Cultural-Specific Smoking Cessation Program for Economically Disadvantaged African Americans (Clinical Collaborators: Dr. Monica Hooper from National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and Dr. Schnall at Columbia University)

Tobacco smoking is responsible for one out of every five deaths in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recent advances in treatment delivery include technology-based mobile health approaches, which seek to deliver real-time feedback to smokers to aid quit attempts and mitigate lapses. With regard to the measurement of smoking, clinical trials rely on participant self-report and/or biochemical verification of smoking status to evaluate outcomes. Wearable sensors have the potential to improve current approaches by providing personalized feedback and objective verification of smoking status.

The tobacco smoking prevalence in Cleveland is more than double the national average (35% Cleveland, 15% national) so that the Cleveland area becomes an appropriate location to design and implement a living lab of technology-inspired, smoker-centered, and economically viable solutions to address these intractably complex socio-economic challenges using wearable and mobile health (mHealth) technologies.

In this study, we design a novel smoking cessation system that combines motion detection and an Android software application to monitor smoking in real-time. A personalized smoking cessation plan will be created based on the goal of complete cessation or smoking reduction. Once the plan is created, the mobile system will monitor the users’ smoking activity and provide feedback. A deep learning algorithm has been computed to train and test the motion data, which was collected from two armbands, to detect smoking and non-smoking motions.

The internet message service will be used to remind users to stick to their plan when the sensor detects current smoking. Related video links are pushed and pulled to the users via Short Message Service (SMS) to support smoking cessation. We have developed 77 videos with unique content specially designed for smoking cessation while targeting African-American smokers. Findings have implications for tobacco cessation treatment delivery and assessment of smoking status.

This research was funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 3P30CA043703-27S4. This research received partial support provided by the Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems at Case Western Reserve University and the Internet of Things Collaborative through a grant from the Cleveland Foundation.

Publications: 4 journal papers [J39, J37, J22]. This research was reported by ”Going From iSmoke to No Smoking With Wearables”, October 2020 and The Sound of Ideas, Ideastream, August 2018, ”Tech To Help Smokers Quit”.