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Subst Use Misuse. 2017 Jan 28;52(2):259-264. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Cessation Strategies Young Adult Smokers Use After Participating in a Facebook Intervention.

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a Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California , San Francisco, San Francisco , California , USA.
b Department of Psychiatry , University of California , San Francisco, San Francisco , California , USA.



Young adults underutilize current evidence-based smoking cessation strategies; yet social media are widely used and accepted among this population. A better understanding of whether and how young adults try to quit smoking in the context of a social media smoking cessation intervention could inform future intervention improvements.


We examined frequency, strategies used, and predictors of self-initiated 24-hour quit attempts among young adults participating in a Facebook intervention.


A total of 79 young adult smokers (mean age = 20.8; 20.3% female) were recruited on Facebook for a feasibility trial. Participants joined motivationally tailored private Facebook groups and received daily posts over 12 weeks. Assessments were completed at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up.


In 12 months, 52 participants (65.5%) completed 215 quit attempts (mean = 4.1; median = 4; range 1-14); 75.4% of attempts were undertaken with the Facebook intervention alone, 17.7% used an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), 7.4% used nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and 3.7% used additional professional advice. Non-daily smokers, those who smoked fewer cigarettes, and those in an advanced stage of change at baseline were more likely to make a quit attempt. E-cigarette use to aide a quit attempt during the study period was associated with reporting a past year quit attempt at baseline. No baseline characteristics predicted NRT use.


After participating in a Facebook smoking cessation intervention, young adults predominantly tried to quit without additional assistance. E-cigarettes are used more frequently as cessation aid than NRT. The use of evidence-based smoking cessation strategies should be improved in this population.


Facebook; Smoking; cessation; treatment and intervention; young adults

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