Moms-to-be, want to give up smoking? Now a text programme can help you ‘kick the butt’ | fitness | Hindustan Times
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Moms-to-be, want to give up smoking? Now a text programme can help you ‘kick the butt’

Quit4baby is targeted to smoking cessation and sends more text messages--between 1 and 8 per day aimed at bolstering a pregnant woman’s resolve to quit.

fitness Updated: Oct 02, 2017 14:26 IST
Very little help is provided to pregnant smokers who want to quit.
Very little help is provided to pregnant smokers who want to quit. (Shutterstock)

Want to kick the butt during pregnancy? An intensive text messaging programme can help pregnant women get rid of the habit. “Our findings show that a text messaging program helped some groups of pregnant women quit smoking during pregnancy,” says lead author Lorien C. Abroms of the George Washington University. “The study’s findings suggest a potential new quitting strategy, especially for those later in their pregnancies and older pregnant women.”

The researchers recruited pregnant women who were already enrolled in an established text messaging program called Text4baby. Text4baby has been found to have a positive health impact on alcohol consumption during pregnancy--but not smoking. Abroms and her team wanted to find out if a more intensive mobile phone program called Quit4baby would be more effective. To find out, the team recruited nearly 500 pregnant women, who smoked an average of 7 cigarettes per day and wanted more help to quit.

Quit4baby is targeted to smoking cessation and sends more text messages--between 1 and 8 per day aimed at bolstering a pregnant woman’s resolve to quit. The messages help educate the women about the health risks associated with smoking and they are interactive--allowing a woman to text back for more help if she is experiencing a craving or goes back to smoking.

After three months, 16% of the women who were enrolled in both Text4baby and Quit4baby had quit compared with just 11% of women getting just Text4baby. However, the difference between the two groups did not reach statistical significance, the authors say.

The more intensive intervention did seem to help two subgroups quit smoking at least in the short run, Abroms says. The combo of Text4baby and Quit4baby helped women age 26 and older and those in the second and third trimester of pregnancy quit through the delivery date and in some cases beyond. However, the researchers found that the resolve to quit seemed to disappear postpartum as many of these women started smoking again.

Very little help is provided to pregnant smokers who want to quit so the study’s findings are important, especially if the strategy can be adjusted to be more effective, Abroms noted. Despite the health risks, about 10 percent of women smoke throughout their pregnancy in the United States.

The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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