Monograph "Health Interventions on the Internet"
Experiences in online intervention in one field: tobacco addiction
Josep M. Suelves (email@example.com)
Assistant lecturer in the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry (University of Barcelona)
Collaborating lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences (UOC)
Without doubt, tobacco addiction represents a serious problem for public health on a worldwide level. It is estimated that throughout the world, tobacco is responsible for nearly five million premature deaths each year, due principally to the etiological role of tobacco consumption in cardiovascular illnesses, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. In Spain, it is estimated that each year, there are more than fifty thousand deaths that can be attributed to tobacco addiction, which represent 15.5% of all deaths of people aged over 35.
The article by M. Quesada et al., published in this issue, shows the development and some of the preliminary results obtained from the "Life without Tobacco" programme, which is being developed in its entirety over the Internet. With nearly 7,000 treatments begun and more than 22,600 registered users, "Life without Tobacco" shows the high levels of effectiveness that can be expected from Internet-based therapeutic interventions.
Also in this issue, A. Garcia Baena puts forward some important considerations that need to be taken into account when developing a programme to give up smoking on the Internet, asking certain questions that need to be answered.
It is clear, then, that prevention and treatment of tobacco addiction represents a priority area in terms of the design of interventions based on new technology, which continue to grow alongside the development of public policies to control tobacco addiction.
Internet, public health, telemedicine, tobacco addiction
Submission date: December 2006
Published in: March 2007