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Let's Discuss: Reaching Smokers in the Age of Mobile Technology: Resources, Networks, and Messaging

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What an exciting presentation by our two speakers, Jessie Saul and Anathalie Jean-Charles. 

We had a number of questions online and over the telephone, we want to keep the discussion going on R2R!

What have been your expereinces with Quitlines? Have you partnered with them on any tobacco cesstion intervention? What has been your experiences? What would you advise others looking to do the same?

Have you used text messaging as part of a cancer control intervention? Anathalie realized great success, not just with the original intervention, but also with other iterations of the program.  What has been your expereince?

Do you have a question for the speakers or fellow participants?


We were joined by 250 of you

We were joined by 250 of you this afternoon and unfortunately did not get to all the questions that were posed.  While i apologize for not getting to all of the questions, I am glad to have the opportunity to invite Jessie and Anathalie to continue the discussion with us online as well.

  • Mary asked: "For Canadian Q-line program: How was "abstinence" defined?" and "How do the abstinence rates compare to phone calls at your quitline?"
  • Jenny asked: "Are you targeting e-cig users in any unique ways?"
  • Jessica asked: "Can you provide a sample text message response for a keyword like "Craving"?"
  • Roxanne asked: "What kind of support would you get with the key word "Substance Abuse"?"
  • Lynne asks: "Jessie - how will the ACA implementation effect the Quitline services?"
  • Anna  asked: "These questions are for Anathalie: What was the conceptual base for the text-messages? How long were the messages and what was the participant involvement like? Thanks!
    How did you compose the text messages? Were they motivational or fact-based?"


Thank you again for all those who joined us today!

Here are data on quitline

Here are data on quitline awareness and use in the United States from the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). It will be interesting to see how these patterns change during ACA implementation, as Lynne asked above. 

Kaufman, Augustson, Davis and Rutten (2010) used the nationally representative HINTS data to identify factors associated with awareness and use of tobacco quitlines. Are these findings consistent with your experiences with quitlines?

Factors associated with higher quitline awareness included:

  • Younger age
  • White ethnicity
  • Lower educational attainment
  • Current smoking status.

However, only 9% of smokers who had heard of telephone quitlines had ever called one.

Factors positively associated with quitline use included:

  • Smoking status
  • Having a family history of cancer
  • Having ever looked for health information
  • Reporting psychological distress.

Read more: Kaufman A, Augustson E, Davis K, Finney Rutten LJ.   2010  Awareness and use of tobacco quitlines: evidence from the Health Information National Trends Survey  Journal of Health Communication   15:264–278

Anathalie's presentation was

Anathalie's presentation was so informative. Does anyone know how to get a copy of her (or both) presentations?

Eoana - I am so delighted

Eoana - I am so delighted that you enjoyed the presentation!  We should have the archive posted by Monday.  A copy of the slides from both presenters is posted on R2R cyberseminar page or you can email us at  

Sarah - thanks so very much! It is such a great resource to be able to see the connection between R2R and HINTS and really add further insight to Jessie's presentation!


Lynne asked: "Jessie - how

  • Lynne asked: "Jessie - how will the ACA implementation effect the Quitline services?"
  • This is the question everyone working with quitlines wants answered! The quick response is "stay tuned." The North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) is currently engaged in several efforts to better understand this issue. Key informant interviews are now underway to better understand the likely impact of ACA on QLs - a report is due out later in 2014. NAQC will also release the executive summary of an issue paper on the Future of Quitlines in April, which addresses the ACA and quitlines. Tune in to for ongoing updates on these two exciting and critically informative projects!


Hi all! Sorry for the delay

Hi all! Sorry for the delay and thank you so much for the feedback!


@Jessica : Here's a sample of an automated text message in response to "craving"

"Nibble on a toothpick or even a pencil--and assure yourself that you are much better off than before :D"


@Roxanne: Substance abuse is part a the criterias that a user choose when they first register to the service online. When a user chooses a criteria, he will receive 6 additional text messages throughout their 24-week program. A user can choose anywhere from 1 to 6 different criteria for a maximum of 36 additional text messages. To answer your question, a user who register for substance abuse wil receive messages that encourage them to stop drinking alcohol, coffee or to stop smoking marijuana. Some messages will give useful information about other substances that has an effect on nicotine and some will refer to other ressources to help them quit another addiction (marijuana or other drugs).


@Anna: The schedule was created upon the Prochaska model of change. Text messages are 140 characters long therefore, we had to be somewhat directive in the messages that we created. However, the quit specialists that interact with the users apply a motivational interviewing approache to help the smoker through their crisis. The content of the messages are motivational, fact-related, some are anecdotes or tricks and some are humorous. We tried to diversify the content as much as we could.

@Jenny: We will have some content about e-cig and about the use of hookah's on the sometime this year.

@Eoana: Thanks for the feedback!


Please visit DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091832 for other information about the SMAT.


The article that Dr Saul was

The article that Dr Saul was discussing in her cyber seminar presentation has been published by the American Journal of Public Health. As she noted, the proportion of quitlines implementing each practice ranged from 3% (text messaging) to 92% (providing a multiple-call protocol). Implementation of practices showing higher levels of evidence for increasing either reach or efficacy showed moderate but significant positive correlations with both reach outcomes and spending levels. The strongest correlation was between reach outcomes and spending levels.

My collaborators and I just

My collaborators and I just published a paper "A Multirelational Social Network Analysis of an Online Health Community for Smoking Cessation" (

Analyzing a large-scale social network among 71k users, we found that social networks based on different communication channels have different structures. Those have higher centrality across subnetworks (each based on one channel of communication) generally had higher abstinence rates, although high centrality in the group discussion subnetwork was not associated with higher abstinence rates.

We are currently working on a more systematic analysis of using online social network positions to predict abstinence. Please stay tuned.