Objective: To evaluate the impact of a classroom-based, Web-assisted tobacco intervention addressing smoking prevention and cessation with adolescents.
Design: A two-group randomized control trial with 1,402 male and female students in grades 9 through 11 from 14 secondary schools in Toronto, Canada. Participants were randomly assigned to a tailored Web-assisted tobacco intervention or an interactive control condition task conducted during a single classroom session with e-mail follow-up. The cornerstone of the intervention was a five-stage interactive Web site called the Smoking Zine (http://www.smokingzine.org) integrated into a program that included a paper-based journal, a small group form of motivational interviewing, and tailored e-mails.
Main outcome measure: Resistance to smoking, behavioral intentions to smoke, and cigarette use were assessed at baseline, postintervention, and three- and six-month follow-up. Multilevel logistic growth modeling was used to assess the effect of the intervention on change over time.
Results: The integrated Smoking Zine program helped smokers significantly reduce the likelihood of having high intentions to smoke and increased their likelihood of high resistance to continued cigarette use at 6 months. The intervention also significantly reduced the likelihood of heavy cigarette use adoption by nonsmokers during the study period.
Conclusion: The Smoking Zine intervention provided cessation motivation for smokers most resistant to quitting at baseline and prevented nonsmoking adolescents from becoming heavy smokers at 6 months. By providing an accessible and attractive method of engaging young people in smoking prevention and cessation, this interactive and integrated program provides a novel vehicle for school- and population-level health promotion.