According to a recent study conducted amongst Swedish university students who smoked cigarettes and were interested in quitting, text messaging was the most successful and effective tool for promoting smoking cessation.
A program called NEXit (NicotineExit), which sends motivational SMS text messages, “doubled the rate of self-reported smoking abstinence and improved complete smoking cessation.” How do these motivation text messages work to lower the rate of which young adults smoke? It’s fairly simple.
All college and university students throughout Sweden were contacted by email about the study. Based on the participants that responded (1,590), text messages with a motivational phrase were sent over a 12-week period. During this period, researchers saw eight weeks of prolonged abstinence was achieved by 25.9% of the intervention group, compared to just 14.6% of the control group. These messages showed that there was a high follow-up rate and participants were encouraged by results seen while using the program.
Study investigators concluded that the results observed in the trial were “comparable with those for traditional smoking cessation interventions.” Additionally, NEXit’s digital intervention has “the potential to improve the uptake of effective smoking cessation interventions.”