Cite this article

NIDA. (2012, February 2). No More Smoking: A "Quit" Coach Is Just a Text Message Away. Retrieved from

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Sara Bellum
February 2 2012
Logo for Smoke Free Teens

For anyone who resolves to stop smoking, help is as close as your cell phone.

According to NIDA’s 2011 Monitoring the Future survey results, teen smoking rates are currently at their lowest since the survey began in 1975. However, many teens continue to take up the habit—19 percent of 12th-graders reported past-month cigarette use.

Why Quitting is Hard

By now, we all know that smoking has negative health effects. These include lung and heart disease and particularly cancer—since cigarettes contain chemicals that are carcinogenic, or cancer-causing. However, when it comes to quitting, the main problem is nicotine. Nicotine is addictive and makes quitting notoriously hard.

To help teens quit, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently launched SmokefreeTXT, a free text-to-quit [post removed] service that sends text messages with encouragement, advice, and tips directly to teens’ cell phones.

How It Works

Sign up at or text “QUIT” to “iQUIT” (47848) and provide the date you smoked last. After that, you’ll receive text messages for up to 6 weeks. Research shows that support for quitting continues to be important beyond the first few weeks.

Where to Learn More

The text-to-quit campaign is just one feature of a broader effort to encourage teens to quit smoking. NCI’s new Smokefree Teen Web site features information, quizzes, comics, and other resources to help teens understand the decisions they make and to take control of their health.

Smokefree Teen also offers a free smartphone app, QuitSTART—an interactive guide that provides mood management tips, tracks cravings, and monitors quit attempts.

You can find Smokefree Teen on several social media pages to connect other teens with tools to help them quit.Think about “liking” Smokefree Teen on Facebook, even if you don’t smoke, to show support for your friends or family who are trying to quit.

Is 2012 the year of texting for healthy living? Let us know if you think campaigns like these can help you stay committed to your resolutions.