Stop smoking app shows high rate of success in trial

By Leila Hawkins
Quit Genius had higher success rate than conventional method...

An app that aims to help people beat addictions has helped 52 per cent of participants in a clinical trial stop smoking after four weeks. 

The app provides users with cognitive behavioral therapy content, one-to-one coaching, anonymous peer support, tools to assist when they feel cravings, telemedicine consultations, and breath sensors to monitor progress. It also has a portal that uses algorithms to flag high-risk individuals so they get additional support as soon as they need it.

The randomised study, which took place in the UK, was conducted with two groups of people. One was given access to the Quit Genius app, while the second was given advice following the Ask, Advise, Act model, a typical method used by healthcare professionals. 

“Utilizing a randomized-controlled trial design allows us to distinguish between the causal effect of treatment, placebo, and underlying differences in propensity to quit in the study population” Jamie Webb, Quit Genius clinical research lead explained.

When participants were contacted four weeks after their quit date, the results showed that Quit Genius had a significantly higher rate of success than conventional advice. The participants that did not manage to quit reduced their average cigarette use by 48 per cent

Researchers believe the results reflect that having confidence in the ability to control one's own motivation and behaviour can lead to abstaining successfully from smoking. 

“Digital, remote-first programs like Quit Genius allow smokers to access gold-standard support without seeing a counselor in person, something that has become crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Yusuf Sherwani, Quit Genius Co-Founder and CEO. 

“While there have been great strides in the adoption of digital health, the industry faces a credibility crisis due to the lack of high-quality peer-reviewed research that back up many of the healthcare claims. As a physician-led organization, we have made creating a robust research pipeline a cornerstone of our mission.”

Quit Genius was founded by doctors as a digital solution to help people overcome nicotine, alcohol and opioid addictions. It is currently being used by several National Health Service (NHS) organisations across England. 

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