A NEW FRONTIER IN HEALTH TECHNOLOGY: The Role of SMS Text-Based Messaging as a Smoking Cessation Intervention

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Jabali K Wells


Smoking cessation intervention, behavioral modification, mobile health technology, SMS texting


In the past century, technology has played an increasingly important role in the delivery of health. Traditionally, health technology has been defined by instruments that have actively aided in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Now, however, the focus of health technology has become centered on the transmission, processing, and storing of health information to decrease costs and improve resource allocation. Mobile health (mHealth) is an emerging component of health information technology (HIT) that utilizes mobile devices to deliver health care. Short messaging service (SMS) texting
has gained increased attention as an affordable, ubiquitous form of mHealth to promote smoking cessation. Research in this area has been limited, but is growing rapidly. However, the ability of such interventions to facilitate long-term behavioral change remains unknown. Nonetheless, SMS text-based interventions contain a great deal of promise, and their potential health gains continue to be investigated.