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Tob Control. 2017 Mar;26(2):188-194. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052768. Epub 2016 Feb 29.

Randomised controlled trial evaluation of Tweet2Quit: a social network quit-smoking intervention.

Author information

1
The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
3
Program in Public Health, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, USA.
4
Department of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We evaluated a novel Twitter-delivered intervention for smoking cessation, Tweet2Quit, which sends daily, automated communications to small, private, self-help groups to encourage high-quality, online, peer-to-peer discussions.

DESIGN:

A 2-group randomised controlled trial assessed the net benefit of adding a Tweet2Quit support group to a usual care control condition of nicotine patches and a cessation website.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants were 160 smokers (4 cohorts of 40/cohort), aged 18-59 years, who intended to quit smoking, used Facebook daily, texted weekly, and had mobile phones with unlimited texting.

INTERVENTION:

All participants received 56 days of nicotine patches, emails with links to the smokefree.gov cessation website, and instructions to set a quit date within 7 days. Additionally, Tweet2Quit participants were enrolled in 20-person, 100-day Twitter groups, and received daily discussion topics via Twitter, and daily engagement feedback via text.

MEASURES:

The primary outcome was sustained abstinence at 7, 30 and 60 days post-quit date.

RESULTS:

Participants (mean age 35.7 years, 26.3% male, 31.2% college degree, 88.7% Caucasian) averaged 18.0 (SD=8.2) cigarettes per day and 16.8 (SD=9.8) years of smoking. Participants randomised to Tweet2Quit averaged 58.8 tweets/participant and the average tweeting duration was 47.4 days/participant. Tweet2Quit doubled sustained abstinence out to 60 days follow-up (40.0%, 26/65) versus control (20.0%, 14/70), OR=2.67, CI 1.19 to 5.99, p=0.017. Tweeting via phone predicted tweet volume, and tweet volume predicted sustained abstinence (p<0.001). The daily autocommunications caused tweeting spikes accounting for 24.0% of tweets.

CONCLUSIONS:

Tweet2Quit was engaging and doubled sustained abstinence. Its low cost and scalability makes it viable as a global cessation treatment.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:

NCT01602536.

KEYWORDS:

Addiction; Cessation; Denormalization

PMID:
26928205
PMCID:
PMC5112138
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052768
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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