Smiling Instead of Smoking: Development of a positive psychology smoking cessation smartphone app for non-daily smokers


Hoeppner, B. B., Hoeppner, S. S., Kelly, L. M., Schick, M. R., & Kelly, J. F. (2017). Smiling Instead of Smoking: Development of a positive psychology smoking cessation smartphone app for non-daily smokers. International Journal of Behavior Medicine , 24 (5), 683-693.

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PURPOSE: The usefulness of mobile technology in supporting smoking cessation has been demonstrated, but little is known about how smartphone apps could best be leveraged. The purpose of this paper is to describe the program of research that led to the creation of a smoking cessation app for non-daily smokers, so as to stimulate further ideas to create "smart" smartphone apps to support health behavior change.

METHOD: Literature reviews to evaluate the appropriateness of the proposed app, content analyses of existing apps, and smoking cessation sessions with non-daily smokers (n = 38) to inform the design of the app.

RESULTS: The literature reviews showed that (1) smoking cessation apps are sought after by smokers, (2) positive affect plays an important role in smoking cessation, (3) short, self-administered exercises consistently bring about enduring positive affect enhancements, and (4) low treatment-seeking rates of non-daily smokers despite high motivation to quit indicate a need for novel smoking cessation support. Directed content analyses of existing apps indicated that tailoring, two-way interactions, and proactive features are under-utilized in existing apps, despite the popularity of such features. Conventional content analyses of audio-recorded session tapes suggested that difficulty in quitting was generally linked to specific, readily identifiable occasions, and that social support was considered important but not consistently sought out.

CONCLUSION: The "Smiling Instead of Smoking" (SIS) app is an Android app that is designed to act as a behavioral, in-the-pocket coach to enhance quitting success in non-daily smokers. It provides proactive, tailored behavioral coaching, interactive tools (e.g., enlisting social support), daily positive psychology exercises, and smoking self-monitoring.

KEYWORDS: Ecological momentary assessment; Non-daily smoking; Positive psychology; Smartphone app; Smoking cessation; mHealth

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Last updated on 09/11/2018