Systematic Review: Internet-Based Program for Youth Smoking Prevention and Cessation

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Abstract

Purpose:

To review the characteristics and effects Internet-based youth smoking prevention and cessation programs.

Design:

Systematic review of published articles in peer-reviewed journals in the past 10 years, focused on Internet-based youth smoking prevention and cessation programs.

Methods:

Twelve articles were selected based on the following criteria: studies reporting the outcomes of Internet-based smoking cessation or prevention intervention programs for adolescents who are younger than 24 years.

Findings:

The components of youth Internet-based smoking intervention programs are analyzed based on study features (i.e., sample, design, theoretical basis, analysis, outcome measures) and program characteristics (i.e., focus, setting, frequency, duration, intensity, and different components) that make the programs effective. The most common components of effective Internet-based programs are identified as the following: the use of multimedia, tailored approaches, personalized feedback, and interactive features.

Conclusions:

The characteristics and effects of the programs vary, but most programs show positive results in youth smoking prevention and cessation in spite of the studies’ limitations.

Clinical Relevance:

The evidence from this review provides useful information of recent efforts related to Internet-based youth smoking prevention and cessation programs, which can have significant clinical implications in developing future innovative youth smoking prevention and intervention programs.

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