Evidence supports use of Web- and computer-based programs to help adults quit smoking

May 25, 2009

Available evidence supports the use of online or other computer-based smoking cessation programs for helping adults quit smoking, according to a meta-analysis of previously published studies appearing in the May 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"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.

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."
-end-
(Arch Intern Med. 2009;169[10]:929-937. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)

Editor's Note: Dr. Myung and co-authors Dr. McDonnell, Dr. Kazinets and Dr. Moskowitz received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

For more information, contact JAMA/Archives Media Relations at 312/464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail mediarelations@jama-archives.org.

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Smoking Articles from Brightsurf:

Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.

What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.

Want to quit smoking? Partner up
Kicking the habit works best in pairs. That's the main message of a study presented today at EuroPrevent 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Smoking and mortality in Asia
In this analysis of data from 20 studies conducted in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India with more than 1 million participants, deaths associated with smoking continued to increase among men in Asia grouped by the years in which they were born.

Predictors of successfully quitting smoking among smokers registered at the quit smoking clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health, Nur Izzati Mohammad et al. consider how cigarette smoking is one of the risk factors leading to noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and cancer.

Restaurant and bar smoking bans do reduce smoking, especially among the highly educated
Smoking risk drops significantly in college graduates when they live near areas that have completely banned smoking in bars and restaurants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

How the UK smoking ban increased wellbeing
Married women with children reported the largest increase in well-being following the smoking bans in the UK in 2006 and 2007 but there was no comparable increase for married men with children.

Smoking study personalizes treatment
A simple blood test is allowing Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.

A biophysical smoking gun
While much about Alzheimer's disease remains a mystery, scientists do know that part of the disease's progression involves a normal protein called tau, aggregating to form ropelike inclusions within brain cells that eventually strangle the neurons.

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.

Read More: Smoking News and Smoking Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.