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Cell phone-based tobacco cessation interventions

Health Factors: Tobacco Use
Decision Makers: Employers & Businesses Local Government State Government Public Health Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

Delivered via text or video messages, cell phone-based tobacco cessation interventions generally include cessation advice, motivational messages, or content to distract from cravings. Messages may be tailored to participant characteristics (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity) or personalized to individual participants. Messages may be sent automatically or sent based on participants’ needs. Some programs include interactive features or connect participants to each other virtually for additional support (Cochrane-Whittaker 2016, Scott-Sheldon 2016).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased quit rates

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that cell phone-based tobacco cessation interventions help smokers quit smoking long-term (Cochrane-Whittaker 2016, Spohr 2015, Scott-Sheldon 2016, Ybarra 2016, West 2015). Programs that use spoken messages, text messages, or combinations of cell phone and internet-based components have been shown to help smokers quit, though effectiveness varies by intervention (CG-Tobacco use, Cochrane-Civljak 2013, Spohr 2015, Abroms 2014).

Programs that send text messages and include web or in-person elements are slightly more effective than text-only interventions (Spohr 2015), and sending text messages on a fixed schedule increases cessation more than sending a decreasing or variable number of texts (Spohr 2015). An evaluation of Text2Quit suggests that pairing cell phone-based programs with quitlines may also increase quit rates (Abroms 2014). Used with text message-based cessation programs, smartphone applications can support quitting (Buller 2014); additional evidence is needed to confirm effects of smartphone applications alone (Riaz 2015, Cochrane-Whittaker 2016).

Cell phone-based tobacco cessation interventions, particularly text message interventions, are cost-effective (Cochrane-Whittaker 2016, Ybarra 2016, Spohr 2015) and can be scaled to serve large populations (Cochrane-Whittaker 2016).

Implementation

United States

Text2Quit, an automated, personalized, text message cessation program that offers advice, support, and reminders along with a personalized web portal and email follow-up (Text2Quit), and StopMySmoking, a young adult-focused program that offers 24/7 craving support through on-demand assistance, message-timing control, and optional pairing with a quit buddy (StopMySmoking), are two examples of cell phone-based interventions.

The US Department of Health and Human Services also provides several targeted text message-based smoking cessation interventions which include SmokefreeMOM, Smokefree Teen, Smokefree Vet, Smokefree Espanol, and Smokefree VET en Espanol (SmokeFreeTXT), along with two Smokefree smartphone apps, QuitGuide and QuitSTART (Smokefree.gov Apps). 

Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention includes references to self-help websites to quit using tobacco, including programs through Smokefree.gov (UW-CTRI).

Implementation Resources

Smokefree-Health care professionals - Smokefree.gov. Resources for health care professionals. Accessed on May 2, 2017
Smokefree.gov - US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS). Smokefree.gov. Resources to quit smoking: Smokefree VET, Smokefree Women, Smokefree Teen, Smokefree Espanol, Smokefree 60+, SmokefreeTXT, QuitGuide app, and QuitSTART App. Accessed on March 2, 2017
SmokeFreeTXT - US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS). Smokefree.gov. SmokeFree text messaging programs: SmokefreeTXT, Smokefree VET, SmokefreeMOM, Smokefree Teen, Smokefree Espanol, and SmokefreeVET en Espanol. Accessed on March 2, 2017

Citations - Description

Cochrane-Whittaker 2016* - Whittaker R, McRobbie H, Bullen C, et al. Mobile phone-based interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2016;(4):CD006611. Accessed on November 30, 2016
Scott-Sheldon 2016* - Scott-Sheldon LAJ, Lantini R, Jennings EG, et al. Text messaging-based interventions for smoking cessation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 2016;4(2):e49. Accessed on December 19, 2016

Citations - Evidence

Abroms 2014* - Abroms LC, Boal AL, Simmens SJ, Mendel JA, Windsor RA. A randomized trial of Text2Quit: A text messaging program for smoking cessation. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2014;47(3):242-250. Accessed on December 19, 2016
Buller 2014 - Buller DB, Borland R, Bettinghaus EP, Shane JH, Zimmerman DE. Randomized trial of a smartphone mobile application compared to text messaging to support smoking cessation. Telemedicine Journal and E-Health. 2014;20(3):206-214. Accessed on December 19, 2016
CG-Tobacco use - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Tobacco. Accessed on May 15, 2017
Cochrane-Civljak 2013* - Civljak M, Stead LF, Hartmann-Boyce J, Sheikh A, Car J. Internet-based interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2013;(7):CD007078. Accessed on November 30, 2016
Cochrane-Whittaker 2016* - Whittaker R, McRobbie H, Bullen C, et al. Mobile phone-based interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2016;(4):CD006611. Accessed on November 30, 2016
Riaz 2015* - Riaz S, Sykes C. Are smartphone health applications effective in modifying obesity and smoking behaviours? A systematic review. Health and Technology. 2015;5(2):73-81. Accessed on December 19, 2016
Scott-Sheldon 2016* - Scott-Sheldon LAJ, Lantini R, Jennings EG, et al. Text messaging-based interventions for smoking cessation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 2016;4(2):e49. Accessed on December 19, 2016
Spohr 2015* - Spohr SA, Nandy R, Gandhiraj D, Vemulapalli A, Anne S, Walters ST. Efficacy of SMS text message interventions for smoking cessation: A meta-analysis. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2015;56:1-10. Accessed on December 19, 2016
West 2015 - West R, Raw M, McNeill A, et al. Health-care interventions to promote and assist tobacco cessation: A review of efficacy, effectiveness and affordability for use in national guideline development. Addiction. 2015;110(9):1388-1403. Accessed on May 15, 2017
Ybarra 2016* - Ybarra ML, Jiang Y, Free C, Abroms LC, Whittaker R. Participant-level meta-analysis of mobile phone-based interventions for smoking cessation across different countries. Preventive Medicine. 2016;89:90-97. Accessed on December 19, 2016

Citations - Implementation

Smokefree.gov Apps - US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS). Smokefree.gov. Smokefree Apps: QuitGuide and QuitSTART. Accessed on March 2, 2017
SmokeFreeTXT - US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS). Smokefree.gov. SmokeFree text messaging programs: SmokefreeTXT, Smokefree VET, SmokefreeMOM, Smokefree Teen, Smokefree Espanol, and SmokefreeVET en Espanol. Accessed on March 2, 2017
StopMySmoking - StopMySmoking. Quit smoking in six weeks with daily text messages designed for young adults. Center for Innovative Public Health Research. Accessed on December 19, 2016
Text2Quit - Text2Quit. Customized help to quit smoking with text messaging-based support. Accessed on December 19, 2016
UW-CTRI - University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI). Self-help websites to quit tobacco. Accessed on December 19, 2016

Page Last Updated

December 20, 2016

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