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Reducing Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure: Mobile Phone-Based Cessation Interventions

Task Force Finding

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends mobile phone-based interventions for tobacco cessation based on sufficient evidence of effectiveness in increasing tobacco use abstinence among people interested in quitting. Evidence was considered sufficient based on findings from six studies in which mobile phone-based interventions were implemented alone or in combination with Internet-based interventions.

Read the full Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement for details including implementation issues, possible added benefits, potential harms, and evidence gaps.

Intervention Definition

Mobile phone-based cessation interventions use interactive features to deliver evidence-based information, strategies, and behavioral support directly to tobacco users interested in quitting. Typically, participants receive text messages that support their quit attempt, and the message content changes over the course of the intervention.

Content may be developed or adapted for specific populations and communities. Messages may be tailored for individuals based on computer algorithms that match messages to information provided by the participant. Programs may be automated, and they may include text responses provided on demand to participants encountering urges to smoke.

Mobile phone-based interventions may be coordinated with additional interventions, such as Internet-based cessation services or provision of medications.

About the Systematic Review

This Task Force recommendation was made in December 2011. It 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).

This review was conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice and policy related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. Subscribe External Web Site Icon to be notified as new materials on this topic become available.

Supporting Materials

Publication Status

Full peer-reviewed articles of this systematic review will be posted on the Community Guide website when published. Subscribe External Web Site Icon to be notified when we post these publications or other materials. See our library for previous Community Guide publications on this and other topics.


Whittaker R, Borland R, Bullen C, et al. Mobile phone-based interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 4, Art. No.: CD006611. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006611. pub2.


The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure: mobile phone-based cessation interventions (abbreviated). Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: December 2011