Demographic, psychological and smoking characteristics of users of an on-line smoking cessation programme in the Spanish language

Gaceta Sanitaria. 2016;30(1):18-23 DOI 10.1016/j.gaceta.2015.07.004


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Journal Title: Gaceta Sanitaria

ISSN: 0213-9111 (Print); 1578-1283 (Online)

Publisher: Elsevier

Society/Institution: Sociedad Española de Salud Pública y Administración Sanitaria

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Public aspects of medicine

Country of publisher: Spain

Language of fulltext: Spanish, English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Guillermo Mañanes (Faculty of Psychology, National Distance Education University (UNED), Madrid, Spain)

Miguel A. Vallejo (Faculty of Psychology, National Distance Education University (UNED), Madrid, Spain)

Laura Vallejo-Slocker (Faculty of Psychology, Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Campus of Somosaguas, Madrid, Spain)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Objective: To determine the characteristics of users of a smoking cessation programme run by the Open University of Spain (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia [UNED]). Methods: We examined the demographic, psychological and smoking characteristics of 23,763 smokers who participated in the on-line smoking cessation program of the UNED. The programme was open to any smoker, free of charge, and was fully automated and with direct access. Results: A total of 93.5% of the users were Spaniards, with an equal percentage of participation among men and women. The mean age was 39 years. Somewhat less than half were married and had a university education. The participants smoked a mean of 19.3 cigarettes per day, showing a mid-range level of nicotine dependence according to the Heaviness of Smoking Index. The results of the Anxiety and Depression subscales of the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) and Perceived Stress Scale were not clinically significant. In a secondary analysis of the data, we found gender differences in all the variables measured. Conclusions: The results of this study confirm the digital divide, with lower participation among people with a lower educational level. No association was observed between stress, anxiety or depression and cigarette consumption.