Text messages often have little informative or higher value -- :), :(, lol, whats up? But some of those that do just might be able to help smokers kick the habit.
In a UK intervention called -- what else? -- “txt2stop,” 5,800 people trying to quit smoking received either personalized text messages encouraging them to abstain or were part of a control group that received texts unrelated to quitting smoking. Participants were texted five times a day for five weeks, then three times a day for 26 weeks.
Quitters could also text “crave” to the service and receive response texts to distract and support them, such as:
“Cravings last less than 5 minutes on average. To help distract yourself, try sipping a drink slowly until the craving is over.”
Or, if they gave in and smoked, participants could text “lapse” and receive a series of texts reminding them of their progress so far and encouraging them to keep going. An example "lapse" response: