Text 2 Be an Ex (T2BX): A Unique SMS Based Tobacco Cessation Program for RI Youth

Dates: 2014

State: Rhode Island

Client(s): Rhode Island Department of Health

Services: Health Communication, Health Information Technology

Technical Expertise: Adolescent Health, Substance Use, Behavioral Health, Healthy Communities, Health Information Technology, Population Health, State and Local Public Health, Family Planning & Reproductive Health

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Text2BeAnEx

T2BX, short for Text to Be an Ex, is a free text message program designed to encourage and assist with tobacco cessation for Rhode Island youth ages 13-17. Similar to other text-based programs, such as Smokefree.gov, T2BX provides information, motivation, support, and resources to individuals attempting to cease use of tobacco products. Unique to T2BX is encouragement to participate in unstructured, bidirectional, text-based conversation with program staff. Messages are tailored according to each subscriber based upon subscriber’s response to periodic survey questions. Basic information is collected at outset, with further demographic and message preference details collected as part of ongoing program engagement. Subscribers can connect with similar subscribers via social channels connected to this program, such as Facebook.

JSI staff were responsible for the overall message content and algorithm (flow of messages) for the program. Using Smokefree.gov's message library as a reference point, over 400 unique custom messages were created, with multiple pathways possible for personalized program progression. The program officially launched on January 1, 2015.

Read the related blog post by Jodi Sperber on Talking to Teens via Text about Quitting Tobacco: The Text 2 Be An Ex (T2BX) program in Rhode Island

Watch a video on T2BX produced by RhodeIslandSpotlight.org.


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