Smartband-Based Automatic Smoking Detection and Real-time Mindfulness Intervention: Protocol for a Feasibility Trial

JMIR Res Protoc. 2021 Nov 16;10(11):e32521. doi: 10.2196/32521.


Background: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smoking cessation interventions delivered by smartphone apps are a promising tool for helping smokers quit. However, currently available smartphone apps for smoking cessation have not exploited their unique potential advantages to aid quitting. Notably, few to no available apps use wearable technologies, most apps require users to self-report their smoking, and few to no apps deliver treatment automatically contingent upon smoking.

Objective: This pilot trial tests the feasibility of using a smartband and smartphone to monitor and detect smoking and deliver brief mindfulness interventions in real time to reduce smoking.

Methods: Daily smokers (N=100, ≥5 cigarettes per day) wear a smartband for 60 days to monitor and detect smoking, notify them about their smoking events in real time, and deliver real-time brief mindfulness exercises triggered by detected smoking events or targeted at predicted smoking events. Smokers set a quit date at 30 days. A three-step intervention to reduce smoking is tested. First, participants wear a smartband to monitor and detect smoking, and notify them of smoking events in real time to bring awareness to smoking and triggers for 21 days. Next, a "mindful smoking" exercise is triggered by detected smoking events to bring a clear recognition of the actual effects of smoking for 7 days. Finally, after their quit date, a "RAIN" (recognize, allow, investigate, nonidentification) exercise is delivered to predicted smoking events (based on the initial 3 weeks of tracking smoking data) to help smokers learn to work mindfully with cravings rather than smoke for 30 days. The primary outcomes are feasibility measures of treatment fidelity, adherence, and acceptability. The secondary outcomes are smoking rates at end of treatment.

Results: Recruitment for this trial started in May 2021 and will continue until November 2021 or until enrollment is completed. Data monitoring and management are ongoing for enrolled participants. The final 60-day end of treatment data is anticipated in January 2022. We expect that all trial results will be available in April 2022.

Conclusions: Findings will provide data and information on the feasibility of using a smartband and smartphone to monitor and detect smoking and deliver real-time brief mindfulness interventions, and whether the intervention warrants additional testing for smoking cessation.

Trial registration: NCT03995225;

International registered report identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/32521.

Keywords: craving; mHealth; mindfulness; smartband; smartphone; smoking.

Associated data