Internet and computer programs that help smokers quit are just as effective as more traditional methods, researchers say.
Smoking cessation rates were about one-and-a-half times greater among those who participated in web or computer interventions than those in a control group, according to a meta-analysis in the May 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
“There is sufficient clinical evidence to support the use of Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs,” said Seung-Kwon Myung, M.D., of the National Cancer Center in Goyang, South Korea, and colleagues, who authored the study.
Traditional methods of smoking cessation include counseling, classroom lessons, nicotine replacement gum or patches, medication, and telephone “quitlines.”
Previous studies have found that computer- or Web-based smoking cessation programs are also effective, but the findings have been inconsistent, the researchers said.
So they conducted a review of 22 trials totaling 29,549 participants. Of those, 16,050 were randomized to interventions, while 13,499 were randomized to control groups.
The researchers found that the electronic interventions had a significant effect on quitting smoking, as patients in this group had higher abstinence rates than controls (RR 1.44, 95% CI 1.27 to 1.64).
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