Do Quitting Smoking Apps Work?


-By A. Scott Roberts, M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling

A study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that there are about 11 million smokers in the U.S. alone that download smartphone apps to help them quit smoking. But researchers say that the practices that are encouraged from these apps are not backed by science or data.

"Even though the study found that popular smoking cessation apps have a low level of adherence to evidence-based guidelines, it is a hopeful sign that people want to quit... But the bad news is smartphone apps may not give people the guidance they need." (Source: Michael C. Fiore, M.D / Director of Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention)

The apps give advice on smoking medications, counseling and refers users to a quit-line. Researchers claim that these methods are generally ineffective, but the hopeful sign is that this shows people are wanting to quit. Abroms, author of the study stated that apps, "do not promote treatments that are proven to work."

While there are scientifically-based methods that do work, they do not make their way onto the app, or even know how it could.1

Some successful ways to quit smoking deal with addressing the desire, not the behavior. Techniques that enable and empower a smoker to thwart urges and cravings to smoke are more effective.

The Truth Of Addiction System has helpful audio and video training - which has been helping individuals with smoking to get out of habit loops and compulsions to smoke. One study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, found that many smokers do not know the dangers of smoking or the benefits to quitting.

Interestingly, becoming properly informed about the risks of smoking was shown to motivate one to quit and to stay tobacco free.2 Researches have blamed the tobacco industry for deceiving the public about the facts about smoking, something that may lead them to more successfully quit...

"The tobacco industry systematically deceived the public for decades, denying that smoking was dangerous or addictive."(Source: James Thrasher / School of public health)

Knowing the facts about smoking, eliciting motivation to quit and using evidence-based techniques to manage cravings and urges continues to lead to long-term success.

-A. Scott Roberts,  M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling


1. Lorien C. Abroms, Nalini Padmanabhan, Lalida Thaweethai, Todd Phillips. iPhone Apps for Smoking Cessation. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2011; 40 (3): 279

2. Christy L. Kollath-Cattano, Erika N. Abad-Vivero, James F. Thrasher, Maansi Bansal-Travers, Richard J. O’Connor, Dean M. Krugman, Carla J. Berg, James W. Hardin. (2014). Adult Smokers’ Responses to “Corrective Statements” Regarding Tobacco Industry Deception. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.