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Mobile phone-based interventions for smoking cessation


Whittaker, R., Borland, R., Bullen, C., Lin, R., McRobbie, H. and Rodgers, A.

Subject Keywords: Mobile phones, Smoking, Smoking cessation
Topic: Burden
Chronic Conditions
Chronic Conditions
Type: Article
Region: International (other)

Most smokers start during their teens and more than 80% report having their first cigarette before their 18th birthday (Lamkin 1998). What starts as adolescent experimentation frequently leads to regular smoking; those adolescents who smoke four or more cigarettes have a high likelihood of becoming regular smokers (defined as at least one cigarette per day for 30 days) and research suggests that adolescents are also likely to understimate the addictive nature of tobacco (Lamkin 1998). However research indicates that many young smokers would like to cut down or quit smoking (Lamkin 1998). There is some evidence that smoking cessation programmes designed for adolescents are effective in the short term but not much is known about long term efficacy. Existing smoking cessation services such as advice from a health professional and nicotine replacment therapy are under-utilised by young people (Rodgers 2005). Mass media has a powerful role in influencing youth culture. Smoking behaviours, when realistically portrayed by role models or media 'stars' and associated with positive outcomes such as power, romance, social status and success, are likely to be imitated by young people. Being 'cool' is important to teenagers and if smoking is portrayed as a cool behaviour, adolescents are likely to imitate this behaviour (Watson 2003). Feeling awkward is not cool and mobile phones also provide a means for young adults to remain cool and have something to do with their hands in situations where they are alone. In this way they may be seen as an alternative to smoking. The objectives are as follows: To determine whether mobile phone-based interventions are effective at helping smokers to quit.



Rights: © The Cochrane Collaboration
Suggested citation:

Whittaker, R., Borland, R., Bullen, C., Lin, R., McRobbie, H. and Rodgers, A.. (2007) Mobile phone-based interventions for smoking cessation [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 20th November 2019].


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