Randomized trial finds SmartQuit app 60 percent more effective than NCI's smoking cessation app

By Aditi Pai
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SmartQuitSeattle-based behavior change company 2Morrow has launched an app, called SmartQuit, that aims to help smokers quit.

2Morrow partnered with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to create the app. In October, 2Morrow published a randomized control trial of 196 participants and found that users of SmartQuit were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to quit than those who try to quit on their own. The researchers also found that SmartQuit was 60 percent more effective than the National Cancer Institute's application for smoking cessation, called QuitGuide. (Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that SmartQuit users were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to quit than those who used QuitGuide.)

The RCT also found that while SmartQuit participants opened their app on average 37.2 times during the trial period's two months, QuiteGuide participants opened their application 15.2 times.

SmartQuit is based on the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT-based program. Users of the app are prompted to identify what matters to them. They are also asked to become aware of their urges to smoke and let those urges come and go without acting on them. Using this method, the user is tracking their urges rather than tracking their smokes.

“[Mobile health] has a challenge because the technology has outpaced the research," 2Morrow CEO Brandon Masterson said in a statement. "With SmartQuit we were able to prove the efficacy as well as discover what really works."

The app, which is available on iOS and Android devices, offers a free version and a paid version. In the free version, users can create their quit plan and become more aware of their urges. But the premium plan, which costs $49.99, teaches users proven ways to deal with their urges.

Since the initial RCT, Life Sciences Discovery Fund fund awarded 2Morrow $250,000 to pilot the program with smokers in Washington state.