Text-based messaging interventions improve smoking cessation rates

Text-based messaging interventions improve smoking cessation rates

Brian McAvoy
Clinical question

How effective are mobile phone‐based smoking cessation interventions (mCessation) for increasing smoking cessation rates?

Bottom line

There was moderate‐certainty evidence that text message‐based interventions improved smoking cessation rates, either delivered on their own or as an add‐on to other treatments. These interventions increased quit rates by 50–60%. There was not enough evidence to determine the effect of smartphone apps.


Most of the studies were of high quality, although 3 studies had high dropout rates. Studies measured smoking for 6 months or longer. Most studies were conducted in high-income countries.


mCessation support offers the opportunity to provide behavioural support to those who cannot access, or do not want, face‐to‐face support. In addition, mCessation can be automated and, therefore, can be provided affordably even in resource‐poor settings.

Cochrane Systematic Review

Whittaker R et al. Mobile phone text messaging and app-based interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Reviews, 2019, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD006611. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006611.pub5. This review contains 26 studies involving 33,849 participants.