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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
Objective: Telephone counseling has been shown to be cost-effective and capable of reaching large numbers of smokers seeking to quit. But internet communication provides an even greater potential for cost-efficiency in health communication. With scalability providing the ability to increase volume without significantly increasing costs, the internet has the capacity to assistance to the millions of smokers at a reasonable cost. This study examined the effectiveness of internet cessation assistance in a large-scale randomized clinical trial.
Methods: Smokers (n=6,451) visiting the American Cancer Society's internet site offering cessation assistance were, after providing consent and determining eligibility, randomized to receive access to a static internet site with quitting advice or to one of five interactive sites provided by cooperating research partners. Three-month follow-up surveys were conducted either online or by telephone to assess quitting success and 54% provided follow-up data.
Results: Three-month results showed no significant overall difference in cessation rates among participants assigned to the interactive or static sites. There were large differences in the utilization of the five interactive sites. When sites were grouped by level of use there was a significantly higher reported three-month cessation rate among participants assigned to the more highly utilized sites than among those assigned to the less utilized sites. These findings show that interactive internet sites yielding high levels of utilization can increase quitting success among smokers seeking assistance via the internet. Six-month results will also be discussed in this session.