ATTUD Journal Club Postings

Texts and Apps for Smoking Cessation

The use of texts and apps to deliver smoking cessation treatments has many potential advantages.  They are easy to use, cost-effective, have tailored content, can send time-sensitive information, be used for social support.  They can be especially important in places and persons where access to treatment is limited (eg, even in low and middle income countries 61% have phone access to the internet. 

A recent Cochrane Review (Whittaker et al, 2019) reviewed 26 studies and reported a RR of 1.5 when used as a stand alone.  Importantly it also found they increased(RR=1.6) quit rates when used on top of medications and in-person treatment.

Unfortunately, I could not find decent data on how acceptable these treatments are and whether they are especially helpful for vulnerable populations.  Also, these treatments could be helpful as motivational tools for those who are currently not ready to quit but the Cochrane review did not report on this possible use.