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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: 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.