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We aimed to better understand hesitancy to use nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to quit smoking. We content coded and analyzed NRT-related posts in online quit smoking support groups to understand NRT-use hesitancy and to examine associations with health outcomes. NRT posts were analyzed in unmoderated social-media support groups with free NRT. Adults who smoked daily (n = 438) and posted about NRT were studied, 339 of whom reported on NRT usage and 403 reported on smoking abstinence. Surveys at 1-month post-quit date assessed NRT usage and smoking abstinence. Relationships among NRT posts, NRT usage and smoking abstinence were analyzed using GEE models accounting for support group and covariates. Nearly all (96.17%) participants reported using the study-provided NRT once, most (70.21%) used NRT during the past week, but less than half (45.72%) used NRT daily for the full month as recommended. Nearly two-thirds (65.34%) of NRT posts were negative. Posts reflecting dislike or no longer needing NRT were associated with a lower likelihood of using NRT in the past week at least once (B = -.66, P = .005 and B = -.37, P = .045), use occasions (B = -1.86, P = .018 and B = -1.10, P = .016) and used daily for full month (B = -.56, P = .044 and B = -.53, P = .009). Posts related to the effectiveness of NRT related to past-week NRT used at least once (B = .15, P = .023), used daily for full month (B = .25, P = .001), and smoking abstinence (B = .27, P = .002). Strategies are needed to address dislike of NRT and strengthen perceptions of NRT efficacy, especially on social media where posts may be amplified.


Connor Phillips, Cornelia Pechmann, Douglas Calder, Judith J Prochaska. Understanding Hesitation to Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy: A Content Analysis of Posts in Online Tobacco-Cessation Support Groups. American journal of health promotion : AJHP. 2023 Jan;37(1):30-38

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PMID: 35817548

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