An Open-Label Pilot Study of an Intervention Using Mobile Phones to Deliver Contingency Management of Tobacco Abstinence to High School Students

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This pilot study assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a smoking cessation intervention that used mobile phones to remotely deliver reinforcements contingent on tobacco abstinence (contingency management [CM]) and weekly in-person cognitive–behavioral therapy to adolescent smokers. Daily adolescent smokers (N = 15; 12 completed study procedures, 3 dropped out) were recruited to participate in a 4-week study. During the first 2 weeks, daily text messages sent at random times prompted participants to transmit a video of themselves providing a carbon monoxide (CO) sample. During the last 2 weeks, text messages sent on 3 randomly chosen days each week prompted participants to transmit a video of themselves providing a saliva sample. Negative samples (CO ≤8 ppm; cotinine ≤100 ng/ml) were reinforced with monetary incentives. Feasibility was assessed using the number of on-time, valid videos, and acceptability was determined using participant perceptions of the intervention. Seven-day point-prevalence (PP) abstinence (self-reported abstinence, cotinine <100 ng/ml) was assessed at end of treatment (EOT) and at a 1-month follow-up. The study findings indicate that remote delivery of CM using mobile phones was feasible (85.8% of the CO videos and 67% of the saliva cotinine videos were on time) and acceptable (positive perceptions of the CM procedures). Seven-day PP was 60% at EOT and 46.7% at the follow-up. Although larger randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate efficacy, this pilot study suggests that the use of mobile phones to deliver CM for smoking cessation among adolescent smokers was acceptable and feasible.

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