The use of informatics in the prevention and cessation of smoking

Worldwide, smoking is considered to be one of the major public health problems. According to the World Health Organisation, 5 million smokers die annually. It is mentioned in literature that consumers have become more actively involved in their health care and seek medical information from a variety of sources including the Internet. Improvements in Internet technologies and their 24-h availability, paired with a dramatic drop in the cost of connecting to the Internet, have created the potential to be accessible to everyone. It is ne cessary to develop smoking cessation interventions, which have the potential of reaching a large number of smokers at low cost. A large number of web sites now offer smoking cessation support but data on the effectiveness of the smoking cessation help offered by these sites are scarce. In this article, a review of the main applications that have been developed on the Ιnternet relating to the primary and the secondary prevention of smoking, as well as the most important findings that have been reported on the effectiveness –mainly on smoking cessation– of those applications are presented. Finally there is a presentation and critique of these applications regarding their qua lity and usability.

Category: Volume 46, N 4
Hits: 542 Hits
Created Date: 15-12-2007
Authors: Τheodore Stathopoulos , Panayota Sourtzi