New Study Highlights Potential of Mobile Health Interventions for Smoking Cessation

A new study explores the efficacy of a behavior change theory-based smoking cessation intervention using personalized text messages in China. The study found that personalized text messages doubled the 6-month quit rate compared to non-personalized messages. This press release discusses the findings and their implications for smoking cessation interventions.

Jun 21, 2023 - 08:01
Jun 30, 2023 - 20:52
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New Study Highlights Potential of Mobile Health Interventions for Smoking Cessation
Smoking Cessation strategies

Smoking is a major public health concern worldwide, and successful smoking cessation strategies are crucial for reducing tobacco use. However, providing universal smoking cessation support can be challenging for most countries due to limited resources. One way to expand access to smoking cessation interventions is by using mobile technologies to provide personalized support.

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine explores the efficacy of a behavior change theory-based smoking cessation intervention using personalized text messages in China. The randomized clinical trial involved 722 current smokers in China who were randomly assigned to receive either a personalized or non-personalized text message intervention.

The study found that participants who received the personalized text message intervention had a 6-month quit rate that was twice that of participants who received an intervention using non-personalized text messages. These findings provide new evidence supporting the utility of mobile health methods for smoking cessation and may inform future interventions in China and beyond.

Authors, explains the rationale behind the study: "Smoking is a major public health issue in China, where over 300 million people smoke. Providing universal smoking cessation support can be challenging due to limited resources. We wanted to explore whether mobile technologies could be used to provide personalized support and improve quit rates."

The study used a behavior change theory-based approach to develop personalized text messages tailored to each participant's stage of readiness to quit smoking. The messages were designed to provide social support, self-efficacy enhancement, cognitive restructuring, and relapse prevention strategies. Participants received daily text messages for 12 weeks, followed by weekly messages for an additional 12 weeks. The messages were sent through the WeChat app, the most popular Chinese social media app.

The study found that participants who received the personalized text message intervention were more likely to quit smoking than those who received non-personalized messages. At the 6-month follow-up, the quit rate was 11.1% in the personalized message group and 5.0% in the non-personalized message group.

 Authors, noted that the study's findings have important implications for smoking cessation interventions in China and beyond: "Our study shows that personalized text messages can be an effective and scalable way to support smoking cessation. This approach could be particularly useful in low- and middle-income countries where resources for smoking cessation are limited."

 The study also highlights the importance of using behavior change theory to inform smoking cessation interventions. By tailoring messages to each participant's stage of readiness to quit smoking, the intervention was able to provide targeted support that was more likely to be effective. In addition, the study's use of mobile technologies is noteworthy. With over 3 billion smartphone users worldwide, mobile health interventions have the potential to reach a large and diverse population.

The study has some limitations, however. First, it was conducted only in China, so it is unclear whether these findings would generalize to other countries or populations. Second, there were only six female smokers in the cohort, so the results may not be fully representative of female smokers. Despite these limitations, the study provides new evidence supporting the utility of mobile health methods for smoking cessation. The personalized text message intervention was found to be effective at improving quit rates among current smokers in China.

The study's authors hope that their findings will encourage further research into mobile health interventions for smoking cessation and other public health issues. "Mobile technologies have enormous potential for improving public health,". "The study may inspire others to explore how these technologies can be used to support behavior change and improve health outcomes."

In conclusion, this new study provides promising evidence that personalized text messages can double quit rates among current smokers in China. By tailoring messages to each participant's stage of readiness to quit smoking, the intervention was able to provide targeted support that was more likely to be effective. The study's use of mobile technologies is also noteworthy, as it highlights the potential for scalable and accessible smoking cessation interventions. While the study has some limitations, its findings have important implications for smoking cessation interventions in China and beyond. The use of behavior change theory to inform smoking cessation interventions, as well as the use of mobile technologies, could be particularly useful in low- and middle-income countries where resources for smoking cessation are limited.

 This study is a significant contribution to the field of public health and highlights the potential of mobile health interventions for improving health outcomes. As more people around the world gain access to smartphones and other mobile devices, mobile health interventions have the potential to reach a large and diverse population.

The study's authors hope that their findings will encourage further research into mobile health interventions for smoking cessation and other public health issues. By leveraging the power of technology to provide personalized support, we can improve health outcomes and reduce the burden of tobacco use on individuals and society.

If you or someone you know is trying to quit smoking, consider exploring personalized text message-based smoking cessation interventions like those used in this study. With targeted support tailored to your stage of readiness to quit smoking, you may be more likely to succeed in your efforts to quit.


Reference: 

Lin, H., Liu, Y., Zhang, H., Zhu, Z., Zhang, X., & Chang, C. (2023). Assessment of a Text Message–Based Smoking Cessation Intervention for Adult Smokers in China: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Network Open6(3), e230301-e230301.

Disclaimer: The image(s) featured in this article are for illustrative purposes only and may not directly depict the specific concepts, situations, or individuals discussed in the content. Their purpose is to enhance the reader's understanding and visual experience. Please do not interpret the images as literal representations of the topics addressed. 

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