INTRODUCTION: There is some evidence that social media interventions can promote smoking cessation. This randomized controlled pilot study is the first to evaluate the feasibility and potential efficacy of a Facebook smoking cessation intervention among Alaska Native adults.METHODS: Recruitment and data collection occurred December 2019-March 2021. Participants were recruited statewide in Alaska using Facebook advertisements with a targeted sample of 60 enrolled. Participants were stratified by gender, age, and rural/urban residence and randomly assigned to receive referral resources on evidence-based cessation treatments (EBCTs) (control, n=30) or these resources plus a three-month, closed/private, culturally tailored, Facebook group (intervention, n=31) that connected participants to EBCT resources and was moderated by two Alaska Native Trained Tobacco Specialists. Assessments were conducted online post-randomization at one, three, and six months. Outcomes were feasibility (recruitment, retention, intervention engagement), self-reported use of EBCTs, and biochemically confirmed seven-day point-prevalence smoking abstinence.RESULTS: Of intervention participants, 90% engaged (e.g., posted, commented) more than once. Study retention was 57% at six months (no group differences). The proportion utilizing EBCTs was about double for intervention compared with the control group participants at three and six months. Smoking abstinence was higher for intervention than control participants at three months (6.5% vs. 0%, p=0.16) but comparable at six months (6.4% vs. 6.7%, p=0.97).CONCLUSIONS: While additional research is needed to promote long-term cessation, this pilot trial supports recruitment feasibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer uptake, and a signal for intervention efficacy on the uptake of cessation treatment and short-term smoking abstinence.IMPLICATIONS: This study is the first evaluation of a social media intervention for smoking cessation among Indigenous people. We learned that statewide Facebook recruitment of Alaska Native adults who smoke was feasible and there was a signal for the efficacy of a Facebook intervention on the uptake of evidence-based cessation treatment and short-term (three months) biochemically verified smoking abstinence. Clinically, social media platforms may complement current care models by connecting Alaska Native individuals and others living in hard-to-reach communities to cessation treatment resources.
View details for DOI 10.1093/ntr/ntac221
View details for PubMedID 36130170