Text Messages Helpful to Quit Smoking: Study

 @ibtimes
on July 02 2011 2:31 PM

A new research has discovered that smokers who receive motivational text messages are more likely to be successful in quitting smoking. They study was published in the British medical journal The Lancet

The study was based on 5,800 smokers who were randomly assigned into either txt2stop group that received supportive text messages or to the control group.

Txt2stop group received encouraging text messages daily for the first five weeks and later three text messages per week for the next 6 months.

For instance, they would receive a message saying TODAY is the start of being QUIT forever, you do it.

The first group was also able to get help by texting the word crave or lapse, after which they will get an encouraging text reply stating Cravings last less than 5minutes on average. To help distract yourself, try sipping a drink slowly until the craving is over.

Contrastingly, control group participants received text messages every two weeks thanking them for participating in the trial.

The results showed that continuous abstinence, verified by chemical tests, at six months was considerably increased in the txt2stop group, which boasted a 10.7% success rate versus the 4.9% success rate for the control group.

The study found txt2stop was effective for all ages and across all social groups, with the authors concluding: Mobile phone text messaging smoking cessation support doubles quit rates at six months.

The study observed the long-term effects of specially-designed text messages by testing the levels of cotinine (a chemical found in tobacco) discovered in participants' saliva after they reported they had quitted smoking for six months.

Glyn Mcintosh, Director of Development & Communications at QUIT, which helped develop the text messages and find volunteers for the study, said: We are delighted with the results and hope that text motivation will now become a standard part of the quitting process.

Tobacco use is the primary cause of premature and preventable death in the U.S. and is accountable for 443,000 deaths yearly.  Smoking costs the U.S. economy $200 billion in medical costs and lost productivity every year, according to the FDA.

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