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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 9:00 AM

Smoking cessation on the Internet in European Union countries

Ellen Tuomaala, MScS, Epidemiology and Health Promotion, National Public Health Institute of Finland, Mannerheimintie 166, FIN-00300 Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland and Kristiina Patja, MD, PhD, Epidemiology and health promotion, National Public Health Insitute KTL, Mannerhemintie 166, 00300 Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: To collect information, and to develop tools for evaluation and quality processes.

Methods: Development of quality control based on accumulative information collection and evaluation.

Results: Information on smoking cessation on the Internet in Europe

Smoking cessation on the Internet in European Union countries

Internet services have increased in European countries to support and supplement existing telephone services for smokers and smoking cessation. Information on these services has been scarce and unsystematic. Therefore a research and development project was launched.

The project was launched by service identification in EU. In principle commercial cessation web sites were not included in. There was a lot of variation of smoking cessation websites. Smoking cessation websites can form their own entity, or they can compose only one part of the larger health promotion site. Some websites contain only information, certain have also interactive elements or there are campaign websites. Cessation websites are not directly comparable with each other. The multitude nature of smoking cessation websites also causes some difficulties especially in their evaluation and quality control.

Web-based cessation services are regionally unequally. In western and northern European languages there are smoking cessation services on the Internet in abundance and in eastern and southern European languages, there is undersupply of cessation websites. Internet is not dependent on national boundaries in general, and neither are smoking cessation websites. The language is far more crucial factor for website visitors and smokers as well.

The project has also collected in-depth information on the contents of the web-cessation services.