Use Case Spotlight: Text Messages Improve a Smoker's Odds of Quitting

This week, we're highlighting a use case backed by a substantial body of research: smoking cessation. It's been found by study after study that advice, reminders and tips sent via text message are just as effective as phone counseling and nicotine replacement therapies. In fact, this meta-analysis of 13 smoking cessation studies, published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, found that on average, quit rates for text messaging intervention groups were 36% higher compared to control group quit rates. These results are significant given the wide reach and low cost of SMS programs built and deployed with TextIt.

The finding that 'text-plus' programs (e.g., text messaging plus web or in-person intervention methods) performed only slightly better than 'text-only' programs is particularly compelling, as it indicates that cost-saving measures may not affect efficacy. 

Results also indicated that message frequency affects quit rates, as fixed schedules performed better than decreasing or variable schedules. This finding falls in line with our own, which influenced the design of TextIt's campaign feature. One of the core tenets of TextIt is to enable the kinds of interactions that have been proven to work most effectively.


Most of the SMS-based smoking cessation therapies evaluated by Spohr SA et al used message broadcasts rather than two-way messaging. TextIt supports both approaches to accommodate a variety of programs. 

Interventions conducted using TextIt flows–which enable researchers to collect specific markers and send targeted responses–track two key variables:

  • Craving Level - measured in terms of intensity, e.g. "High, Medium and Low"
  • Mood Status - measured in terms of quality, e.g. "Good, Okay, Bad"

Once a participant indicates their craving level, for example, they receive a message tailored to the intensity they indicated. 

Each time a contact responds, TextIt's Update the Contact actions replace the value the category their response matched (High, Medium or Low; the responses 'High', 'Hi', or 'H' would match the 'High' category, for example) as well as the date and time. 

Those that would like to track the amount of times a contact responds may use the longitudinal approach explained here. Those who are sending flows on a schedule via a campaign may wish to create a separate flow for each checkup, each containing a set of contact fields unique to that day, so that they can see how responses change over time. 

Give it a Try

We've included a flow that contains both cravings and mood messages. Notes are included to explain pieces of the flow. Users who’ve purchased credits can download it below:

To import this flow to your account, navigate to your account page, select “Import” from the settings menu in the top right corner, and add the flow:


Go with the Flow

TextIt is changing the way organizations communicate with customers, beneficiaries, constituents and stakeholders. Whether you're interested in adding an SMS messaging channel to your communication pipeline like WebHelp Groupe, or building chat bot like HigherMe, you're guaranteed to increase engagement and efficacy. 

For Example:

  1. An E-commerce company can use TextIt to improve funnel abandonment by texting discount codes to customers who put something in their cart but don't purchase.
  2. An on-demand company can push text notifications when their delivery is on the way or manage a fleet of workers who won't be on computers but will always have their phones.  
  3. Any company can measure Net Promotor Score or Customer Satisfaction by sending messages that are more likely to be read and responded to than any other form of communication.

Follow us on Twitter to interact with a chat application built with TextIt, or create a free account to build your own. You'll be sending messages in minutes! Get in touch anytime with any questions, comments, or suggestions.