Copyright: SHVETS production
License: Licensed by JMIR
Kirkland, WA (March 9, 2022) – A new study published in the open access journal JMIR Public Health and Surveillance shows that a digital cessation app to quit smoking can draw a diverse audience, including at-risk and underrepresented groups.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death, disease, and disability in the United States. For years, the state of Washington has been investing in helping residents quit tobacco. In 2015, the state broadened its offering to include free access to the 2Morrow Health tobacco cessation smartphone app. Washington State public health prioritizes the needs and well-being of all residents and assures that underserved and at-risk populations are reached. This digital solution allowed the state to cast a wider net to reach more and different tobacco users.
To better understand which populations will use digital tobacco cessation programs, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with 2Morrow, conducted an observational study of 1280 adult Washington State residents who registered for and activated the cessation app between 2018 and 2020. The study compared the demographic characteristics of the adults who activated the app to those of the broader Washington State adult tobacco user population. It found that users of the digital program had a high representation of:
- 35 to 54-year-olds
- LGBTQ+ individuals
- College graduates
- Individuals with low household income
- Individuals with poor mental health
- Individuals with Medicaid insurance
- Individuals with residences in rural counties
A diverse group of individuals used the app, many from demographic groups most at risk for cigarette smoking and disproportionately burdened by tobacco-related disease and death.
“When comparing app and state data, we found that we were able to reach a diverse group of tobacco users and a large percent of some underserved populations relative to their prevalence in the state,” says Dr Susan Zbikowski, Chief Science Officer at 2Morrow and coauthor. “This first of its kind research study is novel in that it examines real-world use of a publicly available evidence-based app for smokers.”
“This study shows that through 2Morrow’s digital cessation program, we can provide better health outcomes for those at a greater risk,” says Heidi Glesmann, MPH, Commercial Tobacco Prevention Manager at DOH. “By offering multiple modalities for cessation support we are able to reach more Washingtonians, especially those disproportionately impacted by tobacco use. We are excited to continue this work with 2Morrow.”
The research article “Analysis of Demographic Characteristics of Users of a Free Tobacco Cessation Smartphone App: Observational Study” authored by Nick Fradkin, Susan M Zbikowski, and Trevor Christensen, is freely available at https://publichealth.jmir.org/2022/3/e32499 (2022, volume 8, issue 3).
About 2Morrow: Founded in 2011 and based in Washington State, 2Morrow focuses on evidence-based programs that combine behavioral science and technology to address some of today’s largest health care issues including nicotine addiction, weight, stress, behavioral health concerns, and chronic pain. Our innovative approach to behavior modification grew out of a collaboration with researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and incorporates Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). 2Morrow currently works with employers, states, retailers, health plans, providers, and public health organizations, placing programs directly into the hands of people who need them most via the convenience and privacy of their smartphones. www.2morrowinc.com
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Fradkin N, Zbikowski SM, Christensen T. Analysis of Demographic Characteristics of Users of a Free Tobacco Cessation Smartphone App: Observational Study. JMIR Public Surveill. 2022;8(3):e32499.