March 2012

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Health Capsule

Mobile App Helps Teens Quit Smoking

A new effort to help teens quit smoking will use one of their most constant companions: the mobile phone. SmokefreeTXT is a free text message service from NIH that provides 24/7 encouragement, advice and tips for teens trying to quit smoking.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Its health consequences build up over time and include many different types of cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases.

Nearly 20% of teens are current smokers. “Unless we make efforts to intervene today, they will most likely continue smoking into adulthood,” says Dr. Yvonne Hunt, a program director in tobacco control research at NIH.

Many teens want to quit. Go online to To enroll on the go using a mobile phone, text QUIT to iQUIT (47848).