greater rates of sustained cessation than for controls. A dose-response relationship was found, with increased compliance with the intervention associated with improved cessation outcomes. The programme appears to have much of its effect by preventing relapse.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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