Text2Quit hits 75,000 users, 32 percent quit rate

By Jonah Comstock
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text2quitText2Quit, the SMS smoking cessation program launched by Voxiva in 2011, has announced that it now has over 75,000 enrollees in every state in the US. Voxiva also told MobiHealthNews that plans are in the works for a Text2Quit app or mobile website.

The company also released some efficacy data, including preliminary data from a randomized clinical trial showing that Text2Quit users had double the quit rates at six months as the control group. That trial used saliva testing, not self-reported data, to establish quit rates.

A different trial of 503 smokers, using self-reported data, was conducted at George Washington University. That study found that 32 percent of Text2Quit users had quit after six months on the program vs 20 percent of non-users. The Text2quit users were also engaged with the intervention: 83 percent had read all or most of the text messages, according to the exit survey.

"We're just very excited because we know that Text2Quit is something that's effective, it addresses a big health need, and people really like it," said Pamela Johnson, Voxiva's Chief Medical Officer. "They feel it gives them confidence. We're just excited that it's getting so widespread."

Alere Wellbeing and Voxiva signed a deal in 2011 that seemed to give Alere exclusive access to the Text2Quit technology. At the time, the press release said "[u]nder the agreement, Alere obtains the exclusive right to offer Voxiva’s Text2Quit service." However, Johnson told MobiHealthNews the agreement doesn't prohibit Voxiva from offering Text2Quit directly to consumers or working with other providers and employers.

"Our exclusivity agreement with Alere covers working with them on QuitLines," she said. "However, Text2Quit is a standalone program and we are free to offer it directly to the public, health insurers and providers."

In fact, Johnson said, a wide range of partners is a key part of the Text2Quit outreach strategy, much as it is for Voxiva's flagship product Text4Baby. She said the main difference between the two programs is a focus on interactivity, which has been more important in Text2Quit's strategy.

"Text4Baby was initiated as, largely, a broadcast health intervention, where there were three messages a week that were targeted by gestational age. Text2Quit has been incredibly interactive on many fronts. We ask 'Do you want to set a quit date or not?' 'When do you want to quit?' And they can choose a coach to help them."

Text4Baby added a mobile website with video features in May, and Johnson said the company is working on something similar for Text2Quit, developing apps and mobile websites for the service. She also said the company is working on a special service that would combine the expertise of the two programs, geared at pregnant women who are trying to quit smoking.

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