Web- and computer-based programs effective in helping adults quit smoking

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Washington, May 26 (ANI): Researchers have found evidence supporting the use of online or other computer-based smoking cessation programs for helping adults quit smoking.

Dr Seung-Kwon Myung, from the National Cancer Centre, Goyang, South Korea has identified 22 randomized controlled trials of Web- and computer-based programs published between 1989 and 2008, which included a total of 29,549 participants.

Ten studies used supplemental interventions-such as counselling, classroom lessons, nicotine replacement gum or patches, medication or quitlines-whereas 12 studies used Web- or computer-based programs alone.

They found that individuals assigned to use computer- or Web-based programs were about 1.5 times more likely to quit smoking.

Moreover, abstinence rates were higher among intervention groups than control groups after six to 10 months.

"The stand-alone interventions had a significant effect on smoking cessation as well as on those that had supplemental interventions," the authors write.

"However, compared with adults, these programs did not significantly increase the abstinence rate in adolescent populations.

"Our findings imply that there is sufficient evidence to support the use of a Web- or computer-based smoking cessation program for adult smokers.

"As global Web users continue to increase, Web-based smoking cessation programs could become a promising new strategy that is easily accessible for smokers worldwide," they added.

The study appears in Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (ANI)

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