Smoking Cessation And Text Messages

Posted on June 12, 2012


A new discipline in health care called mobile health or mHealth makes it possible to change unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking.

By sending text messages to mobile cellular phones a new health delivery module is created.

Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death from cancer.

Smoking is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, strokes and respiratory diseases.

Quitting is not easy; many people who quit return to the habit within months of abstinence.

Some people report weight gain while others suffer from withdrawal symptoms. These side effects of quitting are offset by the many health benefits.

Within minutes of quitting , the blood pressure drops and the heart rate is improved.

The benefits continue long-term; 15 years after quitting the risks of cancer is the same as that of a non-smoker.

A recent study which investigated the use of cellphone for smoking cessation found text massaging to be effective.

The study involved 5, 800 participants age 16 and over willing to quit in the next month.

One group joined a cellphone text messaging smoking cessation program while another a control group.

Participants in the text messaging program:
1-Set a quit date within 2 weeks
2-Received 5 text messages per day for 5 weeks
3-Then 3 text messages per week for 26 weeks.

Participants in the control group received short text messages every 2 weeks on the importance of trial participation.

Abstinence was verified using a salivary-continine test or in person carbon monoxide.Mobile health for smoking cessation

The result showed 11% of participants in the text messaging program continued abstinence at six months while 4-9% in the control group did.

Based on these results personalized text messaging can be effective in smoking cessation.

The potential for reaching smokers is great considering the number of cellphone users and the popularity of texting.

There are close to 5 billion subscribers to mobile phone worldwide.

Our health program teaches the importance of smoking cessation and prepares the person to quit while controlling weight.
Click Here for more on this unique health program.