Navigation Links
Text message support for smokers doubles quit rates

Mobile phones could hold the key to people giving up smoking after a programme involving sending motivational and supportive text messages to smokers doubled quit rates at six months.

The findings of the txt2stop trial, which was led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and funded by the Medical Research Council, are published in The Lancet today.

Text messaging is an innovative approach to the deadly problem of smoking, which is estimated to cause more than five million deaths each year worldwide. Putting cigarettes out for good has huge implications for health but although two out of three smokers would like to give up, they often fail. Almost 6,000 people took part in the txt2stop trial, which evaluated this new way of helping smokers beat their addiction.

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

A total of 5,800 smokers were randomly allocated to the txt2stop programme or a control group. The txt2stop group received five text messages a day for the first five weeks and then three per week for the next 26 weeks with a personalised system which also allowed people to receive instant messages at times of need by texting the word 'crave' or 'Lapse'.

The messages, which were developed with input from smokers and smoking cessation professionals, encouraged participants to persevere and focused on their success so far. Examples of the messages include:

  • "This is it! QUIT DAY, throw away all your fags. TODAY is the start of being QUIT forever, you can do it!"
  • "Cravings last less than 5 minutes on average. To help distract yourself, try sipping a drink slowly until the craving is over".

Control group participants received fortnightly text messages thanking them for taking part in the trial. The results showed that continuous abstinence verified by chemical tests - at six months was significantly increased in the txt2stop group 10.7% success txt2stop versus 4.9% success control.

The study found txt2stop worked well 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."

LSHTM clinical lecturer and GP Dr Caroline Free, who led the research, says: "Text messages are a very convenient way for smokers to receive support to quit. People described txt2stop as being like having a 'friend' encouraging them or an 'angel on their shoulder'. It helped people resist the temptation to smoke."

Professor Max Parmar, director of the Medical Research Council clinical trials unit, says: "Smoking kills more than five million people each year, and two out of every three smokers have said at some point that they would like to give up. By carrying out a large scale trial like this to see whether text messages can help people truly free themselves of their addiction, this research has shown that texting could be a powerful tool to help people to walk away from cigarettes for good. The MRC has been tackling the problem of smoking for over half a century, and we're committed to funding research that has the potential to change so many people's lives."

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


Contact: Paula Fentiman
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. MarquisNet Co-Location Agreement with MessageBroadcast Helps Message Delivery Provider Expand World-Class Network
2. MessageSolution First in the Market to Offer All-in-One, Integrated Cloud-Based Archiving for Email, File Systems and SharePoint at Novell BrainShare 2010
3. New Backpack for Cyclists Sends a Polite Message to Motorists: '3 Feet Please'
4. MessageSolution Releases Enterprise Migration System for GroupWise, Advancing its Technology Leading Position for Enterprise Information Archiving and Migration
5. MessageSolution Exhibits Cloud-Based Integrated Archiving Solution for Email, File Systems and SharePoint at SaaSCon 2010, Kicks off MessageSolution SaaS Tour 2010
6. Indiana Paging Network and Onset Technology Partner to Deliver Paging Messages to Blackberry Smartphones
7. Onset Technology and Citipage Ltd. Partner to Deliver Advanced Paging Messages to Smartphones
8. World Renowned Humanitarian and Spiritual Leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Brings Timely Message of Peace and Empowerment to Connecticut
9. Pilot study supports adolescent diabetes patients through personalized text messages
10. Media detective tool empowers children to skirt alcohol and tobacco marketing messages
11. Some Docs May Use Twitter for Unprofessional Messages: Report
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Keeping in ... for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based marketplace ... knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting experts within their ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The men ... prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown ... helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Avid collector, Andrew Hawley from Vintage Rock Posters, announces his search ... one of Joplin's most famous and beautiful concert posters. The concert was held on ... Arbor. The According to Hawley, "It is hard to believe that Joplin's stardom was ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients at Serenity ... have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that they are ... the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on index cards, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family ... tests directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... UTRECHT , Países Bajos, November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer ... combina la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin ... Un nuevo enfoque combina la inmunoterapia con la ...   Clinical Cancer Research . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and Growing ... to their offering. Boston ... scientific and others. --> The market ... Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons ... of Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country ... report to their offering. --> ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: