Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Effectiveness of an intensive E-mail based intervention in smoking cessation (TABATIC study): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Laura Díaz-Gete1, Elisa Puigdomènech2*, Elena Mercedes Briones2, Mireia Fàbregas-Escurriola3, Soraya Fernandez1, Jose Luis del Val2, Jose Luis Ballvé4, Marc Casajuana5, Jessica Sánchez-Fondevila2, Lourdes Clemente6, Carmen Castaño7, Carlos Martín-Cantera289 and Grupo estudio TABATIC

Author Affiliations

1 Centre d’Atenció Primària (CAP) La Sagrera, Institut Català de la Salut, Barcelona, Spain

2 Primary Healthcare Research Unit of Barcelona, Primary Healthcare University Research Institute IDIAP- Jordi Gol, C/Sardenya 375, Barcelona, entresuelo 08025, Spain

3 Centre d’Atenció Primària (CAP) La Marina, Institut Català de la Salut, Barcelona, Spain

4 Centre d’Atenció Primària (CAP) Florida Nord, Institut Català de la Salut, Hospitalet de Llobregat, de Llobregat, Spain

5 IDIAP- Jordi Gol, Barcelona, Spain

6 Centro de Salud Santo Grial, Huesca, Spain

7 La Alamedilla Health Centre, Castilla y León Health Service–SACYL, Salamanca, Spain

8 Centre d’Atenció Primària (CAP) Passeig de Sant Joan, Institut Català de la Salut, Barcelona, Spain

9 Departament of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:364  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-364

Published: 18 April 2013



Intensive interventions on smoking cessation increase abstinence rates. However, few electronic mail (E-mail) based intensive interventions have been tested in smokers and none in primary care (PC) setting. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive E-mail based intervention in smokers attending PC services.


Randomized Controlled Multicentric Trial. Study population: 1060 smokers aged between 18–70 years from Catalonia, Salamanca and Aragón (Spain) who have and check regularly an E-mail account. Patients will be randomly assigned to control or intervention group. Intervention: Six phase intensive intervention with two face to face interviews and four automatically created and personal E-mail patients tracking, if needed other E-mail contacts will be made. Control group will receive a brief advice on smoking cessation. Outcome measures: Will be measured at 6 and 12 months after intervention: self reported continuous abstinence (confirmed by cooximetry), point prevalence abstinence, tobacco consumption, evolution of stage according to Prochaska and DiClemente's Stages of Change Model, length of visit, costs for the patient to access Primary Care Center. Statistical analysis: Descriptive and logistic and Poisson regression analysis under the intention to treat basis using SPSS v.17.


The proposed intervention is an E-mail based intensive intervention in smokers attending primary care. Positive results could be useful to demonstrate a higher percentage of short and long-term abstinence among smokers attended in PC in Spain who regularly use E-mail. Furthermore, this intervention could be helpful in all health services to help smokers to quit.

Trial Registration

Clinical Identifier: NCT01494246.

Smoking cessation; Electronic mail; Clinical trial; Primary health care