Exploring Online Asynchronous Counseling With Tobacco Treatment Specialists in the QUIT-PRIMO and National Dental PBRN HI-QUIT Studies: Who Uses It and What Do They Say

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, Division of Health Informatics and Implementation Science

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Epidemiology | Health Psychology | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Public Health Education and Promotion | Substance Abuse and Addiction | Telemedicine


PURPOSE: To describe the content of messages sent by smokers through asynchronous counseling within a Web-based smoking cessation intervention.

DESIGN: Qualitative.

SETTING: National community-based setting of patients who had been engaged by the medical or dental practices at which they attended or via Google advertisements.

PARTICIPANTS: Adults older than 19 years who were current smokers and interested in quitting. Participants throughout the United States referred to a Web-based cessation intervention by their medical or dental provider or by clicking on a Google advertisement.

METHODS: We conducted a qualitative review of 742 asynchronous counseling messages sent by 270 Web site users. Messages were reviewed, analyzed, and organized into qualitative themes by the investigative team.

RESULTS: The asynchronous counseling feature of the intervention was used most frequently by smokers who were white (87%), female (67%), aged 45 to 54 (32%), and who had at least some college-level education (70%). Qualitative analysis yielded 7 basic themes-Talk about the Process of Quitting, Barriers to Quitting, Reasons to Quit, Quit History, Support and Strategies for Quitting, Quitting with Medication, and Quit Progress. The most common theme was Support and Strategies for Quitting with 255 references among all messages.

CONCLUSION: We found rich communication across the spectrum of the quit process, from persons preparing to quit to those who had successfully quit. Asynchronous smoking cessation counseling provides a promising means of social support for smokers during the quit process.


asynchronous communication, smoking cessation, smoking cessation counseling, tobacco control, tobacco treatment specialist

DOI of Published Version



Am J Health Promot. 2018 Jun;32(5):1170-1177. doi: 10.1177/0890117116670972. Epub 2016 Oct 10. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of health promotion : AJHP

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed