Text messaging has been linked to smoking cessation which is good news for smokers trying to quit. This form of mhealth (mobile health) is gaining approval as more evidence supports its effect on bringing about change.
In one study, researchers analysed data from 4 trials in the UK, New Zealand and Norway.
The interventions were:
- Text messages with advice and encouragement sent regularly to smokers’ mobile phone
- Text messages to the phone in conjunction with email
They found that mobile phone intervention increase the number of self-reported smoking abstinence at 4 weeks after cessation.
They also found an increase in long-term self-reported quitting with the Internet and text messages. data was taken from the same trials.
More studies are planned on the long-term effects of mobile phones.
It has also been proven that help from family and friends is effective in bringing about that change.
If you know of someone whose goal is to quit, give them support and encouragement, send them text messages to help them quit.
If you are trying to quit and you need help, this route may be for you. There are several services available, some are free and are available through public health agencies. There are other paid services available at a small cost.
The benefits if quitting are both short and long-term.