CHPPR’s SmokefreeSGM research study is a text-messaging-based intervention designed to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people quit smoking cigarettes. The study aims to develop and test a sexual and gender minority (SGM) tailored text-based program and examine recruitment, retention, and smoking abstinence rates at 1, 3, and 6 months of follow-up.
Smoking rates among SGM groups are higher than among the general population. Yet most currently available smoking cessation programs were not developed with consideration to SGM individuals and are not tailored to their specific needs. SmokefreeSGM is designed to address these disparities.
“We work closely with LGBTQ+ individuals to ensure that SmokefreeSGM is addressing the unique needs of sexual and gender minority smokers during their quitting efforts,” said Irene Tami-Maury, DMD, DrPH, MSc. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this text-based program is an intuitive and culturally sensitive digital solution that offers asynchronous contact and real-time assistance for smoking cessation regardless of a user’s location, internet access, data plans, and technological literacy.”
Text messaging programs have been proven effective for encouraging smoking cessation and other health behaviors. They are also more successful with traditionally hard-to-reach, at-risk populations who have high rates of mobile phone and text messaging use, which is true for SGM smokers. The program was developed with input from tobacco specialists, former and current sexual and gender minority smokers, and other scientists focused on SGM research.
Participants receive a supply of nicotine patches when they join and then receive a series of text messages leading up to and following the point when they quit smoking. The messages include educational information about smoking and peer ex-smoker advice and encouragement. Participants can also send short keyword prompts to the program to receive personalized messages to help with cravings, poor mood, or stress.
The SmokefreeSGM study is funded by the National Cancer Institute. Tami-Maury is the Principal Investigator.
More information about SmokefreeSGM can be found on the project website.