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Nicotine Tob Res. 2006 Dec;8 Suppl 1:S77-85.

Smokers who use internet and smokers who don't: data from the Health Information and National Trends Survey (HINTS).

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Tobacco Control Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, EPN-4040, 6130 Executive Blvd, Bethesda, MD 20892-7337, USA.


Web-assisted tobacco interventions (WATI) have proliferated in recent years, but little is known about those such sites are reaching and those who might be reached in the future. A better understanding of factors that differentiate smokers who do and do not use the Internet could help developers of smoking cessation resources optimize the content and dissemination of resources to these two groups. Using the 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), a nationally representative survey of U.S. adults, we compared smokers using the Internet (n=728) with smokers not using the Internet (n=516) on demographics, smoking history, healthcare (status, care, access, and use), beliefs about lung cancer risks, and media preferences. Our results showed that compared with smokers not on the Internet, those using the Internet had a higher income and were more likely to be employed, despite having a younger age. Internet-connected smokers also reported less psychological distress, fewer barriers to healthcare, and a greater interest in quitting smoking. Preferences for media also differed by Internet status: Those on the Internet spent less time on television and more time with newspapers and magazines than those not on the Internet. These and other differences may assist the public health community with both the design and dissemination of resources to help smokers quit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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