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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

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Appeal and Effectiveness of a Web-based Smoking Cessation Intervention for College Students: Results of a Randomized Study

Morgan MacDonald, BKin1, Rebecca Wiebe, BA2, Kelli-an Lawrance, PhD2, and Kimberly Brunelle, BA(Hons)1. (1) Brock Research Institute for Youth Studies, Leave The Pack Behind, 500 Glenridge Avenue, BRIYS House, St. Catharines, ON L2R 6N1, Canada, (2) Community Health Sciences, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Avenue, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada

Objective: Like other smokers, college smokers who want to quit express a preference for easy-to-access, self-directed interventions. Traditionally, self-help print programs have been offered in response. With today's students immersed in electronic communications and web-based information-gathering, “self-directed and easy-to-access” may now translate into “web-based”. We developed and evaluated a new web-based smoking cessation intervention for college students.

Methods: Smoke|Quit, a rigorously-evaluated, age-tailored, 2-booklet smoking cessation program for post-secondary students, was translated into an online format. Key features of the web program include: flexible navigation with multiple pathways through the site; links to campus-specific resources; highly interactive pages; optional email support; potential for personalizing quit plan templates; and contemporary language. To assess the appeal and effectiveness of this new program, 200 smokers recruited from 4 Ontario universities have been randomly assigned to the print or electronic version of Smoke|Quit. Three-month follow-up data are being collected to assess reactions to the interventions, and determine quit rates and changes in tobacco consumption.

Results: Among participants in the electronic condition who have accessed the website, visit durations range from 1 to 33 minutes, and the average number of visits is 1.6. In its first 3 months, the website had an additional 1,200 visitors (primarily 17-to-25 year olds). Final results addressing appeal and effectiveness of the print and electronic interventions will be available in March 2006.

Conclusion: Web translation of Smoke|Quit will allow an infinite number of college students to easily access a free, age-tailored smoking cessation program.

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