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Smoking Cessation Via Text Messaging: Feasibility Testing of SMS USA

Phase 1/Phase 2
18 Years
25 Years
Not Enrolling
Smoking Cessation

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Trial Information

Smoking Cessation Via Text Messaging: Feasibility Testing of SMS USA

About one in four young adults are current smokers. Although over half report the desire to
quit or cut down, quit rates in this age group have remained stagnant in the last ten years.
Text messaging may represent a compelling intervention delivery method for smoking cessation
for young adults because it is a medium they have widely adopted. Cell phone interventions
also are unique because of their 'always on' capability - interventions are never far from
the young adult's reach and they are received automatically instead of requiring the
participant to initiate contact in order to receive the information. Dr. Ybarra, along with
Drs. Holtrop and Graham, have developed SMS Turkey, an innovative behavioral intervention
that uses text messaging to deliver CBT-based smoking cessation information to participants
daily. Successful use of text messaging to deliver smoking cessation programs has been
reported by Rodgers and colleagues in New Zealand and a replication study they are leading
in the UK. These data provide optimism for the feasibility of text messaging-based smoking
cessation programs in the United States. Using qualitative methods to inform design and
content, and quantitative methods to assess the feasibility of the program, we propose to
design and test SMS (Stop My Smoking) USA, a cell-phone based smoking cessation program for
young adults ages 18-25. This innovative smoking cessation program uses technology widely
adopted by young adults, an under-targeted population, to deliver a proactive, cognitive
behavioral therapy (CBT)-based intervention. Our multidisciplinary team of researchers
brings together expertise in Internet health and the design of tailored smoking cessation

Inclusion Criteria:

- 28 cigarettes or more per week (at least 4/day) and on at least 6 days/week.

- Owning a text-capable cell phone and cognizant of how to send and receive text

- Currently enrolled or intending to enroll in an unlimited text messaging plan

- Enrolled with a major cell phone carrier

- Agree to verification of smoking cessation status by a significant other

- Able to read and write in English

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Subject), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

Continuous abstinence

Outcome Description:

We will measure continuous abstinence as 5 or fewer cigarettes smoked since one's quit date: "Have you smoked at all, even just a puff, since [insert quit date]?" If yes, the respondent will be probed for how many cigarettes were smoked. Responses will be categorized into one of three options: A) No, not a puff; B) 1-5 cigarettes; C) More than 5 cigarettes. Abstinence will be defined by smoking five or fewer cigarettes.

Outcome Time Frame:

3-months post-quit

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Michele Ybarra, MPH PhD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Center for Innovative Public Health Research


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

June 2009

Completion Date:

December 2011

Related Keywords:

  • Smoking Cessation
  • Cellular Phone
  • Mobile Phone
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Technology
  • Smoking cessation
  • young adults
  • Smoking



Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc. Santa Ana, California  92705