Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer-based Programs Provide Help For Smokers Trying To Quit

Date:
May 26, 2009
Source:
University of California - Berkeley
Summary:
A new analysis suggests that Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs are worthwhile additions to the arsenal in the battle to quit tobacco. Moreover, the researchers argue, such programs are often free, providing a cost-effective alternative to other smoking interventions.

Trying to quit cigarettes but don't know how? A new analysis led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, suggests that Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs are worth a try, and fortunately during these tough economic times, many of them are free.

Such programs offer a cost-effective alternative to interventions such as telephone hotlines or counseling services, both of which require trained personnel, the researchers said. These programs typically help users evaluate the benefits of quitting tobacco, such as saving money by not buying cigarettes, and suggest specific strategies for how to handle relapses.

"With the rising cost of health care, there is a need to look for less expensive health programs that are effective," said study co-author Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. "What we found in our meta-analysis was that Web- and computer-based programs, once they're set up and running, are a worthy alternative."

The authors of the study, to be published Monday, May 25, in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, systematically analyzed 22 trials in which smokers enrolled in Web- or computer-based smoking cessation programs were compared with smokers who tried to quit on their own. The trials, which totaled nearly 30,000 participants, 16,000 of whom were randomly assigned to a Web- or computer-based program, spanned 19 years and included three to 12 months' worth of follow-up data.

They found that the percentage of smokers who managed to stay away from tobacco a year after the Web- or computer-based smoking cessation program ended was 9.9 percent, a rate that is about 1.7 times higher than for those who tried to quit on their own.

"Currently, Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs are not commonly recommended because evidence of their effectiveness has been inconsistent," said the study's lead author, Dr. Seung-Kwon Myung, staff physician at the Smoking Cessation Clinic at the National Cancer Center in South Korea. "But our review of the evidence to date suggests that Web- and computer-based programs have a legitimate place in tobacco dependence treatment options."

Myung, who conducted the research while he was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Center for Family and Community Health, said that computer-based programs won't necessarily supplant existing treatment options, such as phone counseling or medications. But he noted that the Web can be particularly helpful for the uninsured who may not have access to services, or for those who are concerned about the stigma of seeking treatment.

Moskowitz noted that many smokers may prefer the flexibility and privacy offered by Web and computer programs over counseling done face-to-face or over the phone. He added that computer programs can be easily translated into various languages to reach out to a more diverse group of people.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Berkeley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Myung et al. Effects of Web- and Computer-Based Smoking Cessation Programs: Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009; 169 (10): 929 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.109

Cite This Page:

University of California - Berkeley. "Computer-based Programs Provide Help For Smokers Trying To Quit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090525173538.htm>.
University of California - Berkeley. (2009, May 26). Computer-based Programs Provide Help For Smokers Trying To Quit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090525173538.htm
University of California - Berkeley. "Computer-based Programs Provide Help For Smokers Trying To Quit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090525173538.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins