A world first study being conducted in New Zealand using mobile phone text messaging to help people quit smoking has drawn a huge response, says the study's director.
Dr Anthony Rodgers, of the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Auckland, says the trial has received over 2,000 enquires since it started last August. Over 1,300 people are currently enrolled in the study, he says.
"We recruit participants for a wide range of trials, including weight-loss studies, but the response to STOMP has been extraordinary."
"New Year is when a lot of people will traditionally swear off cigarettes. The interest shown in STOMP (Stop Smoking with Mobile Phones Trial) shows a real level of need."
The programme has been developed for 18 - 35 year olds, who have the highest smoking rates but lowest uptake of existing stop-smoking programmes, Rodgers says.
Participants on the study can pull personalised messages to distract them or bolster their resolve when they feel the urge to light up. They also receive regular support and motivational text messages.
Two very popular features are "txt crave", which allows smokers to pull text messages on demand and "quit buddy", which matches up participants based on their age and quit date so they can help each other. Many participants request a buddy of the opposite sex, says Rodgers.
News source: nzoom - Kiwis quit with TXT messaging