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Smokefree Women and Smokefree Teen Initiatives: Using Emerging Technologies to Increase Reach and Engagement

July 28, 2011: Cessation: Emerging Interventions and Innovations

Erik Augustson, Ph.D., M.P.H., Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Augustson described the advantages of augmenting cessation resources with an e-health element due to the potential to reach large audiences at a relatively low cost and more convenient for many participants. Because the digital divide is shrinking and the use of hand-held devices is becoming so widespread this is a very important contribution to helping people quit.

Two projects were described. The first——is intended to reach and engage female smokers to provide tailored smoking cessation information with the goal to increase and support quit attempts. Examples of some of the interactive tools on the site are quizzes, a live chat feature, a quit guide smartphone application, and various social media components including Facebook and Twitter. A second initiative is the Smokefree Teen which will include a website integrated with various social media platforms, a multi-component smartphone app and a text messaging platform. The text messaging program is currently operational and is designed to assist and support quit attempts. The website and smartphone app will be available this fall. Future plans include the development of additional text message libraries, and the evaluation of each of these two initiatives.

Following Dr. Augustson's presentation, Dr. McAfee asked for questions and/or comments. A question was asked about the resources required to monitor the websites and text messaging. Dr. Augustson replied that he estimated that two hours per day was spent monitoring the various elements of these sites.

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