Between 1996 and 1997, Join Together, an organization at Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, developed the first national tobacco control World Wide Web site.
At the time the project was conceived, there was little coordination of information on the Internet among the nation's tobacco prevention and control community. Additionally, no Web site on tobacco issues existed for the general public.
The new site targeted three primary audiences:
- Tobacco control professionals.
- Adult smokers.
- Join Together created QuitNet, the first national tobacco control Web site. The site built a "virtual community" of smokers and other tobacco users who could encourage each other in quitting smoking. At the end of the grant, there were more than 4,000 registered users on the Web site.
- QuitNet has become a key distribution point for news and information on tobacco control issues. More than 1,000 news summaries and 300 technical documents relating to tobacco control, smoking cessation, and nicotine addiction are distributed monthly around the world through QuitNet. The Web site is accessible to people in over 100 countries.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with a grant of $50,000 between April 1996 and March 1997.