Text Messages Now Help People Kick the Smoking Habit

December 6, 2012
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We all know the health effects smoking causes. We’re familiar with the various ways people use to quit – some working better than others. Some involve old-fashioned methods and some use technology, including social media! Still, only 5 percent of smokers succeed the first time they try to quit.

We all know the health effects smoking causes. We’re familiar with the various ways people use to quit – some working better than others. Some involve old-fashioned methods and some use technology, including social media! Still, only 5 percent of smokers succeed the first time they try to quit.

text-to-quitA new study published by the Cochrane Collaboration found that smokers are starting to be successful in quitting with the help of supportive messages sent via text messages on their cell phones.

The study, compiled in New Zealand, involved five studies and more than 9,000 people who were trying to quit. The smokers received texts throughout day containing either motivational messages or advice on quitting. Some received links in the texts with short video clips showing success stories. Some messages were sent at key hours when smokers really crave a cigarette, such as during happy hour.

The study estimated that mobile phone messages increased the chance of quitting in at least six months from 4 to 5 percent to as high as 10 percent.

Because of this study and others like it nationwide, private groups and a number of state and local health departments are working to create new, online texting-support systems for smokers who want to kick the habit.

Creative technology can drastically improve everyday health!

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