Feasibility of Internet health screening to recruit college students to an online smoking cessation intervention

Lawrence An, Deborah Hennrikus, Cheryl Perry, Emily Lein, Colleen Klatt, Dana Farley, Robin Bliss, Unto Pallonen, Harry A Lando, Edward Ehlinger, Jasjit Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Internet-based cessation programs are promising. However, little information exists on how to recruit college smokers to participate in online interventions. Two studies assessed the feasibility of Internet health screening as a recruitment strategy for college smokers. The Internet Survey Study compared Internet (n=735), mail (n=1,490), and phone (n=550) surveys as means to identify college smokers. The RealU Recruitment Study described the use of an Internet-based general health screening survey (N=25,000) to recruit for an online cessation trial. The Internet Survey Study showed that, despite large differences in response rates (Internet=35%, mail=47%, phone=90%; p<.001), the rates of past-month tobacco use were similar (Internet=.35%, mail=38%, phone=34%; p=.35). Among past-month users, a greater proportion reported daily use on the Internet (33%) and phone (37%) surveys versus the mail survey (23%, p=.007). In the RealU Recruitment Study, 517 college smokers were recruited in 1 week. The Internet survey response rate was 26%, the prevalence of current smoking was 29%, the eligibility rate was 87%, and the enrollment rate was 32% (517/1,618). Internet health screening can be used to quickly identify and enroll large numbers of college smokers in an online smoking cessation intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S11-S18
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


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