News / Health

Texting Could Help Smokers Quit

A new study shows that texting can be an effective tool to help quit smoking.
A new study shows that texting can be an effective tool to help quit smoking.

Related Articles

Video Gene Tests May Improve Lung Cancer Care

New treatment relies on test to identify damaged genes called oncogenes that allow cancer cells to grow and spread

WHO: High Tobacco Taxes Can Save Millions of Lives

The World Health Organization reports tobacco kills nearly eight million people a year, including more than 600,000 non-smokers dying from breathing secondhand smoke

Video Russia Attacks Smoking With Big Guns

With 44 million smokers, outdone only by China, India and Indonesia, Russia has declared war on tobacco with new regulations, stiff fines
VOA News
Those struggling to quit smoking may find that success is just a text message away.
 
A study done by researchers at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., showed that smokers who used a text-messaging program to help them quit were more than two times as successful at quitting compared to those who did not get assistance from text messages.
 
Text message assistance operates by giving advice, reminders and techniques to aid smokers in their attempts to quit.
 
The service also can send smokers games that could distract a user until the craving to smoke subsides. Users who are having a craving for a cigarette can simply text “crave” or stats” to the service to initiate a response.
 
According to researchers at Milken Institute SPH, more than 75,000 people have enrolled in one such service called Text2Quit.
 
“Text messages seem to give smokers the constant reminders they need to stay focused on quitting,” Lorien C. Abroms, an associate professor of prevention and community health at Milken Institute SPH and the lead author of the study, said in a statement.
 
“However, additional studies must be done to confirm this result and to look at how these programs work when coupled with other established anti-smoking therapies,” wrote Abroms, who was a lead designer of the Text2Quit program.
 
For the study, Abroms and her colleagues recruited 503 smokers from the Internet. Some of them received text messages via Text2Quit, while others received self-help material about quitting smoking.
 
After six months, researchers said they contacted participants to see who was successful in stopping smoking. They found that 11 percent of smokers who got the text messages had quit, while only 5 percent of the controls had given up the habit.
 
To make sure those who said they had quit really had, researchers also took saliva samples from some. Among those who were tested, the "quit rate" also was double that of the control group.
 
In 2011, a similar study was done in England and yielded the same results.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking causes 480,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. Globally, the CDC says more than 5 million people die from tobacco use, a number it says will rise to 8 million by 2030.
 
While the Milken Institute SPH appears to show promise, more studies need to be done, however, as this research only involved people who were already “highly motivated to quit and those that were already searching for quit-smoking information on the Internet.”
 
For example, more research needs to be done on how well text-messaging programs work in populations “less digitally connected” -- and also in those with lower motivation to quit.
 
The researchers also will compare their findings with other text messaging services, such as the National Cancer Institute’s SmokefreeTXT, launched in 2011.

The study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute, appeared online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
 
Photo via Flickr.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid