“Text messages help smokers quit” – Can they motivate students?

I have always been interested in research into habit changing efforts that could possibly be instrumental in helping my students. This has led me into studying techniques related to fitness coaching, distance coaching, research into using SMS to remind people to take their meds, using SMS for weight loss, phone calling to coach people quitting drug habits and to support wellness programs, etc. Here is some late news on the same topic. To what extent do you think SMS could be used to help, spur on, encourage or remind students?

[Photo: Dave’s student, Leo, manager at an IT company.]

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Motivational text messages sent to smokers’ mobile phones can double their chances of giving up tobacco, reported The Guardian.

The story is based on a large UK study that looked at whether a six-month programme of supportive text messages could help smokers quit. It compared a group who received positive messages to another group who were given details of other support programmes. At six months, those receiving texts were twice as likely to quit, with a quitting rate of 10.7% compared to the other group’s rate of 4.9%.

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