HHS Launches Text-Messaging Based Smoking Cessation Resources

Sep 20, 2011, 7:16 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth


On the same day that a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) task force released recommendations on health text messaging, HHS also announced some new text messaging smoking cessation resources:

  • The National Cancer Institute launched the SmokeFreeTXT program, a mobile smoking cessation service designed for teens and young adults. Users enroll at the site to begin receiving the text messages.
  • NCI is also launching QuitNowTXT, aimed at adults, which offers text messages that provide tips, motivation, encouragement and smoking and cessation facts based on information tailored to a user’s responses. The program offers a text message library for health departments, academic institutions and government agencies to pull from.

“Mobile device texting initiatives [like these] have the potential to be a powerful tool to support tobacco cessation globally,” says HHS Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. “Text messaging is widely available, inexpensive, and allows for immediate delivery of cessation information.”

>>For more on mobile initiatives in public health, take a look at the NewPublicHealth story, Public Health: There's an App for That.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.