Ė When it comes to quitting smoking, women may need
some extra motivation, researchers say.
are more likely to gain weight than men when they quit
smoking, and women have more difficulty losing weight
when they gain it," said Judith Gordon, associate
professor with the Department of Family and Community
Medicine and associate head of research at the
University of Arizona College of Medicine.
said thatís why UA researchers are part of an
interdisciplinary team that developed a pilot app to
remind women smokers that their health is more important
than being thin.
team recently released the free Android app, called See
Me Smoke-Free. A two-year, $366,400 National Cancer
Institute grant funded the effort.
said the app motivates users with inspirational messages
and uses audio recordings to inspire confidence.
if they do gain a little bit of weight, they realize
that theyíre healthy, and theyíre beautiful and
strong," she said. "Thatís more important
than a couple of pounds."
head of the appís research team, said almost 100 women
have downloaded See Me Smoke-Free so far.
Giacobbi Jr., associate professor in the College of
Physical Activity and Sport Sciences at West Virginia
University and part of the appís research team, said
the key to the appís novelty is its use of guided
imagery, a technique that focuses the imagination
spent a lot of time with the team developing short audio
files that guide people through scenes and experiences
to help them quit smoking," he said.
said studies show guided imagery can do many things,
including reducing stress, motivating people to
exercise, quelling food cravings and preventing smoking.
researchers have never tried it on such a scale, he
has been shown to be effective with smoking trials, but
never used over a cellphone," Giacobbi said.
"And so we really want to show that this can
potentially reach millions of women around the
Thomson, a professor at the UA College of Public Health
and director of the Arizona Smokersí Helpline, which
offers counseling to those trying to quit, said
promoting a healthy lifestyle is a good way to help kick
lot of times, health behaviors kind of cluster,"
she said. "And so if someone is smoking, and theyíre
trying to quit, it may make sense to work with them on
getting them more physically active and also trying to
said most people smoke as a response to stress, and
guided imagery may also help smokers quit by helping
not aware of any other app thatís used guided imagery
to deal with the issue of stress related to
smoking," she said.
Runner, who was able to quit for three years after 27
years of smoking, said she recently started again
because of the stress of her job.
said now sheís had to start the process of quitting
all over again.
a struggle within myself," Runner said. "I
jump on a bike and just keep riding whenever I feel a
said she thinks guided imagery might further help reduce
little thing helps when youíre trying to quit
smoking," she said.
Traci Shelton, a smoker for 15 years who has considered
quitting, said sheís skeptical that See Me Smoke-Free
could have any effect.
you want to quit, the inspiration is already
there," she said. "So I donít think an app
is going to make any difference."
the expert on guided imagery for the appís research
team, said guided imagery will only work on those who
are willing to try it.
probably going to be similar to other complementary
medical techniques in that if youíre open to it, itíll
be effective," he said.