Text Messaging Libraries for Cessation (Adults and Teens) Now Available
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
is a small but solid body of literature that indicates that text messaging is an
effective platform on which to deliver a cessation intervention.
on this, several quitline programs and other organizations have started
offering text messaging to tobacco users who want to quit. Below are a few
examples that are available for use by quitlines. As with any program you are adapting, please read through the
messages carefully to ensure they refer only to the programs and resources your
program wants it to refer to.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched QuitNowTXT
(details available on smokefree.gov). The library of messages and other
resources are available to any state Tobacco Control Program, quitline or
community program for their use. The QuitNowTXT text messaging library was
developed to provide health departments, academic institutions, and government
agencies with an algorithm and database of messages designed to serve as
smoking cessation intervention for individuals who are ready to quit smoking.
The library includes day-specific messages including keyword responses. You can either "pick up" all of the
messages or modify and integrate them into your existing program. The messages
are available at http://smokefree.gov/hp.aspx
(You can also get to the library by navigating from the very bottom of the
smokefree.gov page under "For Health Professionals.”)
has also launched Teen SmokefreeTXT, using a similar message library to QuitNowTXT,
but messages are customized for teens and young adults. According to its most
recent report on "Teens and Mobile Phones,” 75 percent of teens aged 12–17 own
a cell phone, up from 45 percent in 2004 (Lenhart, Ling, Campbell, &
Purcell, 2010, available online at: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Teens-and-Mobile-Phones.aspx).
One in three teens sends 3,000 texts a month, and 87 percent of teens text
message at least occasionally (Lenhart, Ling, Campbell, & Purcell, 2010).
New Hampshire has
two text systems set up:
1- A person texts 22122 and they receive a text
message back that tells them a cessation counselor will be contacting them in
the next few days (depending on what day they text to account for holidays,
2- Text for Tips will set the person up to
receive cessation tips for 6 weeks and then at the end a text reminding them
that they need to re-sign up for text tips or to call the quitline (1-800-QUIT
NOW connects people with NH Tobacco Helpline)
two initiatives are explained on the New
Hampshire website www.trytostopnh.org. Their text service
is offered online, and is customized by type of tobacco used and readiness to
quit. Some demographic information is collected through online registration. This
service is also offered by the counselors at the NH Tobacco Helpine to all
clients, and they will sign them up on line for them to receive the text tips.
The texting service is unique in its 9 platforms which relate to tobacco
product and stage of change and is based on a Canadian model. Also one of the
biggest benefits is that they have the ability to evaluate the efficacy and
demographics of their texting cohort on a real-time basis.
has a list of messages they are happy to share. Contact Sandra K. Schulthies, firstname.lastname@example.org. They used what they found
from an Australian campaign and changed them to match their population.