STOMP (STop Smoking Over Mobile Phone)
The estimated number of smokers in the world is 1.3 billion. As at November 2007 there are 3.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions representing more than 50% of the human population. Globally, smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death (US Department of Health, 2001).
STOMP (STop smoking Over Mobile Phone) is the first program to be supported by the Health Messaging Engine, licensed exclusively from the University of Auckland Clinical Trials Research Unit. Research conducted by the University revealed that:
- More than 80% of smokers have their first cigarette before their 18th birthday.
- The majority of young smokers want to quit or cut down over the course of a year.
- Existing smoking cessation services such as advice from health professionals and nicotine replacement therapy are under-utilized by young adults.
- The large majority of young adults in high and middle-income countries own a mobile phone.
The CTRU ran a randomized-controlled trial of over 1700 participants throughout New Zealand. Participants in the trial were allocated to one of two groups, a control group who received no SMS intervention content, and a group that received a program of SMS delivered intervention messages. The intervention showed a two-fold increase in self-reported quit rates at six weeks (28% compared to 13%). The results were consistent across subgroups defined by age, sex, income level and geographic location.
Under the STOMP program up to 480 customized text messages are sent to each participant over the twenty-six week program duration. The texts are regular, program-based messages providing smoking cessation advice, support and distraction.
Relevant content includes:
- Personalized Cessation Support – text message content tailored to the target participants
- Quit Tips – consistent and helpful text messages reminding the participant of the overall goal to quit smoking
- Culturally Relevant Messages – text messages tailored for specific cultural and language requirements
- Smoking Facts – general fact text messages that help reinforce smoking cessation
- Craving & Slip Up Support – responsive text message content for participants craving a cigarette or those who have smoked a cigarette
- Polling –participants can text their answers to questions posed by providers, and then view results.
- Message Blackouts –participants can designate one specific period per day during which STOMP will not send them messages
- Relapse Program – a 4-week intensive program which participants can enroll in if they started smoking again, but still wish to quit
Importantly, the Healthphone Messaging Engine delivers STOMP messages in a cycle and volume that aligns with a smoker’s quit stage.
Text messages can be provided in multiple languages for ethnic populations that typically have a higher propensity to smoke.
For more information:
- Case Study - The Quit Group (PDF)
- STOMP flyer for health providers (PDF)
- STOMP flyer for large employers or insurers (PDF)
- "Texting 4 Health" Chapter 5 - Text "Ahhhhh" for Me Please (PDF)
- American Public Health Association March 2009 article - see 2nd page, 4th column (PDF)
- SingTel's Txt2Quit brochure (1.7 MB PDF)
- Fujitsu STOMP flyer (PDF)
- University of Auckland CTRU research results (link - free registration)