Introduction: This trial investigated whether a Facebook smoking cessation intervention culturally tailored to young sexual and gender minority (SGM) smokers (versus non-tailored) would increase smoking abstinence.
Methods: Participants were 165 SGM young adult US smokers (age 18-25) recruited from Facebook in April 2018 and randomized to an SGM-tailored (POP; N = 84) or non-tailored (TSP-SGM; N = 81) intervention. Interventions delivered weekly live counseling sessions and 90 daily Facebook posts to participants in Facebook groups. Primary analyses compared POP and TSP-SGM on biochemically verified smoking abstinence (yes/no; primary outcome), self-reported 7-day point prevalence abstinence (yes/no), reduction in cigarettes per week by 50+% from baseline (yes/no), making a quit attempt during treatment (yes/no), and stage of change (precontemplation/contemplation vs. preparation/action). Supplemental analyses compared POP to two historical control groups.
Results: POP participants were more likely than TSP-SGM participants to report smoking abstinence at 3 (23.8% vs. 12.3%; OR = 2.50; p = .03) and 6 months (34.5% vs. 12.3%; OR = 4.06; p < .001) and reduction in smoking at 3 months (52.4% vs. 39.5%; OR = 2.11; p = .03). Biochemically verified smoking abstinence did not significantly differ between POP and TSP-SGM at 3 (OR = 2.00; p = .33) or 6 months (OR = 3.12; p = .08), potentially due to challenges with remote biochemical verification. In supplemental analyses, POP participants were more likely to report abstinence at 3 (OR = 6.82, p = .01) and 6 (OR = 2.75, p = .03) months and reduced smoking at 3 months (OR = 2.72, p = .01) than participants who received a referral to Smokefree.gov.
Conclusions: This pilot study provides preliminary support for the effectiveness of a Facebook smoking cessation intervention tailored to SGM young adults.
Implications: SGM individuals have disproportionately high smoking prevalence. It is unclear whether smoking cessation interventions culturally tailored to the SGM community are more effective than non-tailored interventions. This pilot trial found preliminary evidence that an SGM-tailored Facebook smoking cessation intervention increased reported abstinence from smoking, compared to a non-tailored intervention.
Trial registration: NCT03259360.
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