Want to kick the smoking habit? Text messages can help.

Peer pressure may lead people to start smoking, but now technology is allowing social support for cell phone users who want to quit, ScienceDaily reports.

A trial program called txt2stop studied the effect that supportive text messages had on smokers who wanted to kick the habit. The study, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and funded by the Medical Research Council, found that people who received the periodic stop-smoking texts were more likely to stop than smokers in a control group.

This isn't the first evidence we've seen of the power of positive social support on smoking cessation. A 2008 study by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego, found that people tend to quit smoking in groups. According to a story in the New York Times, the researchers said one person's decision to stop smoking could have a ripple effect on the smoking habits of that person's entire social network.

About the Author

Donald White is an assistant managing editor with 1105 Government Information Group.

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