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Tobacco Use: Mobile Phone-Based Cessation Interventions


What the CPSTF Found

About The Systematic Review

The CPSTF finding is based on evidence published in 2009 (Whittaker et al., search period through December 2008) combined with more recent evidence (search period December 2008–August 2011).

The systematic review was conducted on behalf of the CPSTF by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice, and policy related to reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure.

Summary of Results

Detailed results from the systematic review are available in the CPSTF Finding and Rationale Statement pdf icon [PDF - 234 KB].

The systematic review included six studies.

  • Mobile phone interventions used alone increased cessation rates by a median of 2.9 percentage points at six months (3 studies).
  • Mobile phone interventions used in combination with internet-based components increased cessation rates by a median of 9 percentage points at six months (3 studies).

Summary of Economic Evidence

An economic review of this intervention did not find any relevant studies.


Applicability of the CPSTF finding to U.S. settings and populations is unclear and requires additional research. This is especially true for populations with disparities in tobacco use or access to cessation services and for older adults.

Evidence Gaps

The CPSTF identified several areas that have limited information. Additional research and evaluation could help answer the following questions and fill remaining gaps in the evidence base. (What are evidence gaps?)

  • Are interventions effective and cost-effective in the United States?
  • What are the costs of sustaining programs (e.g., promoting services to recruit participants)?
  • How would programs vary in effectiveness and cost-effectiveness by setting (e.g., health departments and organizations, health care systems, quitline services)?

Study Characteristics

  • Studies were conducted in Norway, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
  • All six included studies were randomized controlled trials and assessed self-reported (4 studies) or biochemically verified (2 studies) cessation outcomes at 6- or 12-month follow-up.
  • The median loss to follow-up rate was 10%.
  • One study included nicotine replacement therapy, which was provided to participants in both the intervention and comparison groups.