The Straits Times
Published on Nov 15, 2012

Mobile phone messages may help smokers quit: study


(REUTERS) - Text and video messages designed to help people quit smoking that come in on their cell phones nearly doubled the success rate for attempted quitters compared to people who didn't have such assistance, according to a New Zealand study.

Researchers, whose work was published in The Cochrane Library, found that nine per cent of would-be quitters made it without cigarettes for at least six months when reminded and encouraged through cell phone messages, compared to five percent who went it alone.

"We can't say all text messaging interventions are going to work," said lead author Robyn Whittaker, at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

"But it certainly shows there's reason to believe that mobile phone-based interventions are a good option to think about adding to your portfolio of smoking cessation services." Cell phone programs included in the review involved a text or video sent to smokers each day for several weeks, preparing them for their designated quit day with motivation and advice.