Tobacco use remains the #1 preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States and worldwide. Overall, cigarette smoking among U.S. adults (aged ≥18 years) declined from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 15.5 percent in 2016. Still, nearly 38 million American adults smoked cigarettes in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Smoking remains the leading cause of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Efforts to promote tobacco cessation are encouraged at the national, state, local, and individual practice level. The CDC reports only California and Alaska spend the recommended amount on tobacco cessation. National efforts have included tobacco taxes and smoking bans which have both proven effective. Efforts to prevent the initiation of tobacco use in youths include Tar Wars from the AAFP. More recently, the prescribing of apps for cessation has been utilized and shown to be effective. I have studied the Smartquit app myself via a randomized controlled trial in the military population (unpublished data) served by our residency program. What are the options for providers just wanting to counsel patients outside of a research study and/or paying for a smoking-cessation app to prescribe?

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has just released a new app called QuitMedGuide. The app was developed by Alexander V. Prokhorov, MD, PhD and Mario Luca, MS, at MD Anderson. The app is intended to assist healthcare providers in counseling and treatment of tobacco dependence. The app includes the evidence-based 5As approach, information on medications for cessation, tips on motivational interviewing, graphics to assist in cessation, and links to online resources.

Evidence-based medicine

Developed by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, QuitMedKit uses the current 2008 US Department of Health and Human Services Clinical Practice Guideline for tobacco cessation. The app includes detailed information on the proven 5As approach to cessation, tips on motivational interviewing, and current FDA-approved medications for tobacco cessation.

Who would benefit from this App?

Medical students, primary care physicians, midlevels, hospital medicine physicians, nurses, pharmacists, or any provider who counsels patients on tobacco cessation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

  • Price
    • Free
    • Simple, fast interface that covers the basics to assess willingness to quit to medications
    • Partial scripts and tips included for motivational interviewing
    • Available for Android
  • Dislikes
    • Lacks detailed scripts for 5A’s/motivational interviewing
    • Most references/additional material online and not downloaded to the device
    • Lacks videos on how to perform motivational interviewing/using the 5As
  • Overall

    The QuitMedKit from the MD Anderson Cancer Center is the perfect tobacco cessation app for primary care. Although it lacks some detailed scripts, videos for how to use the 5As/motivational interviewing, it contains the basics on both areas plus a medication guide and links to online resources. The app should be used at the point-of-care to increase quit rates in primary care.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Easy to use efficient interface with simple drop-down menus.

  • Multimedia Usage

    App contains several embedded pictures of diseased lungs, and links to online tobacco cessation resources. It does not contain any videos of using the 5A’s or motivational interviewing.

  • Price

    App is free

  • Real World Applicability

    QuitMedKit is the perfect companion for the busy primary care provider who wants to improve tobacco cessation quit rates. With built in motivational interviewing tips, the proven 5As approach, and tobacco-cessation medication information, the app is a one stop shop for tobacco cessation.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 8 running iOS 11.3.1

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad