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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid