Combined Quitline Counseling and Text Messaging for Smoking Cessation: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Nicotine & Tobacco Research





Inclusive Pages





INTRODUCTION: This study seeks to determine whether comprehensive quitline services combined with text messaging improve smoking cessation rates beyond those achieved by offering comprehensive quitline services alone.

METHODS: The study sample consisted of callers to the Alere Wellbeing, Inc, commercial quitline in 2012. A quasi-experimental design was implemented using propensity score matching to create the intervention and control groups. The intervention group consisted of those who were offered and accepted a text message intervention in addition to usual quitline services, while the control group consisted of those who were not offered the text message intervention. Analyses utilized baseline data collected at intake, program use data (eg, call history and text message use), and reports of smoking behaviors and program satisfaction collected 6 months after intake.

RESULTS: Similar rates of 7-day abstinence were reported regardless of whether participants received combined multi-call quitline services plus text messaging (25.3%) or multi-call quitline services in isolation (25.5%), though those who received combined services reported higher treatment satisfaction (P < .05). Among those who received combined services, the number of text messages sent to the text message program predicted 7-day abstinence such that those who sent more text messages were less likely to report 7-day abstinence.

CONCLUSIONS: Text messaging may not confer additional benefits over and above those received through multi-modal, multi-call quitline programs. Future research should investigate whether text messaging programs improve quit rates when combined with less intensive services such as single-call phone counseling.

IMPLICATIONS: While the impact of quitline and text messaging services for smoking cessation have been examined in isolation, no study has explored the impact of combined services on smoking outcomes. This study examines the role of text messaging in combination with comprehensive quitline services including multi-call phone counseling, access to an interactive website and nicotine replacement therapy.

Peer Reviewed