Chat with young adults quitting smoking

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A 2-group randomised controlled trial was conducted to assess the net benefit of adding Tweet2Quit to a usual care control condition.The study was conducted in four cohorts of 40 participants (total N=160).Our university IRBs approved the research and participants consented online.In our Tweet2Quit pilot study, we found that daily Facebook use was significantly correlated with engagement in Tweet2Quit, while prior Twitter use was uncorrelated.32 Hence, for this clinical trial, we required daily Facebook use, not Twitter use.

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Then about 1 month before a projected cohort start date, they were emailed a link to our screening survey to assess their eligibility and obtain informed consent.

Inclusion criteria were: resident of the continental USA, English speaking, aged 18–59 years, smoked 100 cigarettes in lifetime, currently smoking ≥5 cigarettes daily, intention to quit smoking in the next month, active email account, mobile phone with internet access and unlimited texting, weekly texting, and daily Facebook use.

Similar to predecessor technologies, such as bulletin boards and listservs, prolonged engagement is often poor; initial interest may be high but often wanes.2 11–13 Research has identified three main reasons for this.14–17 People do not see and/or respond to others’ posts promptly enough, causing dropouts.17 New members’ posts may be ignored because they lack social capital within the group.16 18 Even active members gradually lose interest and disengage, and thus most groups have a limited duration.14We developed a novel intervention for smoking cessation called Tweet2Quit that seeks to address these limitations.

Tweet2Quit sends twice-daily automated communications (‘autocommunications’) to encourage frequent and concurrent check-in, forms small intimate groups that start immediately and are closed to new members, and is purposefully of limited duration.

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