All it takes is a simple text, “iquit,” to kick the habit.
Quitxt, a free text message and online support service, helps people beat smoking by sending them interactive messages, real-time support, hip-hop music, videos and other educational content. It is designed to help with motivation to quit, setting a quit date, handling stress and more.
The service is geared toward Latino young adults in South Texas. It was launched Oct. 13 by the Health Science Center with $1.4 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and the endorsement of the San Antonio Scorpions soccer team, SA2020 and other businesses and health groups.
“We developed Quitxt specifically for young adult Latino smokers to capitalize on their heavy usage of texting to help them quit,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., study leader and director of the Health Science Center’s Institute for Health Promotion Research. Her team worked with text message system expert David Akopian, Ph.D., from The University of Texas at San Antonio, to create the service.
Tobacco kills about 3,000 people in South Texas every year. Smoking rates are especially high among Mexican-Americans along the border and across South Texas, heightening the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Text message applications, as well as telephone and online counseling, have been shown to roughly double successful quit rates among smokers, with more impact in younger age groups.
Quitxt accepts smokers aged 18 and older. To join, text “iquit” to 57682.