National Cancer Institute expands texting program for teen smokers

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The National Cancer Institute has teamed up with mobile platform vendor Mobile Commons to expand the SmokeFreeTxt program aimed at teen smokers.

NCI launched the SmokeFreeTxt program last December; now Mobile Commons will add some depth to the text messaging program, according to an mHIMSS article. Mobile Commons offers integrated text, voice and web applications with customer resource management systems and databases. It also provides NCI with social marketing tools for the texting program, plus real-time analytics and reporting tools, company officials say.

The SmokeFreeTxt program itself has been ramping up since December, and the NCI plans a major marketing push to gain new participants this summer, according to a story at MobileMarketer.com.

The program is relatively simple--participants choose a quit date and  get motivational messages leading up to the date  and for six weeks after it. NCI officials say they hope that connecting with teen smokers on  their phones, they'll improve the quit rate.

New research, though, shows that the technology itself isn't necessarily the strongest factor in a smoker's decision to quit. Penn State researchers identified a subset of smokers who struggle far more than most to quit, mainly because their nicotine cravings never abate after quitting. Researchers created a messaging program to probe this connection, and determine if a different motivational message or a trigger-based approach might help this group quit more successfully.

To learn more:
- read the mHIMSS story.
- check out MobileMarketer's piece.

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