Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced today that it is relaunching an online study to help people quit smoking. The study, called WebQuit, is enrolling adult smokers nationwide. Participation is free to eligible individuals. The goal of WebQuit, which began a year ago, is to improve the effectiveness of online smoking-cessation programs. Study director Jonathan Bricker, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in smoking-cessation research, says that online smoking-cessation programs are improving but still have a very long way to go.
“Quit-smoking websites reach millions of adults 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, these websites have low success rates,” said Bricker, a faculty member in the Cancer Prevention Program in the Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division. “Our team has revamped our website to improve the experience for people in the study, which will help us find ways to boost the success rates of quit-smoking websites.”
Study participants will learn new tools for dealing more effectively with urges to smoke. They also will receive step-by-step quit guides and create personalized plans for staying smoke-free.
Participants will be randomly assigned by computer (like the tossing of a coin) to one of two online smoking-cessation programs. The success rates of participants will then be compared. He is hopeful that the study will help adults in their quest to kick the habit.
“Our goal is to try to find what works and what doesn’t; what to include in these programs and how to improve them so they can become more effective,” said Bricker, also a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington.
Involvement in the study will entail completing online questionnaires, including one 15-minute follow-up survey. Eligible participants must be at least 18 and not currently participating in other smoking-cessation programs, among other requirements.
The study is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute.
To enroll in the WebQuit study or for more information, please visit www.webquit.org.
Material adapted from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.