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). National efforts have included tobacco taxes and smoking bans which have both proven effective. More recently, the prescribing of apps for cessation has been utilized and shown to be effective. We recently reviewed and praised the outstanding QuitMedKit from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The app includes nearly everything the primary provider would want to have to aid patients in tobacco cessation: the 5A’s approach, information on medications for cessation, tips on motivational interviewing, graphics to assist in cessation, and links to online resources.
The QuitMedKit app does not include much information tailored to patients regarding personal health and financial goals. The SmokerStop app by Dr Titus Brinker in Germany uses personal motivation as its primary smoking cessation technique. The app uses data input by the patient to calculate health information such as reduction in blood pressure, lung cancer risk, as well as financial goals such as when an ex-smoker will have enough cash for movie tickets, an iPhone, etc. The app also allows patients to put in their own goals. All of this information is tracked by the app and reminders are periodically sent to to the patient to help keep them motivated.
Developed by a medical student (now faculty?) in Germany, Dr Titus Brinker, SmokerStop utilizes pure motivational goals (financial- and health-based goals) along with reminders, and the ability to track progress over time, to aid smokers in their cessation efforts. Interestingly, the app doesn’t truly utilize the 5A’s or other proven psychotherapy techniques. However, the app would likely be an effective add on to other more proven techniques: medications, CBT, ACT, etc.
Who would benefit from this App?
Patients/family members, 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.
- Simple interface for inputting financial and/or health-related goals
- Sends reminders and tracks user progress over time
- Available for Android
- Lacks proven 5A’s methodology, motivational interviewing, CBT, ACT
- No information about the app or author
- Lacks any true instructions for patient use
SmokerStop by Dr Titus Brinker in Germany is an excellent motivational tool that providers can prescribe to smokers at the point of care. Although the app lacks a true “quit program”, it does allow smokers to set goals–both health and financial–and track progress over time while receiving reminders on their progress. For more complete tobacco cessation apps, we still would recommend QuitMedKit or apps with proven quit rates such as SmartQuit.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to use efficient interface to set goals and track progress.
- Multimedia Usage
App contains several calculators for financial incentives, health tracking timelines, reminders, and links to another free app by the author for comparing facial changes over time.
App is free
- Real World Applicability
SmokerStop is an excellent “fun” tool to assist patients with some health as well as financial information to assist in motivating them to quit smoking. The app lacks any truly proven psychotherapy techniques or the 5A’s, but could be used with apps that do contain those tools. The app does not contain any information on tobacco cessation medications.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 8 running iOS 11.4.1
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad