University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Who participates in web-assisted tobacco interventions? The quit-primo and national dental practice-based research network hi-quit studies

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Smoking Cessation


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dental Public Health and Education | Health Services Research | Public Health | Substance Abuse and Addiction


INTRODUCTION: Smoking is the most preventable cause of death. Although effective, Web-assisted tobacco interventions are underutilized and recruitment is challenging. Understanding who participates in Web-assisted tobacco interventions may help in improving recruitment.

OBJECTIVES: To understand characteristics of smokers participating in a Web-assisted tobacco intervention (

METHODS: In addition to the typical Google advertisements, we expanded recruitment to include referrals from medical and dental providers. We assessed how the expanded recruitment of smokers changed the users' characteristics, including comparison with a population-based sample of smokers from the national Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). Using a negative binomial regression, we compared demographic and smoking characteristics by recruitment source, in particular readiness to quit and association with subsequent use.

RESULTS: The cohort included 605 smokers; the 2010 BRFSS dataset included 69,992. Compared to BRFSS smokers, a higher proportion of smokers were female (65.2% vs 45.7%, P=.001), over age 35 (80.8% vs 67.0%, P=.001), and had some college or were college graduates (65.7% vs 45.9%, P=.001). Demographic and smoking characteristics varied by recruitment; for example, a lower proportion of medical- (22.1%) and dental-referred (18.9%) smokers had set a quit date or had already quit than Google smokers (40.1%, P

CONCLUSIONS: Recruitment from clinical practices complimented Google recruitment attracting smokers less motivated to quit and less experienced with Web-assisted tobacco interventions.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00797628; (Archived by WebCite at


UMCCTS funding

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Copyright Sadasivam et al. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 01.05.2013. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

DOI of Published Version



Sadasivam RS, Kinney RL, Delaughter K, Rao SR, Williams JH, Coley HL, Ray MN, Gilbert GH, Allison JJ, Ford DE, Houston TK; National Dental PBRN Group; QUIT-PRIMO Collaborative Group. Who participates in Web-assisted tobacco interventions? The QUIT-PRIMO and National Dental Practice-Based Research Network Hi-Quit studies. J Med Internet Res. 2013 May 1;15(5):e77. doi:10.2196/jmir.2385. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of medical Internet research

PubMed ID