Rethinking Healthcare

Study shows that texting can help you quit smoking

Study shows that texting can help you quit smoking

Posting in Technology

Could a text message help you quit smoking?

A new study published in the medical journal The Lancet shows that smokers that receive a text with a motivational message are more likely to stop smoking and have success with their results.

According to The Lancet, the study used 5800 participants from the UK.

The International Business Times reported:

Txt2stop group received encouraging text messages daily for the first five weeks and later three text messages per week for the next 6 months.

For instance, they would receive a message saying "TODAY is the start of being QUIT forever, you do it."

The first group was also able to get help by texting the word "crave" or "lapse," after which they will get an encouraging text reply stating "Cravings last less than 5minutes on average. To help distract yourself, try sipping a drink slowly until the craving is over."

The second group did not receive encouraging messages. Instead, the second group was sent a series of text messages which acknowledged the group's participation in the study.

The Lancet reported two results for both groups. For the group that received motivational messages, the success rate was 10.7 percent, compared to 4.9 percent for the second group which did not receive motivational messages.

According to The Lancet, the study results found:

The txt2stop smoking cessation program significantly improved smoking cessation rates at 6 months and should be considered for inclusion in smoking cessation services

To learn more about smoking habits, SmartPlanet spoke with Jason Wu, a 21-year-old freelance musician from Manhattan, NY. Throughout his late teens, Wu struggled with battling his addiction to nicotine. Wu admitted that he wished there had been a program to motivate him through his nicotine withdrawal.

"It might have helped to have gotten text messages for cell phone," said Wu. "I'm always on my phone."

Tell us your thoughts: What do you think? Would a text message help you break your smoking habit? Do you think this would work for you?

Image: indie.ca via Flickr

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Stacy Lipson

Contributing Writer

Contributing Writer Stacy Lipson has written for Natural Health, MSNBC's Body Odd, HealthDay.com, Sprig.com, BNET.com, MarieClaire.com, MyDaily.com and Lemondrop.com. He holds a degree from Temple University. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure