4 Essential Benefits of Text Messaging Apps for Smokers Trying to Quit

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Are you trying to quit but couldn’t? If you have been struggling with your smoking problems for a long time now, maybe you should slow down for a while, get your smartphone and subscribe to support groups and organizations providing motivational text messages on quitting smoking.

In a study review published by the Cochrane Collaboration, it was found that supportive messages sent via text can greatly help smokers quit their habit. Experts agree that quitting smoking is a difficult challenge for most people. In fact, only 5 percent of smokers who try to quit succeed in their first attempt. The remaining 95 percent would take an average of 7 attempts beautiful-young-african-americ-50974310before they can actually break the habit. But the problem doesn’t end there. Only a small portion of this population will be able to ditch the habit for good and the rest will experience a relapse.

That is why research findings like this are very promising and encouraging. It gives many smokers hope in eliminating their unhealthy habit which is a known major factor for many chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer and dementia.


So in what ways do interventions delivered by mobile phones help smokers quit?


1)  It increases your quit smoking success rate. A research team from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, headed by Dr Robyn Whittaker, compiled review studies involving 9,000 smokers who are trying to quit. They found that smokers who received motivational text messages on quitting several times a day were more likely to quit than those who didn’t. In one study, smokers also received links to short video clips about successful smokers. For control, smokers received messages less often and were given information or support online and through phone consultations. Overall, the researchers found that mobile phone messages increased the risk of quitting smoking from 4 to 5 percent in control groups to between 6 and 10 percent in the texting groups. Another study, published in 2011 in the journal Lancet found that supportive text messages doubled quit rates among smokers within 6 months.

2)  It offers immediate advice and self-help tips. There are support lines that are just ‘one text away’. So when you are confronted with a challenge, for instance, intense craving, you can send them a message and expect a reply within minutes. There’s a mobile text messaging app that gives you practical quit smoking tips. For example, you just need to text ‘crave’, send it to the support line, and you will receive plenty of tips to overcome it. Pretty cool right?


3)   It motivates smokers to quit even more. Imagine receiving a daily text message that reminds you of how strong you are and how you can ultimately quit smoking for good. Smoking cessation is often a stressful process. Things could get even worse when you are also struggling with other stressors at work or at home. Mobile text messaging applications can greatly help you stick to your quit smoking goals.

4)   It’s very accessible. Who doesn’t have a cell phone? Even kids as young as 5 have mobile phones nowadays. That’s what makes text messaging app a great supplemental tool in every smoker’s journey towards quit smoking success.

Quitting smoking today is one of the best decisions you can make in life. It’s really good to know that there are many different tools that can help you quit for good. So quit now! Like the thousands of people who did, you too can ditch the habit for good.


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