Online Program

Measuring the potential for text messaging in cessation: An analysis of self-reported quit data among smokefreetxt users

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Amy Sanders, MA, Communicate Health, Rockville, MD
Shani Taylor, MHS, Marketing, Interactive, and Technology Division, ICF International, Rockville, MD
Samantha Post, MPH, MMG, Inc., Rockville, MD
Allison Vargo, MMG, Inc., Rockville, MD
Yvonne Hunt, PhD, MPH, Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Erik Augustson, PhD, MPH, Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Background: Currently, 45.3 million adults in the U.S. smoke. While almost 70 percent of smokers want to quit, many of them try but fail. Nationally, the annual quit rate among adult smokers is approximately 6 percent. Unless meaningful efforts are made to help smokers quit, many will remain lifelong smokers. In an attempt to scale up traditional smoking cessation interventions, the National Cancer Institute launched SmokefreeTXT, the first federally recognized, evidence-informed text messaging cessation program available to U.S. smokers. SmokefreeTXT leverages the high usage rates of text messaging across various populations to reach quitters who may benefit from immediate connections and frequent encouragement. Methods and Results: SmokefreeTXT users receive cessation messaging for six to eight weeks, and are routinely evaluated throughout the program. The presentation will focus on three key self-reported metrics at weekly intervals throughout treatment: 1) abstinence, 2) mood status, and 3) craving level. Additionally, self-reported quit rates at the end of treatment, and at 1-, 3- and 6-months post treatment will be highlighted. Both quantitative and qualitative data analyzed from user profiles will be discussed to describe the program's reach and efficacy. The analysis of cessation outcomes will be intent-to-treat and based on data between May 2012 and May 2013.Conclusions & Implications: Mobile technologies offer great potential to impact health awareness and behavior change for large, diverse audiences. Preliminary analyses of quit rates and user feedback among SmokefreeTXT participants suggests that the text messaging program is effective in promoting successful cessation through a rich mobile experience.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the capabilities of a mobile cessation program, including the immense data collection opportunities. Demonstrate the potential to influence cessation outcomes through a dynamic text messaging program. Discuss next steps for further program evaluation Identify lessons learned from an adoption standpoint and clearly state the promotional and partnership efforts needed to scale a program of this nature.

Keyword(s): Tobacco Control, Communication Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on the SmokefreeTXT Campaigns and have been a contractor for the National Cancer Institute for over 14 months, and have extensive knowledge of both SmokefreeTXT program and the overall Smokefree project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.