Preventing cancers through mobile phones - a potential medium for delivering tobacco cessation intervention for college students: A randomized control trail
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Tagore Dental College and Hospital, Rathinamangalam, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A150
Tobacco kills more than 1 million people each year. Tobacco use is known as a major risk factor for oral and other cancers. Each tobacco product is linked to an increased risk for specific cancers. Thus, it is essential to provide an effective cessation intervention for all tobacco users at earliest. As most of the college students own a mobile phone, it could be utilized to provide an inexpensive tobacco cessation intervention.

To find the feasibility of mobile phone text messaging for a smoking cessation program among college students aged 20 - 30 years.

A two-arm randomized controlled trial with sixty college students, who were intended to quit smoking in the next 30 days were randomized to intervention or control group. Text messages tailored to smoking related variables were sent to the participants of the intervention group and health related messages not tailored to smoking were sent control group at 2 times per day over a period of 3 months. Abstinence from smoking was identified through Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence and urinary cotinine level in the base line by 4th week and 12th week. A descriptive statistics along with the chi-square test was used to test the difference between the two groups.

Twelve weeks after program initiation, the intervention group had a significant reduction in Fagerstrom dependence score when compared to control group from baseline (P = 0.002*). Similarly, participants in intervention group showed negative urinary cotinine results 13(43.3%) compared to control group 03(10%) and the results were statistically significant.

This tobacco cessation intervention significantly reduced smoking rates at end of program, thus providing a potentially efficacious and easily disseminated method to quit smoking among adolescents.