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.
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.
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.
Marketing for gyms and leisure centres is unlike marketing within many other industries. It's not enough to simply gain a customer and expect to keep them indefinitely. It's important to make every attempt to keep that customer dedicated and interested in achieving their fitness goals to avoid lapsed memberships and cancellations. It's in every gym's best interest to have a loyal customer base that feels supported and encouraged to attend the gym regularly. Failure to do so can result in members who feel it is a waste of money to pay for a membership that they don't use often enough. That's where SMS marketing can make a big difference.
False Hope Syndrome happens to nearly 90 % of the people who make New Year’s resolutions. People set grand, hopeful, but unreasonable goals for themselves. But if you can get yourself to focus on something specific you want to improve, SMS messaging can help you achieve it.
Before the winter cold and flu season hits I decided to do what I can to get healthy and stay healthy. Last week I began a 21 day cleanse that involves eating lots of fruits and vegetables as well as taking supplements. A lot of supplements. So many that I really have trouble keeping track. But luckily the company that makes the cleanse I'm using offers support via SMS reminders.
People have their mobiles within arm’s reach about 22 hours of every day. That means even while they are sleeping! It makes sense then, that if you want to remind someone of an important event (an appointment with your small business for example) you should use their mobile.
For decades, all kinds of emergency personnel relied on pagers to communicate with each other and their organisations. The system was created long before the days of mobile phones or even text messaging. But now things are changing, as we explain in this blog post.
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.