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Internet Interventions


Background: China is the largest tobacco producer and has the highest number of tobacco consumers in the world. Extensive research has demonstrated the utility of social media for smoking cessation. WeChat is the most commonly used social media platform in China, but has not yet been utilized for smoking cessation interventions. The objectives of this study are (1) to evaluate the efficacy of a WeChat-based smoking cessation intervention; and (2) to examine a possible additive effect of integrating oral health and smoking-related information into a tailored, Transtheoretical Model (TTM) guided smoking cessation intervention. Methods: Eligible adults were recruited through WeChat from July 1 to August 6, 2019, to participate in a 3-arm, single-blinded, randomized controlled trial. We enrolled and randomized 403 participants into three groups: the Standard Group, Enhanced Group, or a Waitlist-Control Group. Participants in the Standard Group received 20 smoking cessation-related messages for 2 weeks; participants in the Enhanced Group received this same protocol plus 6 oral health-related messages over an additional week. Participants in the Control Group received smoking cessation-related messages, after the post-intervention assessment. The primary outcome was TTM Stage of Change, and the secondary outcomes were 7-day Point Prevalence Abstinence (PPA), 24-h PPA, daily cigarette use, and nicotine dependence at 4 weeks follow-up post intervention, comparing intervention groups with the control group. The overall program attrition rate was 46%. Paired t-tests, McNemar tests, and linear and logistic regression were used to examine differences in smoking cessation outcomes within and between groups. Results: Participants in the Enhanced Group (β = −1.28, 95%CI: −2.13, −0.44) and the Standard Group (β = −1.13, 95%CI: −1.95, −0.30) reported larger changes in nicotine dependence scores, compared to participants in the Waitlist Group. No statistically significant differences were found between the Enhanced Group and the Standard Group. Discussion: This WeChat-based intervention was effective for smoking cessation overall. The addition of oral health information did not significantly improve the intervention.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.