Mobile Phone Messages Could Help Smokers Quit Habit, Review Finds

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Motivational text and video messages sent via mobile phone could help smokers quit the habit, according to a new review published in the Cochrane Library, Medical News Today reports (Medical News Today, 11/15).

Study Details

For the study, researchers examined several studies that tracked a total of 9,100 smokers over six months.

About half of the smokers received text or video messages on their mobile phones daily for several weeks leading up to a predetermined quit date. After the quit date, the group continued to receive multiple messages daily, including:

  • Tips on avoiding cravings;
  • Resources for dealing with relapses; and
  • Encouragement.

The other half of the smokers did not receive any mobile phone-based support services.

Study Findings

Nine percent of smokers who received the mobile phone messages went without cigarettes for at least six months, compared with 5% of smokers who did not receive the messages, the study found.

Robyn Whittaker, lead study author, said that there is not enough evidence to determine whether mobile phone-based smoking cessation programs are cost-effective but added that a counselor likely would cost more (Grens, Reuters, 11/14).

HHS Unveils Smoking Cessation Website

In related news, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday announced the launch of a tobacco cessation website called BeTobaccoFree.gov.

The site offers information on:

  • Tobacco;
  • Federal and state laws;
  • Health statistics; and
  • Evidence-based methods for quitting smoking (United Press International, 11/15).

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