Frequently Asked Questions


 

Who can sign up for a Smokefree text messaging program?

You can sign up for a Smokefree text messaging program if you are at least 13 years old, use a supported mobile phone carrier in the United States, and have an unlimited texting plan on your mobile phone. You can still sign up if you don't have unlimited texts, but you may be subject to your mobile carrier’s text message rates.

Not all mobile carriers support Smokefree’s text messaging programs. Look at the list of supported mobile carriers on this page to find out if your carrier is included. If your carrier isn’t on this list, you will not be able to sign up for a text messaging program. Smokefree has many other helpful tools to help you quit, like smartphone apps, or you can speak to an expert using our LiveHelp or quitline services. And if you’re a military veteran, you can also speak to an expert by calling 1-855-QUIT-VET (1-855-784-8838).

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What do the messages say?

Smokefree text messages vary from program to program. Here are some sample messages:

  • SmokefreeTXT: Cravings are tough, but you can do this. Avoid big triggers for now & focus on beating smaller ones. Practice makes perfect.
  • SmokefreeVET: When you were deployed, you smoked to stay awake & fight boredom. You don’t have to do that anymore. Keep busy with a hobby or favorite activity.
  • HealthyYouTXT: Find something you love! Being active doesn’t have to be torture. Try something new, ramp up what you already do, or grab a buddy. Your choice!

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What are keywords and how do I use them?

A key feature of Smokefree’s text messaging programs is the ability to get on-demand messages using the keywords listed below. You can use these keywords at any time, even if you are not signed up for a program. If you are not signed up for a program and use a keyword, you will receive a response to the keyword, but you will not receive additional messages and you won’t become enrolled in the program.

To use the keywords, simply text the keyword to the phone number connected to the text messaging program.

SmokefreeTXT

Text keywords to 47848

  • CRAVE
    • You are having a bad craving and need a reminder of why you shouldn’t pick up that cigarette.
  • MOOD
    • You are having a rough day and need a positive message sent your way. We could all use a little boost sometimes.
  • SLIP
    • You slipped up and smoked. You don’t have to start from the beginning! Get the extra encouragement to keep on going.

SmokefreeTeen

Text keywords to 47848

  • WANT
    • You are having cravings and need tips for fighting them.
  • UH OH
    • You slipped and smoked. Slips happen, but we’ll give you the support you need to get back on track.
  • BOOST
    • You’re struggling with a bad mood and need a little help understanding what’s bringing you down and how to feel better.

SmokefreeMOM

Text keywords to 222888

  • CRAVE
    • You are having a bad craving and need a reminder of why you shouldn’t pick up that cigarette.
  • FACT
    • You want to learn more about smoking and how it affects babies as they develop.
  • SMOKED
    • You slipped up and smoked. You don’t have to start from the beginning! Get the extra encouragement to keep on going.

SmokefreeVET

Text keywords to 47848

  • URGE
    • You are having a strong urge to smoke and need a reminder of why you shouldn’t pick up that cigarette.
  • STRESS
    • You are having a rough day and need another way to cope besides smoking. We could all use a little boost sometimes.
  • SMOKED
    • You slipped up and smoked. That doesn't mean you have to start from the beginning! Get the extra encouragement to keep going.
  • CRISIS
    • You’re having feelings of distress, crisis, or of harming yourself or others. Call the Veterans Crisis Line immediately. This keyword will give you the contact information for the Veterans Crisis Line.

You have many options for help if you’re in distress or having suicidal thoughts:

Practice Quit and Daily Challenges

Text keywords to 47848

  • SUPPORT
    • You’re struggling with cravings, withdrawal, or other difficult times. Get the boost you need to stay motivated.
  • CRAVE
    • You are having a bad craving and need a reminder of why you shouldn’t pick up that cigarette.
  • MOOD
    • You are having a rough day and need a positive message sent your way. We could all use a little boost sometimes.
  • SLIP
    • You slipped up and smoked. You don’t have to start from the beginning! Get the extra encouragement to keep on going.

HealthyYouTXT (Eat Better)

Text keywords to 333888

  • SUPPORT
    • You’re struggling to stay motivated and need a boost of encouragement.
  • TRAVEL
    • You want tips for eating healthy while traveling.

HealthyYouTXT (Get Active)

Text keywords to 333888

  • SUPPORT
    • You’re struggling to stay motivated and need a boost of encouragement.
  • MOVE
    • You want ideas for adding more physical activity to your day.

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How long do the programs last?

The length of each program varies.

For programs that help you quit smoking for good (SmokefreeTXT, SmokefreeTeen, SmokefreeMOM, and SmokefreeVET), you can enroll up to 14 days before the quit date you choose. The text program will start up to two weeks before your quit date and last for six weeks following your quit date. We will also follow up one, three, and six months after the programs end to see how you’re doing.

The Practice Quit and Daily Challenges programs last between one and seven days, depending on what you choose.

The HealthyYouTXT program lasts about six weeks, depending on your goals.

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How do I sign up?

There are two ways to sign up for each program.

To sign up online, visit the list of Smokefree text messaging programs and select the program that matches your goals. To enroll, click on the “Sign Up Now” button. Complete the questions on the sign up page and you will begin receiving messages right away.

To sign up by text:

  • SmokefreeTXT
    • Text START to 47848
  • SmokefreeTeen
    • Text TEEN to 47848
  • SmokefreeMOM
    • Text MOM to 222888
  • SmokefreeVET
    • Text VET to 47848
  • Daily Challenges
    • Text DAILY to 47848
  • Practice Quit
    • Text PRACTICE to 47848
  • HealthyYouTXT (Eat Better)
    • Text DIET to 333888
  • HealthyYouTXT (Get Active)
    • Text FIT to 333888

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What information will I have to provide to sign up?

All programs require simple information like your mobile phone number, specified quit date, age, gender, ZIP code, smoking frequency, and whether your mobile phone has internet capabilities. Some programs may ask additional questions. This information is used to enroll you into the program, personalize your experience, and allow us to understand our users better. No information is used for commercial purposes. Find out more about how your information is used in the privacy policy.

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Is there a cost to sign up?

There is no additional fee for this service. However, message and data rates may apply. If you pay for individual text messages, you will be responsible for paying for the messages. If you aren't sure if you pay for individual texts, check with your mobile carrier before signing up, just to be safe.

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If I don’t have an unlimited text messaging plan, can I still participate?

Yes! You can still sign up for the program, but message and data rates may apply. But you do not need to sign up for the full text messaging program to use the keyword messages. For more information on how to use the keywords, check out the question “What are keywords and how do I use them?”

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What if I want to start over and pick a new quit date?

If you are in a program that helps you quit smoking for good, you have two options for starting over. Every week we will ask you if you’ve smoked in the last seven days. If you reply YES, you will be given the option to restart the program.

You can also opt out of the program at any time by texting STOP to your program. If you opt out, you can sign up again at any time by visiting the list of Smokefree text messaging programs.

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What if I change my mobile number?

If your phone number changes, you will need to sign up again under your new number. We apologize for this inconvenience.

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Will you ever identify me by my mobile phone number?

The Smokefree text messaging programs will only use your mobile number to deliver the text messaging program or provide technical support. We will not be able to link your mobile number to personally identifiable information like your name, physical address, or email address.

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Will Smokefree ever call me?

Smokefree will never call you. Your mobile number is used solely for delivering the text messaging program. Any information you provide will be kept confidential. No one else can or will contact you or try to sell you anything. Your mobile number will not be shared with any third party.

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Can I opt out if I don't like the program?

Yes. Simply reply to one of our messages with STOP. You will receive an opt-out confirmation message, which means you are no longer signed up for the text messaging program.

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I've opted out by texting STOP but I'm still receiving messages. How do I stop receiving text messages?

Oh no, we're so sorry! Make sure you text only the word STOP to your program.

You may have unsuccessfully opted out if you:

  • Accidentally included a space after the word STOP
  • Accidentally included a punctuation mark (such as period, comma, exclamation point) after the word STOP
  • Have an automatic signature line in your text messages (such as your name, a quote, an emoticon)
  • Have (Re:) precede each of your text messages

If you continue to have trouble opting out of your program, you can email us at NCISmokefreeTeam@mail.nih.gov.

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Are you a veteran who gets your health care through VA?

Try SmokefreeVET, a mobile text messaging service designed for U.S. military veterans. You can sign up online or text VET to 47848 to get started.

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If I have more questions, can I speak to someone?

If you have questions about the text messaging programs, you can email us at NCISmokefreeTeam@mail.nih.gov.

If you want to speak to a trained counselor about quitting smoking, check out our LiveHelp chat and quitline services.

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