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North American Quitline Consortium
NCI Launches SmokeFreeTXT and QuitNowTXT Programs!

Dear Colleagues,
Quitlines in the U.S. and Canada may want to review NCI’s new SmokeFreeTXT and QuitNowTXT programs, announced yesterday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for opportunities to incorporate mobile interventions into your quitline/cessation programs. Please see the announcement below.
“Since January 2010, and consistent with these recommendations, HHS has invested $5 million dollars to develop its eHealth/mHealth smoking cessation resources aimed at increasing quitting attempts among teens, young adults and adults. Today, HHS is pleased to launch several new initiatives that have been guided by the HHS Text4Health Task Force.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health is launching the SmokeFreeTXT program, a mobile smoking cessation service specifically designed for teens and young adults across the United States. The service is an extension of the core smoking cessation website, www.smokefree.gov, which consistently achieves between 70,000 – 100,000 visits on a monthly basis.  Teens and young adults in the U.S. can enroll in this program by visiting http://smokefree.gov/smokefreetxt/default.aspx.

“More than 70 percent of smokers want to quit, we are committed to providing evidence based information to smokers through emerging and innovative technology,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

NCI is also launching a library of smoking cessation messages which provide the foundation for an interactive text-based intervention for adult smokers called QuitNowTXT.  The QuitNowTXT text messages offer tips, motivation, encouragement and facts based on information tailored to the user’s response and are available at http://smokefree.gov/hp.aspx. These mobile texting resources will be integrated into the department’s comprehensive tobacco control strategy to further address the burden of tobacco use across our nation.

HHS is also pursuing opportunities to forge a global public-private partnership to make the QuitNowTXT program available to other countries to reach adult tobacco users. Organizations committed to collaborating with HHS on this initiative include the mHealth Alliance (hosted by the United Nations Foundation), World Medical Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Center for Global Health at the George Washington University and Johnson & Johnson. This initiative aims to collaborate with interested countries to support mHealth/text-based demonstration projects using this new text messaging resource, which are now freely available on the mHealth Alliance’s HealthUnbound.org website. Drawing on the experience gained from these demonstration projects, the countries and partners will identify and disseminate best practices for tobacco cessation mHealth/text-based interventions.”

(Full announcement is at:  http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/09/20110919a.html)
Linda Bailey
President & CEO 
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