Can Smartphone Games Help Smokers Quit?

(Status: Data under analysis for dissemination) Most smokers who try to quit do not succeed. Even if they use evidence-based treatment, only approximately 10% to 30% achieve long-term abstinence. It is known that strong craving for cigarettes is a powerful reason many smokers fail in their quit attempts. Unfortunately, medication and cessation counseling are only modestly successful in quelling craving.

The objective of the research was to determine whether smartphone games can help smokers distract themselves, suppress their cravings, and increase their chances of quitting. Sept. 2013-June 2016. The $20,000 grant from a UW-CTRI Developmental Pilot Grant was part of UW-CTRI’s NIH P50 Center Grant. The $6,000 grant was from a UW Department of Family Medicine Small Grant. Dr. Tanya Schlam is the principal investigator.