30. June 2011
Texting words of encouragement is a huge boost to smokers seeking to quit smoking. (Photo: mobilephones-news.com)
A recent study has shown that text messages from cellular phones are a huge help to those habitual smokers who wants to “quit smoking”.
Based on the study conducted by British doctors, people trying to quit smoking are twice as likely to succeed when they get mobile-phone text messages to encourage them. According to reports, to get the relevant data,British doctors recruited 5,800 smokers and randomly assigned them either to a group that received specially-tailored SMSes or to a control group.
The first group received five messages a day for the first five weeks and then three per week for the next six months. The messages — developed with the help of smokers themselves — gave advice for keeping weight off while quitting and encouraged participants to persevere.
The researchers revealed after six months, 10.7 percent in the SMS support group had been continuously abstinent, but this was only 4.9 percent in the control group. Success was similar across all ages and social groups.
The researchers say the “txt2stop” trial demonstrated a powerful, low-cost tool for combating smoking addiction — and one that could be adapted around the world. In 2009, more than two-thirds of the world’s population owned a mobile phone and 4.2 trillion text messages were sent.
“Text messages are a very convenient way for smokers to receive support to quit,” said Caroline Free of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who led the experiment. An intensified campaign global campaign is now underway against smoking which kills more than five million people each year.
Hopefully, this effective campaign can be duplicated around the world to reduce or even get rid of smoking for good.