iCANQUIT: Review of the smoking cessation application


An evidence-based app for prescribing patients to quit smoking

Tobacco use remains the Preventable cause number 1 of morbidity and mortality in the United States and around the world. Overall, smoking among American adults (18 years ≥) decreased by 20.9% in 2005 to 13.7% in 2018. However, nearly 34 million American adults smoked cigarettes in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.CDC).

Smoking is still the main cause of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). National efforts have included tobacco taxes and smoking bans that both have proven effective. More recently, the application prescription for cessation it has been used and proved to be effective.

We previously reviewed and praised the excellent QuitMedKit from MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas and also excellent SmokerStop application. QuitMedKit includes just about everything a primary care provider would need to quit, while SmokerStop uses personal motivation to help patients quit. In addition, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has its own smoking cessation application, QuitGuide, which helps patients quit smoking by avoiding its triggers. But is avoiding activation the best way to help patients quit smoking?

In accordance with Jonathan Bricker, PhD, is not. He has pioneered the use of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help patients quit smoking. He has performed numerous essays on Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center using ACT in face-to-face, telephone and Internet treatments with great success. A few years ago (us SmartQuit preview in 2016), was associated 2Morrow Inc in Kirkland, WA, to design an app that provides ACT to quit smoking on your smartphone. In full disclosure, I participated in a pilot study of SmartQuit as principal investigator. Our the results were promising, but not conclusive. Now Bricker and Fred Hutch’s team have it published a great RCT that compares the iCANQUIT app to the NCI-ACT app (hug your triggers) and the NCI app (avoid your triggers). He to study enrolled more than 2500 participants and demonstrated a significant improvement in cessation with iCANQUIT over the NCI application. ICANQUIT users had Probability 1.49 times higher (OR 1.49) to quit (self-reported 30-day abstinence). In addition, this study followed participants for 12 months.

iCANQUIT uses a game-like format to guide users to complete a custom exit plan, complete 14 lessons, and accept (rather than avoid) triggers through exercises, reminders, and progress tracking. The app can be used with or without NRT and can send users daily messages / reminders and live training. 2MorrowInc has an entire ACT-based platform to help not only with smoking cessation, but also with steam, weight loss, and chronic pain.

Evidence-based medicine

Developed by Dr. Jonathan Bricker at the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center along with 2Morrow Inc. and numerous NCI grants, iCANQUIT / SmarQuit is an evidence-based smoking cessation application based on the work of Dr. Bricker using ACT to quit smoking. The app has several published studies demonstrating effectiveness at various levels and has just been published largest study to date demonstrating efficiency versus. the NCI smoking cessation app.

Who will benefit from this app?

Patients / family members, medical students, primary care physicians, mid-level physicians, hospital medicine physicians, nurses, pharmacists, or any provider who advises patients on smoking cessation.

I like

  • Simple interface to create a custom exit plan
  • ACT-based platform, similar to a game for lessons, exercises, tools, online / live training
  • Available for Android

Does not like

  • You will probably still need medical assistance with NRT or others to be successful
  • It is not currently widely available
  • Requires a smartphone, not available for some patients


iCANQUIT of Dr. Jonathan Bricker of Fred Hutch Cancer Center / 2Morrow Inc has become the stand for smoking cessation applications. Using its new F2F-tested acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and phone-based smoking cessation, the app has successfully adapted ACT to your smartphone using a game-like platform. The app surpasses the NCI app and, along with NRT, can increase smoking cessation. Stay tuned to this app as it becomes more available. Highly recommended.

Total score

or 5.0 stars


or 4.5 stars

Efficient and easy-to-use interface for setting a custom exit plan and tracking progress.

Multimedia use

or 5.0 stars

The app contains progressive lessons (over 14), tips / tools / exercises, daily messaging / reminders, live training.


in one

Application available through clinical trials, some employers, some state smoking cessation programs.

Applicability to the real world

or 5.0 stars

iCANQUIT has taken the existing SmartQuit application and improved it. Now with the recent publication of the iCANQUIT test a JAMA Internal Medicine, this application is ready for prime time. iCANQUIT now has the solid evidence base of any smoking cessation application on the market. Ideally, this application should be available to patients outside of clinical / employer trials. Regardless, we again have solid evidence of medical applications demonstrating an improvement in patient outcomes.

Device used for review

or iPhone 11 Pro with iOS 14.01

Available for download by iPhone, iPad, i Android.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

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