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Quitting by Text

June 12, 2014

A study recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that around 11 percent of smokers who participated in a texting-based smoking cessation intervention program were able to abstain from using cigarettes six months after the start of the program, while only 5 percent of smokers in the control group were able to do so. In addition to the 11 percent found to be actual quitters, close to 20 percent of those who used the Text2Quit intervention program reported they remained abstinent compared to 10 percent of the control group. All participants in the study were aged 18 or older and smoked five or more cigarettes a day.

 

The study used the Text2Quit program, which encourages smokers to quit by sending texts to their phone. Examples of texts include telling users how much money they could save if they quit, and providing advice on adhering to smoking cessation drugs. Users can also use allotted keywords to customize their program. Entering in the word DATE, for example, requests a new "quit date”. Users can enter CRAVE for a tip or trivia game to help them quit smoking, STATS, for a summary of their quitting statistics, and SMOKE, for an adjustment of their statistics if they had smoked since quitting.

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