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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

GW Researcher Finds Smartphone Apps Lack Proven Strategies to Help Smokers Quit

Dr. Lorien Abroms, an associate professor of prevention and community health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services served as lead author on a new study that found many of the most popular anti-smoking apps for iPhones or Androids lack some basic strategies that are known to help smokers quit. Dr. Abroms, J. Lee Westmaas, at the American Cancer Society, and others on the team collected data on quit-smoking apps for the iPhone and Android, the two leading smartphone operating systems. The researchers zeroed in on 50 of the most popular ones from each operating system. The team analyzed each app’s approach to smoking cessation, including their adherence to guidelines established by the U.S. Public Health Service on treating tobacco use. The findings suggest that people should use popular apps with some level of caution and probably not as a stand-alone method for quitting. The study, “A Content Analysis of Popular Smartphone Apps for Smoking Cessation,” is available online now and will be in the December print edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.