Attitudes towards SMS text message smoking cessation support: a qualitative study of pregnant smokers

Felix Naughton, James Jamison, Stephen Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


SMS text messaging shows promise for delivering smoking cessation support. However, little is known about smokers' feelings towards receiving behavioural advice and support on their mobile phones. This article explores the attitudes of women with experience of prenatal smoking towards receiving pregnancy-related smoking cessation support by text message. Data collected by semi-structured interviews and focus group from women who received either tailored smoking cessation texts or no text support (N = 33) were analysed using thematic analysis. Three themes emerged: convenience, high expectations and perceived source. Texting was regarded as a highly convenient mode of support delivery leading to high levels of attention to messages, although high convenience sometimes resulted in the value of a text being short-lived. Many who did not receive texts had high expectations for text support to intervene with routine smoking behaviour in real time. Those who received texts (with no real-time intervention element), however, felt they were helpful and supportive. Participants discussed how factors relating to perceived source, including personalization, personal relevance and salience of text automatization, could affect message attention and impact. Our findings provide insight into how maximizing personalization and personal relevance can increase the value of text message support and reduce the risk of disengagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-922
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number5
Early online date2 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • England
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge
  • Humans
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Social Support
  • Text Messaging
  • Young Adult

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