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    Using a Computer to Help People Quit Smoking

    continued...

    Paul M. Cinciripini, PhD, tells WebMD, "I think it's a pretty interesting study; it's a good study. It is one of only a handful of studies that have attempted to do a randomized trial on smokers who are using over-the-counter treatment. ... This is very real world. A real strength of the study is the population choice on real world smokers who are trying to quit using these minimal interventions." Cinciripini is the director of tobacco research and treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

    Cinciripini says it's not a pure comparison of tailored to non-tailored programs because the tailored participants received their materials at different periods over the trial, whereas the user's guide was a one-shot deal at the beginning of the program.

    "Does tailored work better than non-tailored, the answer to that question from this study is 'yes,' but another way you would have tested that was to give non-tailored materials at four different times," Cinciripini says, so those people also had prompts and intervention.

    But that argument can get academic, says Cinciripini, telling WebMD, "the take-home message here is that tailoring is good, repeated contact is good. ... Both of those things together are better than the usual care control, which is [just] take the booklet and audiotape."

    For more information from WebMD, see our Diseases and Conditions Smoking Cessation page.

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