Web Program May Help Smokers Kick the Habit

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As of last week, smokers may get help in their efforts to kick the habit through a step-by-step smoking cessation program on the Web.

The site, at www.habitrol.com, was created by Mediaconsult.com, Boston. for Novartis Consumer Health Canada Inc., Mississauga, Ontario. The site offers support, information, self-testing and an online buddy system to help smokers stop. It is meant to be used as part of the Habitrol Stop Smoking System, available in Canada, which includes a three-stage nicotine patch and several support tools, including the Web site, a toll-free support line staffed by trained nurses and educational materials.

The site, which features a picture of a road and the headline "Habitrol Road to Success," includes online support groups, e-mail support and other tools customized to the needs of a particular visitor. Behavior-support preparation and coping plans are aimed at helping smokers whether they are ready to quit or not, as well as their friends and family members. Smokers can begin at any step in the process. Visitors are expected to return to the site many times each week for several months as they progress through the program.

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