Cessation Strategies Young Adult Smokers Use After Participating in a Facebook Intervention

Johannes Thrul, Danielle E. Ramo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Young adults underutilize current evidence-based smoking cessation strategies; yet social media are widely used and accepted among this population. A better understanding of whether and how young adults try to quit smoking in the context of a social media smoking cessation intervention could inform future intervention improvements. Objectives: We examined frequency, strategies used, and predictors of self-initiated 24-hour quit attempts among young adults participating in a Facebook intervention. Methods: A total of 79 young adult smokers (mean age = 20.8; 20.3% female) were recruited on Facebook for a feasibility trial. Participants joined motivationally tailored private Facebook groups and received daily posts over 12 weeks. Assessments were completed at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up. Results: In 12 months, 52 participants (65.5%) completed 215 quit attempts (mean = 4.1; median = 4; range 1-14); 75.4% of attempts were undertaken with the Facebook intervention alone, 17.7% used an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), 7.4% used nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), and 3.7% used additional professional advice. Non-daily smokers, those who smoked fewer cigarettes, and those in an advanced stage of change at baseline were more likely to make a quit attempt. E-cigarette use to aide a quit attempt during the study period was associated with reporting a past year quit attempt at baseline. No baseline characteristics predicted NRT use. Conclusions: After participating in a Facebook smoking cessation intervention, young adults predominantly tried to quit without additional assistance. E-cigarettes are used more frequently as cessation aid than NRT. The use of evidence-based smoking cessation strategies should be improved in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Facebook
  • Smoking
  • cessation
  • treatment and intervention
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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