Despite the availability of a variety of effective treatments for smoking cessation, uptake of treatments is low. The increasing use of smartphone technology presents an exceptional opportunity to expand access to low-cost smoking cessation services. In this pilot study, the investigators will use a text-messaging platform to test peer mentoring for smoking cessation, delivered by former smokers. While peer mentoring is a common approach to health behavior change, it has rarely been used to maximum effect by smoking cessation programs. The text-messaging platform serves as the basis for a randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of peer mentoring for smoking cessation. This pilot will include approximately 200 U.S. adult smokers who will be randomly assigned to a peer mentor or not. Participants in the control group will receive automated text messages used in SmokefreeTXT, a nationwide text-messaging service sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in which users receive one to five automated messages per day for up to eight weeks. Smokers in the intervention group will receive a modified version of the same automated messages from SmokefreeTXT, but with additional personalized messages from an assigned peer mentor. Mentors will provide responses to specific questions or comments a smoker may have after receiving the automated messages. The intervention will last 8 weeks. The study includes primary outcomes to measure the acceptability, engagement, user experience, and early efficacy of the intervention.
Mobile-based Peer Mentoring for Smoking Cessation: A Pilot Study