Luo T, Li MS, Williams D, Fritz J, Beiter K, Phillippi S, Yu Q, Kantrow S, Chen L, Chen Y, & Tseng TS. (2022). A WeChat-based smoking cessation intervention for Chinese smokers: a feasibility study. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 12(10), 1018–1027. https://doi.org/10.1093/tbm/ibac067
This paper reported the development and feasibility findings of a WeChat-based smoking cessation intervention for smokers in China. A total of 403 participants who currently smoked and used WeChat, the most widely used social media platform in China, were recruited and randomized to three study arms: Standard Intervention (N=136), Enhanced Intervention (N=135), and waitlist control (N=132). The Standard intervention consisted of 20 smoking cessation messages for 2 weeks and the Enhanced intervention included 20 smoking cessation messages for 2 weeks and 6 oral health-related messages for another week. Intervention content was informed by the Transtheoretical Model framework and targeted self-efficacy, stimulus control, coping skills, consciousness raising, and oral health. Researchers assessed feasibility by measuring program reach, recruitment rate, cost per person, attrition rate, intervention exposure, engagement, and satisfaction. Attrition from baseline to 4-week follow-up was 46% and program cost was estimated as $0.85 per person. In the Standard and Enhanced intervention arms, all participants read at least one message and on average engaged (sent a Like or comment) with 57% of the messages. A majority of participants were very or somewhat satisfied with the intervention (96%), engaged (72%) and would recommend to others (95%). Overall, findings support feasibility of both the Standard and Enhanced intervention. Given the feasibility and low cost of the WeChat-based program, this has the potential to be scaled up for larger population sizes to deliver smoking cessation treatment at low costs.