Using SMS Messaging to Help People Quit Smoking
In 1948 smoking was the norm. 82% of men in Great Britain smoked cigarettes or cigars. About 41% of women smoked cigarettes that year too, according to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). Those percentages have dropped significantly down to an average of 19% of the entire population. Some age groups are higher than others, and women still smoke less than men. But it’s still nearly 12 million people.
And there’s no shortage of organisations trying to help those remaining practitioners quit smoking. These include groups that use text messaging as a means of supporting smokers while they try to quit. There’s quite a lot of evidence that text messaging can help people break bad habits, or make positive improvements in their lives. Here’s one example from George Washington University.
The programme, called Text2Quit, consisted of “automated, personalised, and interactive” text messages. The messages contained advice, support and reminders about different ways people could avoid smoking. The study found that 11.1% of participants were able to successfully stop smoking. That may not seem like much. But when compared to the 5% of people who succeeded in the control group (who didn’t receive the messages), the text messages more than doubled the amount of people who quit.
Britain’s Smokefree.com offers something similar in their Quit Kit. Smokers who sign up have the option of getting support via text message. The government has set goals for reducing smoking among the population (via programmes like Smokefree). By the end of 2015 they want to see 18.5% or fewer adult Britain’s smoking. And they’ve nearly reached that goal already according to ASH. (Here is a link to Smokefree’s comprehensive Resource Centre)
This is all great news for smokers who want to quit, but it’s also good news for any organisation looking for better ways to support their members. Whether you’re trying to help people lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more, or stay in school you might want to think about using SMS messaging. So Health Clubs are closely linked to this topic and you may therefore wish to take a look at our Health Club SMS Guide.
SMS marketing has seen a huge uplift in popularity in recent years, with big brands investing in the technology to better engage with their customers. There are so many benefits of SMS marketing, from the ability to directly to reach customers with your communications, to the fact that over 80% of SMS texts are read. With over approximately 90% of the world receiving mobile coverage, you’re highly likely to be able to reach your audience, regardless of where they are. SMS marketing is cost effective, and campaigns are quick to develop, in as short a time period as the time it takes to write a text message. This gives you the advantage of being able to communicate quickly, and effectively with customers, reacting to information almost instantaneously. With so many reasons to use SMS marketing, we’ve highlighted four sectors successfully using SMS messaging as case studies to highlight the advantages of investing in the technology.
There is something of a revolution occurring in the UK, and worldwide, where healthcare is concerned. Gone are the days of patients idly sitting and waiting for doctors to dole out advice. With 93% of the population holding a tool in their hands, anybody can use a mobile phone to access a wealth of information, just at our fingertips. SMS can maintain that feeling of instant information without causing the confusion, panic and misunderstanding so often associated with self-diagnosis.
In a report released last week by Nielsen, it turns out people want more than just to see a lower number on the scale. In their study, 75% of people worldwide plan to lose weight by changing their diet. And another 72% plan to exercise – that’s where your health club and SMS comes in.
With 64% of people stating they prefer text messaging for customer support, over voice calling – it is no wonder the hectic, often overstretched health care sector is utilising SMS messaging frequently. Below we’ve listed out a range of benefits of using text messaging within the healthcare sector.
There’s no shortage of organisations trying to help smokers quit. These include groups that use SMS as a means of supporting smokers while they try to quit. There’s quite a lot of evidence that text messaging can help people break bad habits, or make positive improvements in their lives. Here’s one example from George Washington University.
New mothers face many challenges in the days and weeks following the birth of their child. Any parent will know most of them well with lack of sleep being a primary one. But many women are also at risk for other conditions that could be prevented by regular monitoring - enter SMS.