Facebook Program Doesn't Up Smoking Abstinence at One Year

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Facebook Program Doesn't Up Smoking Abstinence at One Year
Facebook Program Doesn't Up Smoking Abstinence at One Year

TUESDAY, Sept. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The Tobacco Status Project (TSP) Facebook smoking cessation intervention for young adults does not improve abstinence from smoking over one year, according to a study published in the September issue of Addiction.

Danielle E. Ramo, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues compared a TSP intervention group to an online control group among young adult cigarette smokers (251 and 249, respectively). As part of TSP, private Facebook groups were provided that were tailored to stage of change to quit smoking, daily contacts, and weekly live counseling sessions.

The researchers found that there was no significant difference in verified seven-day abstinence for intervention versus control over one year (month three: 8.3 versus 3.2 percent; month six: 6.2 versus 6.0 percent; and month 12: 5.9 versus 10 percent; odds ratio, 1.07; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.23 to 4.97). At three months there was a significant effect (odds ratio, 2.52; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.56 to 4.04). There were no 12-month treatment effects noted for reported abstinence, reduction in smoking by 50 percent or more, likelihood of having made a quit attempt, or stage of change over time. Those in TSP engaged more and rated the intervention more favorably.

"Compared with referral to a smoking cessation website, a novel USA-focused Facebook smoking cessation intervention did not improve abstinence from smoking over one year, but increased abstinence at the end of treatment and was engaging to participants," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Carrot Inc., which makes a tobacco cessation device; one author disclosed ties to Pfizer, which makes smoking cessation medications.

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