Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smartphone apps to help smokers quit come up short

Date:
November 14, 2013
Source:
Health Behavior News Service, Center for Advancing Health
Summary:
Most popular smartphone apps do not include evidence-based practices known to help smokers quit, finds a new study.

Smart phone apps do not promote aspects of treatments that have proven to work in quitting smoking.
Credit: Sabphoto / Fotolia

Many of the 11 million smokers in the U.S. have downloaded smartphone apps created to help them quit smoking. But since most of these apps don't include practices proven to help smokers quit, they may not be getting the help they need, reports a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"Currently available, popular (most downloaded) smoking cessation apps have low levels of adherence to key evidence-based practices and few apps provide counseling on how to quit, recommend approved quit smoking medications or refer a user to a quit line," said the study's lead author Lorien C. Abroms, ScD., assistant professor at the George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services.

"Still, there appears to be a high global demand for smoking cessation apps since over 700,000 apps are downloaded each month for the Android operating system alone," he said.

Abroms and his colleagues analyzed popular smoking cessation apps in February 2012. Researchers studied the most popular apps -- 47 for the iPhone and 51 for the Android operating system -- and found that apps for both systems had a low adherence to the U.S. Public Health Service's Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence.

Michael C. Fiore, M.D., MPH, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health pointed out that "even though the study found that popular smoking cessation apps have a low level of adherence to evidence-based guidelines, it is a hopeful sign that people want to quit and scientists and technicians are coming up with applications to help them. But the bad news is smartphone apps may not give people the guidance they need."

Researchers acknowledge that while they know what helps people quit smoking generally, little is known about what aspects of smoking cessation programs should be included in mobile apps. Still, Abroms noted that "they [smartphone apps] do not promote aspects of treatments that have proven to work in quitting smoking and so we as public health professionals have reason to be concerned."

"What we're missing with smartphone apps is universally recognized, science-based recommendations," said Fiore. "We're obliged to give smokers the best possible, quality help. Science-based help is what smokers get when they call quit lines -- there are over 1,000 quit lines available to U.S. smokers and that's where they can get one-stop help."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Health Behavior News Service, Center for Advancing Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lorien C. Abroms, Nalini Padmanabhan, Lalida Thaweethai, Todd Phillips. iPhone Apps for Smoking Cessation. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2011; 40 (3): 279 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.10.032

Cite This Page:

Health Behavior News Service, Center for Advancing Health. "Smartphone apps to help smokers quit come up short." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131114155752.htm>.
Health Behavior News Service, Center for Advancing Health. (2013, November 14). Smartphone apps to help smokers quit come up short. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131114155752.htm
Health Behavior News Service, Center for Advancing Health. "Smartphone apps to help smokers quit come up short." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131114155752.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins