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With widespread use and integration into the lives of young adults, social media holds promise for helping young adults change health risk behaviors including smoking. Our group uses social media tools to aid in changing tobacco use, heavy drinking, and marijuana use, and tailoring interventions for sexual and gender minority populations.

Funded with a career development award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, I developed the Tobacco Status Project (TSP), a motivationally-tailored smoking cessation intervention using Facebook. A feasibility trial enrolled 79 young adults, with only 15% ready to quit smoking upon study enrollment; reported 7-day point prevalence abstinence was 18% at 12 months. A 3-year randomized controlled trial (N=501) of TSP compared to referral to the National Cancer Institute Smokefree.gov website (control) showed those assigned to the TSP were 2.5 times more likely to quit smoking at 3 months, but not out to one year. Published studies have also highlighted Facebook recruitment and predictors of engagement in the feasibility trial. 

We then sought out to expand this work in two ways:

-adapting the intervention to address both tobacco use and heavy episodic (aka “binge”) drinking through the Smoking Tobacco and Drinking Intervention (STAND)

-tailoring an intervention to the LGBTQ+ population through the Put It Out Project (POP).



Ramo DE, Liu H, Prochaska JJ. A mixed-methods study of young adults' receptivity to using Facebook for smoking cessation: if you build it, will they come? Am J Health Promot. 2015 Mar-Apr; 29(4):e126-35.

Thrul J, Klein AB, Ramo DE. Smoking Cessation Intervention on Facebook: Which Content Generates the Best Engagement? J Med Internet Res. 2015 Nov 11; 17(11):e244.

Ramo DE, Thrul J, Delucchi KL, Ling PM, Hall SM, Prochaska JJ. The Tobacco Status Project (TSP): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial of a Facebook smoking cessation intervention for young adults. BMC Public Health. 2015 Sep 15; 15:897.

Ramo DE, Thrul J, Chavez K, Delucchi KL, Prochaska JJ. Feasibility and Quit Rates of the Tobacco Status Project: A Facebook Smoking Cessation Intervention for Young Adults. J Med Internet Res. 2015 Dec 31; 17(12):e291.

Ramo DE, Thrul J, Delucchi KL, Hall S, Ling PM, Belohlavek A, Prochaska JJ. A Randomized Controlled Evaluation of the Tobacco Status Project, a Facebook Intervention for Young Adults. Addiction. 2018 May 24. 

Vogel, E. A., Thrul, J., Humfleet, G. L., Delucchi, K. L., & Ramo, D. E. (In press). Smoking cessation intervention trial outcomes for sexual and gender minority young adults. Health Psychology.


Ramo DE, Kaur M, Corpuz ES, Satre DD, Delucchi K, Brown SA, Prochaska JJ. Using Facebook to address smoking and heavy drinking in young adults: Protocol for a randomized, controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2018 Mar 03; 68:52-60.

Thrul J, Belohlavek A, Hambrick D, Kaur M, Ramo DE. Conducting online focus groups on Facebook to inform health behavior change interventions: Two case studies and lessons learned. Internet Interv. 2017 Sep; 9:106-111.


Ramo DE, Meacham M, Thrul J, Belohlavek A, Sarkar U, Humfleet G. Exploring Identities and Preferences for Intervention Among LGBTQ+ Young Adult Smokers Through Online Focus Groups. J Adolesc Health. 2018 Nov 30. PMID: 30509769.

Vogel EA, Belohlavek A, Prochaska J, Ramo, DE. Development and Acceptability testing of a Facebook Smoking cessation Intervention for Sexual and Gender Minority Young Adults. Internet Interventions. 2019 Mar 87-92.