The study in question involved 5,800 smokers, 2,915 of whom were sent supportive texts to help them quit over a six month period. The remainder of the participants only received messages thanking them for taking part in the study.
Those who were sent supportive messages received them five times a day for the first five weeks and then three per week for the remaining 26 weeks.
The participants also had the option of texting back to ask for more specific advice when either they had lapsed or were experiencing strong cravings.
After the six month period, 10 per cent of the 2,915 smokers who received supportive texts had quit, compared to just 4,9 per cent in the group that did not receive the messages of support.
Supportive messages included the following:
“To make things easier for yourself, try having some distractions ready for cravings and think up some personal strategies to help in stressful situations”
“Cravings last less than 5 minutes on average. To help distract yourself, try sipping a drink slowly until the craving is over.”
Dr Caroline Free from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was responsible for leading the txt2stop trial and believes text message are an extremely convenient way for smokers to receive support.
“People described txt2stop as being like having a friend encouraging them or an angel on their shoulder. ” She said.
In the future it is hoped the txt2stop programme could be used to help smokers around the globe to quit.
If you are a smoker who is looking to give up then hypnotherapy is also an option which could help you. To find out more about hypnotherapy for smoking please view out fact-sheet.
View the original BBC News article.