Of the entire sample, 17% were daily smokers, 5.8% were occasional smokers, and 77.2% classified themselves as nonsmokers. (Prevalence rates are similar to those reported for the 2006 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey [11
]). compares demographic and Internet use characteristics between these three groups. As has been seen with other general population surveys (eg, [11
]), there were systematic differences in demographic characteristics across the three smoking status groups. (These differences will not be described in detail here as they are not the purpose of this paper and because demographic differences between smokers and nonsmokers have been well described in other publications.) There were also differences in level of Internet use between smokers and nonsmokers. Smokers appeared marginally less likely than nonsmokers to have used the Internet in the last year (daily smokers = 74.5%, occasional smokers = 78.7%, nonsmokers = 81.0%;χ
= 30.8, P
< .001; combined sample = 79.8%). There were also significant differences in location of Internet use between smokers and nonsmokers, although the pattern of results is difficult to interpret in a meaningful fashion (χ
= 33.3, P
< .001). In addition, there were differences between smokers and nonsmokers in the proportion of respondents who used the Internet daily or almost daily. While 56.5% of the entire sample reported using the Internet daily, 47.8% of smokers, 56.2% of occasional smokers, and 58.5% of nonsmokers reported daily or almost daily use of the Internet (χ
= 54.7, P
< .001). Finally, among daily smokers, those who used the Internet daily or almost daily smoked marginally fewer cigarettes per day than those who did not use the Internet daily (mean = 14.7, SD = 7.4 vs mean = 15.7, SD = 8.1, respectively; t
= 2.5, P
Demographic and Internet use characteristics among daily smokers, occasional smokers, and nonsmokers (N = 8454; 13 respondents did not provide smoking status.)
Predicting Internet Use
displays a logistic regression predicting any Internet use in the last 12 months. Of the demographic variables, older respondents and those with family incomes less than Can $30,000 were less likely to have used the Internet. Post-secondary education, being married, and being employed were positively associated with having used the Internet in the last year. As was observed in the bivariate analyses, smoking status was also related to Internet use, with daily smokers being less likely to have used the Internet in the last year compared to other respondents (occasional and nonsmokers combined for this analysis).
Logistic regression predicting respondents who did or did not use the Internet in the last year
Interest in Web-Assisted Tobacco Interventions
As a measure of level of interest in WATIs, daily smokers were asked if they would be“interested in a confidential program that you could access on the Internet, free of charge, that would allow you to check your smoking and compare it to other Canadians.” Overall, 40% of daily smokers said that they would be interested in this type of WATI. shows the demographic, smoking, and Internet use characteristics for smokers who were interested in the WATI versus those who were not. Compared to smokers who were not interested in the WATI, those who were interested were younger (t
1401 = 5.9, P < .001), more educated (χ
1 = 4.3, P = .04), more likely to be employed (χ
1 = 11.3, P < .001), and probably had higher income (χ
4 = 17.5, P = .002; note that 17% of daily smokers refused to report, or did not know, family income, making this variable difficult to interpret). Number of cigarettes smoked per day was not significantly related (P = .18) to interest in the WATI. However, smokers who had their first cigarette of the day within one half hour of waking were more interested in the WATI compared to those who had their first cigarette at a later time (χ
1 = 11.6, P < .001). Finally, there was a strong relationship between level of Internet use and interest in WATI. Smokers that accessed the Internet were more interested in the WATI compared to those who did not (46% vs 20%; χ
1 = 79.3, P < .001), or, to state it as presented in , 67% of those not interested in the WATI accessed the Internet in the past 12 months and 88% of those interested had accessed the Internet). In addition, smokers who used the Internet daily or almost daily were more likely to be interested in the WATI compared to those who used the Internet less frequently (χ
1= 26.4, P < .001).
Demographic, smoking, and Internet use characteristics for daily smokers who were interested or not interested in the WATI (N = 1424; 9 daily smokers did not provide information on their interest in WATI).
displays the results of a logistic regression predicting interest in the WATI among daily smokers. Of the demographic characteristics, only age remained significantly related to interest in the WATI when all other variables were entered simultaneously—younger smokers were marginally more interested in the WATI compared to older smokers. Smokers who had used the Internet in the last year were more likely to be interested in the WATI compared to those who had not used the Internet. However, daily use of the Internet was not significantly related. Finally, number of cigarettes smoked per day was not related to interest in the WATI, but smokers who had their first cigarette within half an hour of waking were more likely to be interested in the WATI compared to those who had their first cigarette later in the day.
Logistic regression predicting daily smoking respondents who were interested or not interested in WATI