Nearly 20 percent of teens smoke. About three-qurters of teens have cell phones. And teens love to text.
The National Cancer Institute has put all this together and developed a smoking cessation program it hopes will appeal to the unique smoking patterns and lifestyle of teens: A free 24/7 text message service providing encouragement, advice and tips for teens on how to stop smoking.
According to a 2010 Pew Research Center report, Teens, Cell Phones and Texting: About 75 percent of 12-17 year-olds own cell phones, up from 45 percent in 2004. And 72 percent of all teens — or 88 percent of teen cell phone users are text messaging.
Teens who want to check out the NCI text message service to help quit smoking can take a look at the website at www.teen.smokefree.gov, or text QUIT to the short code iQUIT or 47848.
NOTE: Those who pay for individual text messages, be sure and check with your mobile provider about the potential cost. Those with limited texting can see the above website for advice on how to limit the number of help messages they receive.
The website has a lot of information geared to teens, including teen moods, social life and smoking triggers, plus quizzes on relationships, secondhand smoke, stress, weight and fitness, depression and decision-making.