Effect of a digital social media campaign on young adult smoking cessation

Neill Bruce Baskerville, Sunday Azagba, Cameron Norman, Kyle McKeown, K. Stephen Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Introduction: Social media (SM) may extend the reach and impact for smoking cessation among young adult smokers. To-date, little research targeting young adults has been done on the use of SM to promote quitting smoking. We assessed the effect of an innovative multicomponent webbased and SM approach known as Break-it-Off(BIO) on young adult smoking cessation. Methods: The study employed a quasi-experimental design with baseline and 3-month follow-up data from 19 to 29-year old smokers exposed to BIO (n = 102 at follow-up) and a comparison group of Smokers' Helpline (SHL) users (n = 136 at follow-up). Logistic regression analysis assessed differences between groups on self-reported 7-day and 30-day point prevalence cessation rates, adjusting for ethnicity, education level, and cigarette use (daily or occasional) at baseline. Results: The campaign reached 37 325 unique visitors with a total of 44 172 visits. BIO users had significantly higher 7-day and 30-day quit rates compared with users of SHL. At 3-month followup, BIO participants (32.4%) were more likely than SHL participants (14%) to have quit smoking for 30 days (odds ratio = 2.95, 95% CI = 1.56 to 5.57, P <.001) and BIO participants (91%) were more likely than SHL participants (79%) to have made a quit attempt (odds ratio = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.03 to 6.99, P =.04). Conclusion: The reach of the campaign and findings on quitting success indicate that a digital/SM platform can complement the traditional SHL cessation service for young adult smokers seeking help to quit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-360
Number of pages10
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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