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Delivering Smoking Cessation Support by Mobile Phone Text Message: What Information do Smokers Want? A Focus Group Study


  • This research was supported by grants from Cancer Research UK (C1345/A8215) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research (SPCR).

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to James Jamison, Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health & Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0SR, UK. E-mail:


Recent advances in technology have given rise to novel methods of delivering support to smokers wanting to quit. Mobile phone text messaging permits the delivery of quitting advice at any time, with little effort and at minimal cost. We examined smokers' attitudes toward text messaging as a tool to facilitate smoking cessation as well as preferences for message content and text delivery. Six focus groups were conducted from a total of 24 participants, with additional information obtained via paper questionnaire. Interaction with the text messaging system, tailoring message content and delivery, highlighting the positive effects of quitting, and offering encouragement by text were considered important features of a text support program. Future text messaging interventions may benefit from these findings.