Evaluating an acceptance and commitment therapy internet-based intervention for smoking cessation in yound adults

  • S.N. Savvides
  • M. Karekla


Smoking remains a global concern, especially in youth, and cessation practices have not sufficiently achieved to make youth quit. The present study aimed to: 1) create an Avatar led Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) internet-based intervention for smoking cessation in youth; 2) evaluate program satisfaction and 3) its effectiveness. Participants were 357 high school and university students, aged 15-28 years old (M = 21.06, SD = 2.96) randomized to either ACT or waitlist-control group. Participants found the 6 online sessions satisfactory, useful, and motivating. Individuals in the treatment group had significantly higher quit rates than control (51.9% vs. 14.3%; OR = 6.46, 95% CI = 1.76 -23.71, p = .005) and significant decreases in nicotine dependence, number of cigarettes smoked and increases in self-efficacy and intention to quit, acceptance of smoking triggers and cognitive defusion. The treatment was found to work via its proposed mechanisms of action, as cognitive defusion mediated the relationship between group and cessation self-efficacy and intention to quit. Results are encouraging for the use of internet-based, avatar led ACT, in smoking cessation for youth.