Web and Computer Based Smoking Cessation Programs May Be Effective
It is well known that smoking can increase your risk of serious illnesses including
The National Cancer Center in South Korea investigated the effectiveness of computer-based smoking cessation programs by reviewing several past studies. The review published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that these programs were modestly effective in helping participants quit.
About the Study
In 10 of the trials, supplemental tools like counseling, nicotine replacements, and medication were provided to both the control and intervention groups. The researchers found that there was no significant difference in the abstinence rates between computer-based groups that used these supplemental tools and the computer-based groups that did not.
How Does This Affect You?
This review was based on randomized control trials, the results of which are generally considered to be highly reliable. However, many of the studies were compromised by high drop-out rates (not unusual for this type of study). In the end, though, computer-based programs do appear to be effective tools for smoking cessation, at least within the first year. These programs can provide support, information, and assistance at times that are convenient to the user while providing a degree of anonymity, which may be important to some smokers. The availability of technology on portable devices can also make the assistance immediately available at moments of weakness.
In most cases, multiple concurrent approaches are necessary for long-term smoking cessation. Nicotine replacements may help decrease withdrawal reactions,
American Lung Association
Myung SK, McDonnell DD, Kazinets G, Seo HG, Moskowitz JM. Effects of Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med . 2009 May 25;169(10):929-37.
Last reviewed July 2009 by
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