Cochrane Summaries

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Can Internet-based interventions help people to stop smoking? 

Civljak M, Stead LF, Hartmann-Boyce J, Sheikh A, Car J
Published Online: 
10 July 2013

More evidence is needed to determine if programmes delivered over the Internet can help people to stop smoking. This review found several trials reporting success rates for stopping smoking after six months or more. In combined results from three trials which were at risk of bias, Internet programmes that were interactive and tailored to individual responses led to higher quit rates than usual care or written self help at six months or longer. Some interventions appeared more effective than others within this group, but with no obvious reason. Two trials where the Internet programme was not tailored did not improve smoking outcomes but direct comparisons between interactive/tailored and non-interactive, non-tailored programmes did not show a difference between the two.

The Internet may have an additional benefit when used alongside other interventions, such as nicotine replacement therapy or other pharmacotherapy. Innovative smoking cessation interventions delivered via the Internet may be more attractive to young people and to women who smoke, and less attractive to smokers reporting depression.

This record should be cited as: 
Civljak M, Stead LF, Hartmann-Boyce J, Sheikh A, Car J. Internet-based interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD007078. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007078.pub4
Assessed as up to date: 
24 April 2013