University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Title

Online tobacco websites and online communities-who uses them and do users quit smoking? The quit-primo and national dental practice-based research network Hi-Quit studies

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Date

12-1-2016

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dental Public Health and Education | Health Communication | Health Information Technology | Health Services Research | Substance Abuse and Addiction | Translational Medical Research

Abstract

Online tobacco cessation communities are beneficial but underused. Our study examined whether, among smokers participating in a web-assisted tobacco intervention (Decide2quit.org), specific characteristics were associated with navigating to BecomeAnEx.org, an online cessation community, and with subsequent quit rates. Among smokers (N = 759) registered with Decide2quit.org, we identified visitors to BecomeAnEx.org, examining associations between smoker characteristics and likelihood of visiting. We then tested for associations between visits and 6-month cessation (point prevalence). We also tested for an interaction between use of other online support-seeking (Decide2quit.org tobacco cessation coaches), visiting, and 6-month cessation. One quarter (26.0 %; n = 197) of the smokers visited BecomeAnEx.org; less than one tenth (7.5 %; n = 57) registered to participate in the online forum. Visitors were more likely to be female (73.0 vs. 62.6 % of non-visitors, P < 0.01) to have visited a cessation website before (33.0 vs. 17.4 %, P < 0.01) and to report quit attempts in the previous year (62.0 vs. 53.0 %, P = 0.03). In analyses of all participants, BecomeAnEx.org visiting was not associated with 6-month quit completion. Among participants who communicated with a coach, BecomeAnEx.org visiting also lacked a significant association with 6 month quit completion, although a non-significant trend toward quit completion in visitors was noted (OR 2.21, 95 % CI 0.81-3.1). Online cessation communities attract smokers with previous cessation website experience and recent quit attempts. Community visiting was not associated with quit rates in our study, but low use may have limited our power to detect differences. Further research should explore whether an additive effect can be achieved by offering community visitors support via online coaches.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Transl Behav Med. 2016 Dec;6(4):546-557. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Keywords

Health services research, Internet, Online behavior change systems, Smoking cessation, Social network, Social support

PubMed ID

27379777