Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible?
This program is designed for teens who are quitting smoking, but anyone at least
13 years old with an unlimited texting plan on their mobile phone can sign up. If
you don’t have unlimited texts, you can still sign up, but please contact your mobile
phone company for text message rates.
What do the messages say?
Here are some sample messages:
“SmokefreeTXT: Wow, 2 weeks smokefree! Think about how much time, energy, health,
& money you have saved. You deserve to treat yourself - make today awesome.”
“SmokefreeTXT: What makes you wanna smoke? Stress? Boredom? Parties? Write down
your top 3 smoking triggers. Knowing them is the only way to avoid them!”
“SmokefreeTXT: Your dog, cat, bird, or iguana can get sick & die from 2nd hand smoke.
It sinks into fur, feathers, eyes, & skin. Think again before lighting up.”
How long does the program last?
You can sign up for SmokefreeTXT up to 14 days before the quit date you choose.
The text program will start two weeks before your quit date and last for six weeks
following your quit date. We will also follow up at one, three, and six months after
the program ends to see how you are doing.
How do I sign up?
Visit http://teen.smokefree.gov/smokefreeTXT.aspx to sign
up. Or sign up from your mobile phone! Send a text message with the word QUIT to
47848, answer a few questions, and you’ll start receiving text messages from SmokefreeTXT.
What kind of information will I have to provide to sign up?
SmokefreeTXT collects your mobile phone number, specified quit date, age, gender,
smoking frequency, and whether your mobile phone has Internet capabilities. This
information is used to enroll you into the messaging service and to personalize
your experience. No information is used for any commercial purposes.
Do I need my parent’s permission?
No, as long as you are at least 13 years old, you just need a mobile phone capable
of sending and receiving text messages. If you pay for individual texts, this program
may not be for you.
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 texts, this program may not be right for you. If
you aren’t sure if you pay for individual texts, check with your mobile carrier
before signing up, just to be safe.
If I don’t have an unlimited text messaging plan can I still participate?
You bet! 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 SmokefreeTXT program to use the keyword
messages. At any time, you can text the word WANT, BOOST, or UHOH to 47848 to receive
supportive messages from SmokefreeTXT. You can find more information under the Keywords tab at the top of the
What if I want to start over and pick a new quit date?
No problem. We will automatically ask you a status question every week that will
give you the option to keep going or start over. If you want to pick a new quit
date or start from the beginning of the program, simply opt out, and then sign up
again at http://teen.smokefree.gov/smokefreeTXT.aspx .
You can also opt out at any time by texting STOP to 47848. Even if you choose to
opt out, you can always sign back up by visiting http://teen.smokefree.gov/smokefreeTXT.aspx
—even on the same day!
What if I change my mobile number?
If you change your mobile number between the time you sign up for our program and
six weeks after your quit date (the end of the program), you will need to sign up
again on our website. We apologize for this inconvenience!
Will you ever identify me by my mobile phone number?
SmokefreeTXT will only use your mobile number for the purpose of the SmokefreeTXT
program—to send and receive the text messages you’ve signed up for or to assist
you with any technical support that you request. We will not be able to link your
mobile number to personally identifiable information like your name, physical address
or email address.
Will SmokefreeTXT ever call me?
SmokefreeTXT will never call you. Your mobile number is used solely for the purpose
of 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.
Can I “opt out” if I don’t like SmokefreeTXT?
Sure, just reply to one of our messages with STOP. Or, you can send STOP at anytime
to 47848 and the messages will end.
I’ve “opted out” by texting STOP but I’m still receiving messages. How I do
stop receiving text messages?
Oh no, we’re so sorry! Make sure you text only the word STOP to 47848. Some common
problems include the following:
- Including a space after the word STOP
- Including a punctuation mark (i.e., period, comma, exclamation point, etc.) after
the word STOP
- Having an automatic signature line in your text messages (i.e., your name, a quote,
- Having (Re:) precede each of your text messages
If none of these issues apply to you and you are still unable to opt out by texting
STOP, you can manually unsubscribe via our web form. If you continue
to receive text messages after submitting this form, please contact us at
NCISmokefreeTeam@mail.nih.gov for technical support.
If I have more questions, can I speak to someone?
You can email us at NCISmokefreeTeam@mail.nih.gov.
Or if you have questions specific to quitting smoking, you can call the NCI Quitline
(1-877-44U-QUIT) and talk to a smoking cessation counselor. It’s free and anonymous.