OU Med Researchers Develop App To Study Okla. Smokers

Thursday, January 16th 2020, 8:35 am
By: Ashley Holden

Researchers at OU Medical Center have developed an app to learn more about Oklahomans that smoke and don't want to quit.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center developed a study to learn more about this particular group of people.

"Most research on smokers has been on helping them quit smoking, but 80 percent of smokers don't want to quit smoking in the next 30 days," said the director of the center, Dr. Michael Businelle.

Dr. Businelle is helping with the new study known as Project Phoenix.

"We've developed an app that follows these individuals for six months," said Dr. Businelle. "Once a week they get a survey on their phone and it asks them some questions about their motivation to quit, their desire to quit."

The study requires one in-person visit and each time participants take a survey they get paid $5.00. There's no requirement that participants have to quit during the study, but if they want to, the app helps provide resources.

"They click a button in an app. A calendar pops up and they set their quit date," described Dr. Businelle. From that point on, he said the app tries to help the participant quit. 

"About five percent of people that try to quit on their own are successful with each quit attempt that's if they go cold turkey," he said.

Dr. Businelle said forming habits with your phone is a trend the center is taking advantage of and not all of them deal with smoking. But the resources on the Project Phoenix app could be the help someone needs.

"What a great way to nudge people to do healthier behavior," said Dr. Businelle.

Over 100 people are still needed for Project Pheonix. Anyone interested should visit oksmokerstudy.com.

The center also has studies that focus on smokers that want to quit.

People interested can call 271-QUIT for more information.