With SmokefreeTXT, teens pick a quit date and receive text messages leading up to that day. But unlike some similar programs in the past, what’s interesting about this is that it is a 2-way system.
According to Infield – the company that helped develop the program — the service asks questions such as, “do u think it will b hard to stop smoking?” and tailors the program’s response based on the answer. It can also detect open ended questions from the participant (like “Is the nicotine patch safe?”) in order to ensure that the teen receives a reply. The program also allow teens to text in “WANT, PANIC, MOOD, SUPPORT, & UHOH” for tailored support.
Perhaps most importantly, NIH can tweak the messaging on the back-end in real-time based on individual responses and response rates — allowing the program to constantly improve. Since the program is new, there’s no data yet on its effectiveness — but a similar program in New Zealand was shown to double teen quit rates from 13% to 28%.