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Go Online To Kick the Cigarette Habit

New evidence supports the use of online or other computer-based smoking cessation programs for helping adults quit smoking.

The finding, a product of a statistical technique called meta-analysis, combines previously published studies to allow a stronger determination of the effectiveness of the intervention.

“Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable disease and premature death,” the authors write as background information in the article. Currently recommended smoking cessation strategies include individual or group counseling, medications and telephone quit-line counseling. Most people who try to stop smoking are trying to quit cigarettes.

Seung-Kwon Myung, M.D., M.S., then at the University of California, Berkeley, and now at the National Cancer Center, Goyang, South Korea, and colleagues identified 22 randomized controlled trials of Web- and computer-based programs published between 1989 and 2008.

The trials included a total of 29,549 participants, 16,050 of whom were randomly assigned to a computer-based program and 13,499 to a control group.

Ten studies used supplemental interventions — such as counseling, classroom lessons, nicotine replacement gum or patches, medication or quitlines — whereas 12 studies used Web- or computer-based programs alone.

When the results of the trials were pooled and analyzed, individuals assigned to use computer- or Web-based programs were about 1.5 times more likely to quit smoking than those assigned to control groups.

Abstinence rates were higher among intervention groups than control groups after six to 10 months (11.7 percent vs. 7 percent) and 12 months (9.9 percent vs. 5.7 percent) of follow-up. The effects of these programs were similar to those of counseling interventions, the authors note.

“The stand-alone interventions had a significant effect on smoking cessation as well as on those that had supplemental interventions,” the authors write.

“However, compared with adults, these programs did not significantly increase the abstinence rate in adolescent populations.”

“Our findings imply that there is sufficient evidence to support the use of a Web- or computer-based smoking cessation program for adult smokers,” the authors conclude.

“As global Web users continue to increase, Web-based smoking cessation programs could become a promising new strategy that is easily accessible for smokers worldwide.”

The study appears in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Go Online To Kick the Cigarette Habit

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Go Online To Kick the Cigarette Habit. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 12, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2009/05/26/go-online-to-kick-the-cigarette-habit/6086.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.