Programs to Quit Smoking: Compared

Web-based, phone-based smoking cessation programs compared in four US states

(RxWiki News) Looking to kick the habit? If so, there are plenty of support programs out there designed to help you quit. And a few of them have just been compared for the first time.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40 million people in the US struggle daily with tobacco addiction. Many of these people find it hard to quit. A recent study looked at this very dilemma.

In this study, a team of researchers led by CDC epidemiologist Antonio Neri, MD, MPH, looked at the Web-based and phone-based tobacco cessation programs available in four US states.

Past research has proven that Quitlines, or phone-based programs, are an effective tool for people trying to quit smoking. The evidence on Web-based programs remains unclear.

Dr. Neri and team set out to explore the effectiveness of these programs and the differences between them by conducting one of the largest studies on the topic to date.

This study included 4,086 participants from four US states, all of whom were cigarette smokers. All were enrolled in either a Web-based or phone-based smoking cessation program between 2011 and 2012, and were given a standard survey to complete.

At the end of the 7-month study period, Dr. Neri and team looked at whether or not participants achieved 30 days of tobacco abstinence.

These researchers found that Web-based programs were almost as successful as their phone-based counterparts. Phone-based programs had a 32 percent success rate. Web-based programs had a 27 percent success rate.

People tended to have higher success rates if they had partners, did not live with fellow smokers, smoked fewer cigarettes per day and accessed either Web-based or phone-based programs more often.

For more information, talk to your doctor about your options to quit smoking today.

This study was published Feb. 8 in the journal Cancer.

The CDC funded this research. No conflicts of interest were disclosed.

Review Date: 
February 8, 2016