Evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of a mobile-based health technology for smoking cessation: Mobile Anxiety Sensitivity Program

Br J Clin Psychol. 2022 Jan;61 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):111-129. doi: 10.1111/bjc.12294. Epub 2021 May 3.


Objectives: Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disability. Although most US smokers want to quit, more than 95% of cessation attempts end in relapse within 6 months. To improve cessation outcomes, research has turned to targetable mechanisms, such as anxiety sensitivity (AS), which maintain smoking behaviour, impede cessation success, and can be effectively targeted in the context of psychosocial interventions. Although integrated treatment programmes that address AS reduction in the context of smoking cessation have demonstrated promising results, presently, no mobile, technology-based integrated treatment exists to expressly address smoking and AS. The current study evaluated the initial feasibility and acceptability of a mobile smoking cessation intervention, Mobile Anxiety Sensitivity Program for smoking (MASP).

Methods: Participants were 15 daily adult combustible cigarette smokers (females n = 6, Mage = 46.5 years, SD = 13.3) who completed a 6-week total intervention period (baseline visit, 2 weeks pre-quit, 4 weeks post-quit, follow-up visit).

Results: Most participants (N = 12) completed the full 6-week intervention, and participant engagement with MASP was high. Participants reported that MASP was acceptable. Biochemical verification of smoking abstinence indicated 25% of smokers were abstinent for at least 24 hr prior to the in-person 4 weeks post-quit follow-up visit.

Conclusions: Findings indicated that MASP has the potential to provide effective assistance to those wanting to quit cigarettes.

Practitioner points: Mobile-based smoking cessation interventions may be a promising treatment option, particularly for those of lower socio-economic status. Targeting AS in the context of a mobile-based smoking cessation app may be a viable way to improve smoking cessation success and treatment outcome. Due to the pilot nature of this study, there was no control group. Thus, comparative conclusions and generalizability based on the current study must be made with caution.

Keywords: Anxiety Sensitivity; Mobile Health; Smoking Cessation; Tobacco.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Biomedical Technology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Smoking Cessation*