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Open Access Short report

Interest in technology-based and traditional smoking cessation programs among adult smokers in Ankara, Turkey

Michele L Ybarra1*, A Tülay Bağci Bosi2, Nazmi Bilir2, Jodi S Holtrop3, Josephine Korchmaros1 and Salih Emri4

Author Affiliations

1 Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc., 555 N. El Camino Real #A347, San Clemente, CA 92672-6745, USA

2 Department of Public Health, Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Ankara, 06100, Turkey

3 Department of Family Medicine, Michigan State University, B101 Clinical Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

4 Department of Chest Diseases, Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Ankara, 06100, Turkey

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Tobacco Induced Diseases 2011, 9:10  doi:10.1186/1617-9625-9-10

Published: 1 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Little is known about the demand for smoking cessation services in settings with high smoking prevalence rates. Furthermore, acceptability of text messaging and Internet as delivery mechanisms for smoking cessation programs in non-developed countries is under-reported. Given the cost effectiveness of technology-based programs, these may be more feasible to roll out in settings with limited public health resources relative to in-person programs.

Findings

148 adult smokers took part in a community-based survey in Ankara, Turkey. Two in five (43%) respondents reported typically smoking their first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking. Many participants expressed a desire to quit smoking: 27% reported seriously thinking about quitting in the next 30 days; 53% reported at least one quit attempt in the past year. Two in five smokers wanting to quit reported they were somewhat or extremely like to try a smoking cessation program if it were accessible via text messaging (45%) or online (43%).

Conclusions

Opportunities for low-cost, high-reach, technology-based smoking cessation programs are under-utilized. Findings support the development and testing of these types of interventions for adult smokers in Turkey.

Keywords:
smoking cessation; Turkey; middle income country; technology-based interventions