Since being published in The Lancet, the “txt2stop” study, which has been proven to double quit rates, has been rolled-out as a service across England.
The programme provides quitters with motivational messages and behavioural change support. It was found to be hugely successful when tested in a single-blind randomised trial involving more than 5,500 smokers across the UK which was supported by the Primary Care Research Network.
The study found that the quitting success rate of txt2stop study participants was over double that of a group of patients receiving the standard NHS smoking cessation package – 10.7 per cent compared to 4.9 per cent.
Earlier this year, lead researcher Dr Cari Free worked with the Department of Health to roll-out the programme as a service to smokers across England. Over 5,000 people have joined up, with over 1,000 quitters at the four week mark. On accepting the award Dr Cari Free acknowledge the support of the Network.
RCGP Chair, Professor Clare Gerada, said:
“This study is a reflection of the calibre and the importance of the research that GPs are undertaking. GPs see patients affected by the devastating effects of smoking every day, and yet smoking is entirely preventable, so any effective tool that GPs can use to help their patients stop is important.”
The study authors will present their research at the 2012 RCGP Annual Primary Care Conference in Glasgow in October, this year being held in conjunction with the Society for Academic Primary Care.
Txt2stop is now one of the ‘ways to quit’ offered on http://smokefree.nhs.uk. Alternatively GPs in England can employ the new service by asking smokers who want to quit to text “TXTHELP to 63818”.