Mobile-Phone Delivered Tobacco Cessation Studied

Researchers at the Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Health continue to advance the evidence base for mobile-phone delivered tobacco cessation interventions and their usefulness in helping people quit smoking.

One recent study evaluated the efficacy of mobile-phone delivered cessation interventions, which include text messaging and phone call-based counseling, among socially disadvantaged smokers. A group was chosen to participate in a clinical trial comparing three different variations of intervention methods: traditional nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), NRT plus text messaging, and NRT plus text messaging and phone-delivered counseling.

Data revealed that intervention involving text messaging and phone-delivered counseling resulted in more successful outcomes. Participants in this group were almost twice as likely to be tobacco-free by the end of the study compared to those who received only the NRT treatment.

Leading this study was Damon Vidrine, DrPH, director of intervention research at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center (OTRC). Vidrine’s research focuses on tobacco use in special and underserved populations, including community-based low socioeconomic status populations. His research focuses on the use of mobile devices (i.e., cell phones, tablet computers and smartphones) for both behavioral assessment and intervention delivery purposes.

“As mobile technology continues to advance, studies such as this may radically transform not only how smokers quit tobacco, but can also be used in attempts to stop other unhealthy behaviors, such as alcohol and drug use,” Vidrine explained. “Because smartphones are easily accessible today, even among socioeconomically underserved and rural populations, there are less barriers to receiving timely help tailored to an individual’s needs and delivered when they need it most.”

Additional project investigators include Stephenson Cancer Center researchers Summer Frank-Pearce, Ph.D., MPH, and Jennifer Vidrine, Ph.D, as well as researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center.

This study, “Efficacy of Mobile-Phone Delivered Smoking Cessation Interventions for Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Individuals,” was printed online December 17, in JAMA Internal Medicine, one of the Network Journals of the American Medical Association.

The mission of the OTRC is to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, tobacco-related mortality in Oklahoma through research that informs interventions and policies with a particular emphasis on addressing tobacco-related health disparities.

OTRC research studies and continued program developments are made possible through support from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET).