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Efficacy of a smoking cessation intervention for adolescents and young adults provided by text messaging
DOI 10.1186/ISRCTN19739792
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier
EudraCT number
Public title Efficacy of a smoking cessation intervention for adolescents and young adults provided by text messaging
Scientific title Efficacy of an individualised smoking cessation intervention in adolescents and young adults provided by text messaging: a cluster randomised controlled trial
Serial number at source 10.007207
Study hypothesis Smokers receiving a text messaging based smoking cessation intervention will show higher rates of smoking abstinence at follow-up than smokers of an assessment only control group
Lay summary Background and study aims?
In Switzerland, regular cigarette smoking is particularly widespread among adolescents and young adults with lower educational level. Traditional measures to promote smoking cessation (stopping smoking), such as smoking cessation groups, are time- and labour-intensive and are used by only a small proportion of young people. To promote smoking cessation in this group, the most promising programs take into account their lifestyle as well as their individual motivation to quit and their ability to understand smoking cessation information. Mobile phone text messaging offers novel opportunities to provide personalised messages to promote smoking cessation in large groups of adolescents and young adults.
This study aims to see how well a text messaging program to promote smoking cessation in regularly smoking apprentices in Switzerland will work.

Who can participate?
Participants are adolescents and young adults (typically aged 14-26 years) who are attending vocational schools, who are smoking cigarettes daily or occasionally, and who own a mobile phone.

What does the study involve?
A text messaging program generating personalised messages using data from a web-based survey will be developed. The text messages will be sent to the participants over a period of three months. The messages will take into account demographic data and the individualís smoking behaviour based on the Health Action Process Approach. Participants will receive two text messages to promote smoking cessation per week. Program participants with an intention to quit smoking can also use a more intensive text messaging program to prepare for their quit day and for relapse prevention afterwards. The program will be evaluated within a controlled trial to see how well it works, and to see how well it is accepted by participants. Participants will be assigned randomly to an intervention group receiving the program or an assessment only control group. 6 months later, the participants will be asked if they have smoked at all in the past 7 days.
The program offers an effective and inexpensive way to promote smoking cessation among young people of different education and independent of their motivation to quit.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Possible benefits of program participation are an increased chance of becoming a non-smoker, an increased intention to quit smoking, and a lower level of nicotine dependence. We do not expect there to be any risks associated with program participation.

Where is the study run from?
Approximately 130 school classes from approximately 30 vocational schools in Switzerland.

When is study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study starts in September 2011 and ends in March 2013.

Who is funding the study?
The study is funded by the Swiss Tobacco Prevention Fund.

Who is the main contact?
Dr. Severin Haug
Ethics approval Local Ethics Committee of the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland approved on 15th March 2011, KEK-StV-Nr. 05/11
Study design Cluster randomised controlled trial
Countries of recruitment Switzerland
Disease/condition/study domain Tobacco smoking cessation
Participants - inclusion criteria 1. Male and female adolescents and young adults attending vocational or high schools (age 14-26)
2. Daily cigarette smoking or occasional cigarette smoking (at least 4 cigarettes in the previous month and at least one cigarette during the past week)
3. Ownership of an own mobile phone
4. Use of mobile phone text messaging
Participants - exclusion criteria Does not meet inclusion criteria
Anticipated start date 01/09/2011
Anticipated end date 31/01/2013
Status of trial Completed
Patient information material Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a participant information sheet
Target number of participants N=910 (intervention group: n=455, assessment only control group: n=455).
Interventions Intervention group:
1. Online baseline assessment of demographic data and smoking behaviour
2. Online baseline assessment of pros and cons of smoking and strategies to resist smoking
3. Individualised text messages to support smoking cessation (2 text messages per week for a period of 3 months)
4. Possibility to register for a more intensive program providing strategies for smoking cessation around a self-defined quit date (2 text messages per day for a period of 4 weeks)

Assessment only control group:
Online baseline assessment of demographic data and smoking behaviour
Primary outcome measure(s) 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence assessed at follow-up at 6 months
Secondary outcome measure(s) All secondary outcome measures will be assessed at the 6-months follow up.
1. 30-day point prevalence smoking abstinence
2. Nicotine dependence assessed by the Heaviness of Smoking Index
3. Self-efficacy for smoking cessation
4. Quit attempt in the previous 6 months
Sources of funding Swiss Tobacco Prevention Fund (Switzerland) (No 10.007207)
Trial website
Publications 2013 results in: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23956024
Contact name Dr  Severin  Haug
  Address Konradstrasse 32
  City/town Zurich
  Zip/Postcode 8031
  Country Switzerland
  Tel +41 (0)44 448 11 74
  Fax +41 (0)44 448 11 70
  Email severin.haug@isgf.uzh.ch
Sponsor Swiss Tobacco Prevention Fund (Switzerland)
  Address Bundesamt für Gesundheit BAG
  City/town Bern
  Zip/Postcode 3003
  Country Switzerland
  Sponsor website: http://www.bag.admin.ch
Date applied 11/05/2011
Last edited 22/08/2013
Date ISRCTN assigned 20/05/2011
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