A new smoking cessation app, SmartQuit, was released for iOS and Android today. It joins a large field of apps designed to help people quit smoking — but this one is different, based on research from Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, with an approach that has been proven effective in a clinical trial.
SmartQuit uses “acceptance and commitment therapy,” or ACT, in which people are helped to accept their urges and let them pass. The app, developed by Seattle startup 2Morrow Inc., is based on research by Dr. Jonathan Bricker, who works in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch and led the first randomized, controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of smoking cessation apps.
The app was funded in part with a $250,000 grant from the Washington Life Sciences Discovery Fund, under an exclusive licensing agreement with the Fred Hutch. The grant will also pay for a pilot program for Washington employers including Premera Blue Cross to evaluate the app.
Collaborating with scientists like Bricker “has forced us to up our game, and we couldn’t be happier. Now it is our job to get this program from the lab to the public,” said Brandon Masterson, the CEO of 2Morrow, in a news release.
The app is available in a free version, with a full-featured version of the program selling for $49.99.
Speaking on the GeekWire radio show in May, Bricker said a similar approach could be used in other apps to help people break other bad habits, such as overeating.