BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a new year and if you’re a smoker what better time to quit.
Health experts are hoping a lot of quitters will be teens.
That’s because, according to the National Cancer Institute, a lot of young people are smoking, which can lead to dangerous health consequences as they get older.
So in an effort to help young smokers kick the habit, the NCI is creating a new program called Smokefree TXT.
It’s a free text message cessation service that provides 24-hour encouragement, advice, and tips to teens trying to quit smoking.
And it’s easy.
Teens sign up, and select a reasonable date to quit.
After that, text messages timed to their selected quit date are sent on a regular basis.
Following their quit date, they will continue to receive texts for up to six weeks.
Smoking experts say six weeks is a critical time, because that’s when people need the most support to stay off tobacco for good.
And the government agency also provides a website where teens can talk to one another about their efforts to quit.
According to the NCI, 20-percent of American teens are smokers and most will continue to smoke as they age.
Even though many teens want to quit, many don’t know how.
So the NCI is hoping this modern day advice line will help some kids through the difficult process of giving up smoking.
Teens can sign up online at teen.smokefree.gov or text quit to iquit (47848).