Case Study

Acceptance of a Prescription for Smoking Cessation Utilizing an I-Pad Educational Application

Tobacco use, especially smoking, poses an enormous threat to public health. Tobacco use has been embedded as acceptable in America’s social culture. Research indicates tobacco use is linked to many illnesses and to premature death. Smoking has unhealthy consequences for non-smokers, as well as smokers, through second-hand exposure. Primary care providers have “golden opportunities” to intervene, because they encounter millions of tobacco users during office visits. The providers have access to effective therapies and interventions, as outlined in evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. However, variations in practice and inconsistent content while providing tobacco cessation education create barriers for success. With modern technological advances, mobile technology is a useful tool for providing consistent educational aid in the primary care setting. In this project the use of conventional tobacco cessation counseling was compared to tobacco cessation counseling enhanced with mobile technology. The effectiveness of standard tobacco cessation counseling in primary care was measured for 10 days. Then a new standard of care was implemented and the effectiveness of tobacco cessation counseling enhanced with mobile technology was measured for 10 days. Three of the 29 patients (10%) who received standard tobacco cessation counseling accepted a prescription to assist with quitting tobacco, while eight of the 20 (40%) who received counseling using the iPad app, No Nonsense accepted a prescription, 2 (1) = 5.98, p = .01. The enhanced counseling was most effective among non-Hispanic patients (p = .04), women (p < .01), moderate smokers (p < .01), and patients who had attempted to quit before (p = .02). These results clearly indicate that an iPad app can be used to increase the effectiveness of tobacco cessation counseling in primary care.

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