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Distracting and nagging text messages help smokers stop smoking, Chinese researchers have found.

In a clinical trial, smokers who agreed to join a cessation programme were divided into three groups. One received a high volume (five a day) of cognitive behavioural therapy-based personalised SMS messages, another a lower volume of the same messages (one to three a week), and the control group received none at all.

The groups blasted by texts reported more success at giving up than the control group.