Tailored communications for smoking cessation: past successes and future directions

Drug Alcohol Rev. 2006 Jan;25(1):49-57. doi: 10.1080/09595230500459511.


Tailored communications are one of the most promising approaches to smoking cessation interventions for entire populations. Assessments based on the Transtheoretical Model are processed by computer-based expert systems that generate feedback reports tailored to each individual to accelerate their progress through the stages of change for smoking cessation. Seven studies are reviewed that range from a more traditional clinical trial to trials on entire populations of smokers to population trials designed to change multiple behaviours, including smoking. A series of three tailored communications was found to produce long-term point prevalence abstinence rates within the narrow range of 22-26% abstinence. This same range of abstinence was found even when two or three other behaviours (e.g. diet and sun protection) were treated in the population. These results point to a future in which health behaviour risk interventions will be assessed not solely by their efficacy but by their population impact.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Communication*
  • Expert Systems*
  • Forecasting
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology