Monday, July 18, 2005

Text messages double young smokers' quit rates

Ok, so I'm a little out of date on this one, I still think it's worth mentioning.

Source: New Scientist / Tobacco Control, June 01, 2005

Smoking cessation programmes that use text messaging can double the quit rate in young smokers, according to a clinical trial at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. In the study, over 850 young smokers who wanted to quit received five supportive text messages a day for a week before their 'quit day', and for the following four weeks. Then they received three messages a week for a further five months. They were also given one month of free personal texting, starting on their quit day, as an incentive. A similar group of young smokers received one month free texting six months after their designated quit day, but no supportive text messages. Six weeks after quit day, 28 per cent of the group that received the texts claimed to have quit, compared with 13 per cent of the control group. After checking these self-reported results, the team found that in both groups about half of those were actually still smoking. Quit rates appeared to remain high after six months, although the results are less certain because many of the participants were lost to follow up.