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).
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
The other half of the smokers did not receive any mobile phone-based support services.
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:
- Federal and state laws;
- Health statistics; and
- Evidence-based methods for quitting smoking (United Press International, 11/15).