Feasibility and Acceptability of a Text Messaging-Based Smoking Cessation Program in Ankara, Turkey

Ybarra M. L., Holtrop J. S., BAĞCI BOSI A. T., Bilir N., Korchmaros J. D., Emri A. K. S.

JOURNAL OF HEALTH COMMUNICATION, vol.18, no.8, pp.960-973, 2013 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier


Data from high-income countries suggest that cell phone-based smoking cessation programs have the potential to affect cessation rates. There is a paucity of research, however, about the feasibility of cell phone-based smoking cessation programs in lower income countries that have higher smoking prevalence rates. A one-arm feasibility and acceptability pilot study of SMS Turkey, a text messaging-based smoking cessation program, was conducted in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. The authors recruited 75 daily smokers who were seriously thinking about quitting in the subsequent 30 days into the 6-week SMS Turkey program. Recruitment was completed in 4 months. Participant retention was high: Almost all (96%) completed the program, and 84% provided 12-week follow-up data. Most (89%) of the respondents who completed the 4-week follow-up measures (n=38, 51%) said that the text messages were easy to understand and referred to what they were experiencing and feeling during the quitting process (78%). On the basis of intention to treat, 13% of participants (n=10) reported, at 12-week follow-up, continuous abstinence since their quit date, confirmed by carbon monoxide readings. The cell phone text messaging-based smoking cessation intervention appears feasible and acceptable in Ankara, Turkey.