A comparison of the characteristics of iOS and Android users of a smoking cessation app

Transl Behav Med. 2017 Jun;7(2):166-171. doi: 10.1007/s13142-016-0455-z.


iOS and Android smartphone users may differ in ways that affect their use and likelihood of success when using a smoking cessation application (app). If so, it may be necessary to take the device type (iOS and Android) into account when designing smoking cessation apps and in studies evaluating app effectiveness. How do socio-demographic and smoking characteristics, potentially relevant to engagement and cessation outcomes, of the SF28 app users differ between those using the iOS version and those using the Android version? Data were collected between October 2013 and April 2015. The variables measured were age, gender, social grade, time since the most recent quit attempt, choice of medication use (nicotine replacement therapy or varenicline), weekly expenditure on cigarettes, cigarettes smoked per day, reason for using the app and quit date set. The alpha was set to p < 0.006 to adjust for multiple comparisons. A total of 1368 users were included in the analysis. iOS and Android device users were similar in terms of age, social grade, weekly expenditure on cigarettes and cigarettes smoked per day. Compared with Android users, iOS users were more likely to have downloaded the app for a serious quit attempt (74.3 versus 69.6%, p = 0.001), made a quit attempt within the last 12 months (59.6 versus 45.9%, p < 0.001) and set their quit date on the day of registration (61 versus 46.2%, p < 0.001). They were less likely to have used stop-smoking medication to support their quit attempt (31.5 versus 48.6%, p < 0.001). Differences between smokers using the iOS version of smoking cessation apps and those using the Android version may influence quit success.

Keywords: Android; Apps; Characteristics; Mobile; SF28; Smartphone; Smoking cessation; iOS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Smartphone*
  • Smoking / economics
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking / therapy*
  • Smoking Cessation* / methods