Background: Tobacco smoking prevalence continues to be high, particularly among adolescents and young adults with lower educational levels, and is therefore a serious public health problem. Tobacco smoking and problem drinking often co-occur and relapses after successful smoking cessation are often associated with alcohol use. This study aims at testing the efficacy of an integrated smoking cessation and alcohol intervention by comparing it to a smoking cessation only intervention for young people, delivered via the Internet and mobile phone.
Methods/Design: A two-arm cluster-randomised controlled trial with one follow-up assessment after 6 months will be conducted. Participants in the integrated intervention group will: (1) receive individually tailored web-based feedback on their drinking behaviour based on age and gender norms, (2) receive individually tailored mobile phone text messages to promote drinking within low-risk limits over a 3-month period, (3) receive individually tailored mobile phone text messages to support smoking cessation for 3 months, and (4) be offered the option of registering for a more intensive program that provides strategies for smoking cessation centred around a self-defined quit date. Participants in the smoking cessation only intervention group will only receive components (3) and (4). Study participants will be 1350 students who smoke tobacco daily/occasionally, from vocational schools in Switzerland. Main outcome criteria are 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence and cigarette consumption assessed at the 6-month follow up.
Discussion: This is the first study testing a fully automated intervention for smoking cessation that simultaneously addresses alcohol use and interrelations between tobacco and alcohol use. The integrated intervention can be easily implemented in various settings and could be used with large groups of young people in a cost-effective way.
Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN02427446 (date of registration: 08th September, 2014).