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How HIPAA compliant emails and texts can help smoking cessation

How HIPAA compliant emails and texts can help smoking cessation

Smoking is a leading cause of premature mortality and health disparities in the US. Using HIPAA compliant text or email can encourage patients to quit smoking, leading to better health outcomes.


The challenge of quitting

A study on the prevalence of smoking in the US stated that: “more than three-quarters of US adult current smokers… expressed interest in quitting smoking, and approximately one-half made past-year quit attempts.”

Smokers who want to quit commonly use nicotine replacement therapy or behavioral interventions, like counseling to quit smoking. According to Nicotine & Tobacco Research, “Although the majority of smokers in the United States are aware of ‘quitlines’, only a small percentage of those trying to quit utilize them.”

Furthermore, traditional cessation methods are not as easily accessible to individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. The frequent use of smartphones and internet access offers a possible solution to reach broader audiences at lower costs. The first study suggests “connecting smokers to resources that provide free cessation assistance” through text messages and emails.


Using texts and email to support smoking cessation

Both text message and email interventions have proven to be effective strategies for quitting smoking. Text messages are more accessible to individuals without network coverage, while some individuals prefer the greater visual appeal of emails.

Research on using personalized messages for smoking cessation results in better engagement. So, providers can use personalized texts or emails tailored to individual preferences to create an engaging experience for those who want to quit. They can also send supportive messages, reminders, and tips, which could increase quitting rates.



Text messages and emails provide convenient access to quitting information. This platform reaches individuals wherever they are despite their busy schedules. It can also help increase access to traditional healthcare services, like primary health clinics.



Paubox texting and emailing offers a versatile platform for delivering tailored quitting information and support. It allows for the HIPAA compliant delivery of motivational messages and coping strategies that are relevant and impactful. Providers can use individual preferences to tailor the messages according to their communication style and comfort level.


Intended use

Paubox texting and emails can be used to send continuous support throughout the quitting process. Providers can send regular reminders, encouragement, and guidance to help individuals stay on track. By enabling interactive messaging, providers can use patient feedback to set goals and monitor patient progress. This facilitates long-term engagement which could lead to better health outcomes.



Feedback from individuals receiving quitting support via text messages and emails indicates high levels of satisfaction with the convenience and effectiveness of these interventions. More specifically, a qualitative study revealed: “Patients have expressed satisfaction with the secure message systems, and healthcare professionals report time-saving benefits.”



Can texts and emails be tailored to individual preferences?

Yes, text messages and emails can be customized based on personal preferences, smoking habits, and progress. Tailoring the content ensures relevance, resonates better with individuals, and enhances engagement.


Can text messages and emails complement traditional cessation methods?

They augment traditional approaches like counseling and nicotine replacement therapy by providing additional support outside of scheduled sessions. These digital interventions extend the reach of cessation programs, offering continuous assistance beyond clinic hours.


Are there privacy and security concerns with using text and email in smoking cessation?

Healthcare providers must adhere to HIPAA regulations to ensure the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI). Providers can use a secure platform like Paubox to ensure HIPAA compliance.


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