Proactive text messaging (GetReady2Quit) and nicotine replacement therapy to promote smoking cessation among smokers in primary care: A pilot randomized trial protocol

Contemp Clin Trials. 2019 May;80:48-54. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2019.03.006. Epub 2019 Mar 25.


Introduction: Most smokers see a physician each year, but few use any assistance when they try to quit. Text messaging programs improve smoking cessation in community and school settings; however, their efficacy in a primary care setting is unclear. The current trial assesses the feasibility and preliminary clinical outcomes of text messaging and mailed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) among smokers in primary care.

Methods: In this single-center pilot randomized trial, eligible smokers in primary care are offered brief advice by phone and randomly assigned to one of four interventions: (1) Brief advice only, (2) text messages targeted to primary care patients and tailored to quit readiness, (3) a 2-week supply of nicotine patches and/or lozenges (NRT), and (4) both text messaging and NRT. Randomization is stratified by practice and intention to quit. The text messages (up to 5/day) encourage those not ready to quit to practice a quit attempt, assist those with a quit date through a quit attempt, and promote NRT use. The 2-week supply of NRT is mailed to patients' homes.

Results: Feasibility outcomes include recruitment rates, study retention, and treatment adherence. Clinical outcomes are assessed at 1, 2, 6, and 12-weeks post-enrollment. The primary outcome is ≥1self-reported quit attempt(s). Secondary clinical outcomes include self-reported past 7- and 30-day abstinence, days not smoked, NRT adherence, and exhaled carbon monoxide.

Conclusions: This pilot assesses text messaging plus NRT, as a proactively offered intervention for smoking cessation support in smokers receiving primary care and will inform full-scale randomized trial planning.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.govNCT03174158.

Keywords: Mobile health; Nicotine replacement therapy; Primary care; Smoking cessation; Text messaging.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postal Service
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design
  • Smoking Cessation Agents / pharmacology*
  • Smoking Cessation* / methods
  • Smoking Cessation* / psychology
  • Smoking* / psychology
  • Smoking* / therapy
  • Text Messaging*
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices*


  • Smoking Cessation Agents

Associated data