Randomized Controlled Trial Leads to Smoking Cessation App
Seattle-based 2Morrow Inc. has launched SmartQuit, a smartphone-based smoking cessation app based on technology pioneered in a groundbreaking trial at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT-based program, was created by Jonathan Bricker at the Hutchinson Center and is different from other smoking cessation programs in both approach and delivery. Last year, 2Morrow collaborated with the center to create SmartQuit for the first randomized controlled trial of an app for quitting smoking.
The study found that users of SmartQuit were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to quit than those who try to quit on their own. After seeing the results, 2Morrow obtained an exclusive license for the technology from Fred Hutch with the goal of getting the program into the hands of millions of smokers who want to quit, company executives said.
SmartQuit is a mobile version of Bricker's ACT-based smoking cessation program, which has received over $10 million in National Institutes of Health funding for clinical trials. The SmartQuit study results were recently published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The study followed 200 smokers and found that SmartQuit users were 60 percent more likely to quit than those using the control app, QuitGuide, from smokefree.gov.
"This equates to being two and a half to three times more effective than trying to quit on one's own or about the same effectiveness as standard nicotine replacement therapy, texting programs or telephone coaching efficiency reported in previous published studies," 2Morrow executives said.
The SmartQuit program will be offered through employers, health plans and states, but can also be downloaded by individuals from the iTunes and Android app stores. There is a light version available for free, and the full program will retail for $49.99.
For groups, real-time aggregate engagement data and/or program completion data will be available. 2Morrow said that feature is useful if an employer wants to offer incentives (like lower premiums) tied to completion of an evidence-based program. To assure privacy, the program has been designed so that users do not need to enter their name or contact info into the app.