I tried to quit smoking three times before I finally quit for good 15 years ago. At the time, I had already been smoking at least a pack a day for over 10 years. It still makes me shudder to think of the damage that I did to my health and relieved that I was able to quit when I did. I know how hard it is to quit. But I also know how important it is too.
So I was pretty glad to see this new study that found a way that just might make it easier for some folks to kick the nasty smoking habit. The study followed 5,800 smokers as they tried to quit smoking and found that those who received motivational text messages during their attempt were twice as likely to succeed as those who did not.
For the study, smokers were sent five texts a day for the first five weeks and three texts a week for the next 26 weeks. The texts were general, with messages such as "TXT2STOP: think you'll put on weight when you quit? We're here to help - We'll TXT weight control and exercise tips, recipes, and motivation tips."
Not exactly ground breaking stuff, but the smokers in the study reported that the text messages helped them feel less isolated while they tried to quit. Participants could also text anytime they needed help during cravings or relapses to receive tips and motivation.
The study was conducted by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and published in the British medical journal The Lancet.