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All you need to quit smoking is some inspirational messages


A thoughtful text message from a friend can instantly turn around a bad day.

And, according to new research, an inspirational message to your mobile phone can also help you quit smoking. In a systematic review of five different studies, researchers found that participants who received daily motivational messages and quitting advice were twice as likely to quit smoking for at least six months than participants in the control group. Robyn Whittaker, lead researcher and spokesperson from the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland, explains:

"Mobile phone programmes appear to be a useful option to offer those who want to stop smoking. The largest trial that we included in our review, which involved 5,800 people in the UK, can be considered definitive. At the very least it shows the efficacy of a mobile phone intervention in a developed country with good tobacco control policy. However, we cannot say that all text messaging interventions will be effective in all contexts."

And while many health care systems provide tools that allow patients to receive text messages for appointment reminders or status updates on test results, using mobile technology for smoking cessation is a relatively new technique. The authors of the study say that it could be a cost-effective way to approach the problem.

"If, as it appears from our review, we can help as many people quit smoking at lower costs than running telephone support lines, then mobile phone-based services must be cost-effective," said Whittaker.

Seven other long-term studies are underway, which researchers hope will shed more light on the potential benefits of this technique and possible ways to implement programs.

Source: Medical News Today