Pilot RCT results of Stop My Smoking USA: a text messaging-based smoking cessation program for young adults

Research Project:

Ybarra ML, Holtrop JS, Prescott TL, Rahbar MH, Strong D. Pilot RCT results of Stop My Smoking USA: a text messaging-based smoking cessation program for young adults. Nicotine Tob Res. 2014;15(8): 1388-1399. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nts339

Abstract:
INTRODUCTION: To address the lack of smoking cessation programs available to young adults, Stop My Smoking (SMS) USA, a text messaging-based smoking cessation program, was developed and pilot tested.

METHODS: This was a two-arm randomized controlled trial with adaptive randomization (arms were balanced by sex and smoking level [heavy vs. light]), conducted nationally in the United States. One hundred sixty-four 18- to 25-year-old daily smokers who were seriously thinking about quitting in the next 30 days were randomized to either (a) the 6-week SMS USA intervention (n = 101) or (b) an attention-matched control group aimed at improving sleep and physical activity (n = 63). The main outcome measure was 3-month continuous abstinence, verified by a significant other. Participants but not researchers were blinded to study arm allocation.

RESULTS: Based upon intent-to-treat analyses, intervention participants (39%) were significantly more likely than control participants (21%) to have quit at 4 weeks postquit (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.33, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.48, 7.45). Findings were not sustained at 3 months postquit, although rates in the SMS USA group were favored (40% vs. 30%, respectively; aOR = 1.59, 95% CI: 0.78, 3.21). Subsequent analyses suggested that among intervention participants, SMS USA might be more influential for youth not currently enrolled in a higher education (p = .06).

CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with pilot studies, the sample was underpowered. Data suggest, however, that the SMS USA program affects smoking cessation rates at 4 weeks postquit. More research is needed before conclusions can be made about long-term impact. Identifying profiles of users for whom the program may be particularly beneficial also will be important.

PubMed ID23348969

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