Today is the Great American Smokeout, and now comes the UCSF/SFGH Stop Smoking application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It is the result of a joint effort from the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH) and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), and it is aimed at helping smokers quit by including mood among the triggers for smoking . The app uses a successful cognitive behavioral therapy program developed at SFGH and is now available for purchase from iTunes
Proceeds from UCSF/SFGH Stop Smoking – which serves English and Spanish speakers – help fund further online and mobile health research at SFGH and UCSF. The launch of this new tool coincides with Great American Smokeout on November 18 – a national day to encourage smokers to quit.
The methods used in UCSF/SFGH Stop Smoking have yielded quit rates comparable to those reported for the nicotine patch. It is the only smoking cessation application based on published scientific research with English and Spanish speakers worldwide. A key feature of this bilingual smoking cessation application is that it links quitting smoking with managing one’s mood.
“We’re excited to expand this innovative program developed through extensive research and clinical experience at San Francisco General,” says SFGH Chief Psychologist Ricardo Munoz, also UCSF Professor of Psychology. “We want our patients to have the greatest advances in health care. We developed the online program in English and Spanish to share what we discover at SFGH with the world. A Chinese online version is in development.”
The app features methods based on published scientific studies including prompting the user to set a specific quit date, tracking smoking behavior so it becomes conscious, teaching how to understand and combat factors that complicate quitting, such as how mood influences the number of cigarettes smoked, and how activities help manage one’s mood, while providing reminders and encouragement as the quit date approaches. The app further charts progress during the quitting process and allows users to send their anonymous data to the UCSF/SFGH Stop Smoking team so they can improve the application. The UCSF/SFGH Stop Smoking is available for purchase on iTunes at $4.99.