Background: Young adults are reluctant to use evidence-based smoking cessation interventions. Subsequently, they are less successful at giving up smoking compared to older adults. This highlights the need for innovative strategies to engage young people in smoking cessation. A novel intervention using photoageing technology has been shown to be an effective trigger for smoking cessation.

Aims: To conduct a pilot study deploying photoageing care technology to trigger smoking cessation attempts in young adults admitted to hospital.

Method: A randomised controlled trial was designed. Thirty participants were recruited from a regional hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Participants were allocated to the intervention and control groups on alternate weeks. All participants received brief smoking cessation advice. The intervention group was digitally aged using the APRIL Face Aging Software. The primary outcomes were measured at six weeks’ post-intervention and included number of quit attempts, nicotine dependence, and progression through the stages of change model.

Results: At six weeks’ post-intervention, there was no difference in quit attempts between the two groups (Mann-Whitney U=111 and p=0.484). There was also no difference in nicotine dependence (Mann-Whitney U=106 and p=0.403) or stage of change (2=1.71 and p=0.634) between the groups.

Conclusion: Hospitalisation is associated with a number of barriers, which prevent the implementation of photoageing technology in this setting. Of these barriers, participant recruitment and retention pose the greatest challenge. Due to these considerations, it was not possible to demonstrate an effect size with any confidence.


smoking, interventions, photoageing

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