UCSF recruits bilingual participants for first Spanish/English smoking cessation research on the Internet

November 20, 2000

The first Spanish/English Smoking Cessation Program on the Internet has been launched by the Latino Mental Health Research Program at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, according to Ricardo F. Muñoz, PhD, UCSF professor of psychology.

More than $450,000 was made available for a three year grant from the University of California Office of the President's Tobacco Disease Research Program to support this endeavor. Muñoz, director of the Latino Mental Health Research Program, said "There is no fee for participation, and we are recruiting participants from all over the world. We are making a special effort to attract Spanish-speaking smokers who use the web." The location for the research program on the World Wide Web is found at: http://stopsmoking.ucsf.edu or http://dejardefumar.ucsf.edu.

"Take Back Control of Your Life," is the title of the first page of the website which asks participants to answer simple questions such as "How many cigarettes do you currently smoke each day?" and "How long have you smoked?" Web users are also asked if they are seriously considering quitting, how soon they plan to do so, and if there are any other family members participating in the study. No personal identifying information is collected on this initial page, but the data will be used to report on group characteristics of those who log on to the site. There is a "browse" button for those who wish to read more about the program, but those who wish to become research participants can submit forms directly from the web site, including a consent form to join.

Some of the questions are asked to provide feedback on how dependent the smoker is, such as "How soon after you wake up, do you smoke your first cigarette?" If the participant has quit in the past, there are questions about experiences such as feeling irritable, nervous, having headaches or an upset stomach.

Questions about the mood of the smoker are included, such as feeling depressed, loss of appetite, weight gain or weight loss. Women are asked specific questions about fatigue, headaches, muscle stiffness, and weight loss or gain.

The website also asks for the reasons why the participant wants to stop smoking, ranging from doctor's advice to the death of a friend or family member.

Muñoz said all participants will be able to access a "Stop Smoking Guide" and a "Nicotine Replacement Resource" which have helped others to stop smoking.

Participants will be contacted via e-mail by the project one month after they begin and again six months later to verify if they continue to be smoke-free. The research team is led by faculty from the Schools of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and University of California, San Diego.
If you need further information, please call the Spanish/English Smoking Cessation Web Study team at (415) 476-7327.

University of California - San Francisco

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