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27 November 2000

Web-Based Stop Smoking Study Recruiting Spanish-Speaking Participants

The first Spanish/English smoking cessation study on the Internet has been launched by the Latino Mental Health Research Program at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.

The study is funded by a three-year grant of more than $450,000 from the University of California Office of the President’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program.

"There is no fee for participation, and we are recruiting participants from all over the world,"said Ricardo F. Muņoz, PhD, UCSF professor of psychology and director of the Latino Mental Health Research Program. "We are making a special effort to attract Spanish-speaking smokers who use the Web."

"Take Back Control of Your Life," is the title of one of the web site's pages, and it offers tips and facts about the benefits of quitting smoking. It also leads study participants to an online questionnaire, which asks them to answer simple questions such as "How many cigarettes do you currently smoke each day?" and "How long have you smoked?"

Web users are also asked if they are seriously considering quitting, how soon they plan to do so, and if there are any other family members participating in the study. No personal identifying information is collected on this initial page, but the data will be used to report on group characteristics of those who log on to the site.

Those who wish to read more about the program may browse the site, but those who wish to become research participants can submit forms directly from the web site, including a consent form to join.

Questions are asked to provide feedback on how dependent the smoker is, such as "How soon after you wake up, do you smoke your first cigarette?" If the participant has quit in the past, there are questions about experiences such as feeling irritable, nervous, having headaches or an upset stomach.

Information is also asked about the mood of the smoker -- such as feeling depressed -- loss of appetite, weight gain or weight loss. Women are asked specific questions about fatigue, headaches, muscle stiffness, and weight loss or gain.

Muņoz said all participants will be able to access a "Stop Smoking Guide" and a "Nicotine Replacement Resource," which have helped others to stop smoking.

Participants will be contacted via email by the project one month after they begin and again six months later to verify if they continue to be smoke-free. The research is led by faculty from the Schools of Medicine at UCSF and UC San Diego.

For more information, call the Spanish/English Smoking Cessation Web Study team at 415/476-7327.


Web-Based Smoking Cessation Study
UC Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

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