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Currently accepted at: JMIR Research Protocols

Date Submitted: Jul 2, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: Jul 8, 2019 - Jul 22, 2019
Date Accepted: Sep 5, 2019
(closed for review but you can still tweet)

This paper has been accepted and is currently in production.

It will appear shortly on 10.2196/15155

The final accepted version (not copyedited yet) is in this tab.

Social Media Intervention to Promote Smoking Treatment Utilization and Cessation among Alaska Native People who Smoke: Connecting Alaska Native People to Quit Smoking (CAN Quit) Study Protocol

  • Pamela S Sinicrope; 
  • Kathryn Koller; 
  • Judith J Prochaska; 
  • Christine A Hughes; 
  • Martha J Bock; 
  • Paul A Decker; 
  • Christie A Flanagan; 
  • Zoe Merritt; 
  • Crystal Meade; 
  • Abbie Willetto; 
  • Kenneth Resnicow; 
  • Timothy K Thomas; 
  • Christi A Patten; 



Despite the high prevalence of tobacco use among Alaska Native (AN) people, tobacco cessation interventions developed specifically for this group are lacking. Social media holds promise as a scalable intervention strategy to promote smoking treatment utilization and cessation given the barriers to treatment delivery (i.e., geographic remoteness, limited funding, climate, and travel costs) in the state of Alaska. Building on a longstanding tobacco control research partnership with the Alaska Tribal Health System, in this study we are developing and pilot-testing a culturally relevant, Facebook-delivered intervention that incorporates a digital storytelling approach adapted from the effective CDC Tips™ from Former Smokers campaign.


To promote evidence-based smoking treatment (e.g., state quitline and Tribal cessation programs) uptake and cessation among AN people.


This study fulfills objectives for Stage I of the National Institute on Drug Abuse behavioral integrative treatment development program. In Stage 1a, we will use a mixed methods approach to develop the Facebook intervention. Cultural variance and surface/deep structure frameworks will address the influence of culture in designing health messages. In Stage 1b, we will conduct a randomized pilot trial enrolling 60 AN adults who smoke. We will evaluate the feasibility, uptake, consumer response, and potential efficacy of the Facebook intervention compared to a control condition (quitline/treatment referral only). Primary outcome measures include feasibility and biochemically-verified smoking abstinence at 1, 3, and 6 months follow-up. Secondary outcomes will include self-reported smoking cessation treatment utilization and abstinence from tobacco/nicotine products. We will also explore interdependence (relationship orientation and collaborative efforts in lifestyle change) as a culturally relevant mediator of intervention efficacy.


The study enrolled 40 participants for Phase 1, with data saturation being achieved at 30 AN people who smoke and 10 stakeholders. For Phase 2, we enrolled 40 participants. Data are currently being analyzed as we prepare for the beta-testing phase and then the randomized controlled trial.


The project is innovative for its use of social media communication tools that are culturally relevant in a behavioral intervention designed to reach AN people statewide to promote smoking treatment utilization and cessation. The study will further advance tobacco cessation research in an underserved disparity group. If the pilot intervention is successful, we will have a blueprint to conduct a large randomized controlled efficacy trial. Our approach could be considered for other remote AN communities to enhance the reach of evidence-based tobacco cessation treatments. Clinical Trial:, NCT03645941. Registered on August 24, 2018.


Please cite as:

Sinicrope PS, Koller K, Prochaska JJ, Hughes CA, Bock MJ, Decker PA, Flanagan CA, Merritt Z, Meade C, Willetto A, Resnicow K, Thomas TK, Patten CA

Social Media Intervention to Promote Smoking Treatment Utilization and Cessation among Alaska Native People who Smoke: Connecting Alaska Native People to Quit Smoking (CAN Quit) Study Protocol

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.15155


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