The Tobbstop mobile application (app) is a serious game and resource for smoking cessation in adults.
Designed by a multidisciplinary team of health experts, smokers, ex-smokers, educators, computer programmers, graphic designers, and video game developers, the Tobbstop app supports smoking cessation through digital healthcare, gamification, and mobile learning. The cartoon-style game takes place on a polluted island (a metaphor for the body of a smoker). At the start of the game, factories, oil rigs, and deforestation have contaminated the island. The object of Tobbstop is to clean and improve the island, which users accomplish by engaging with 4 in-game tools that support smoking cessation: a library of tobacco information, a private chat for users to communicate with and support each other, a set of minigames to help with anxiety and withdrawal symptoms, and a messaging system that allows users to contact doctors who specialize in smoking cessation. The app also features a progress registry that documents user health as it evolves throughout treatment and awards digital trophies to celebrate healthy behaviors. While the user detoxifies through tobacco abstinence, the ecosystem of the island exhibits a gradual return to health that represents the progress of the user.
Link to Spanish commercial site here.
Mobile application (app)
Exploring Efficacy of a Serious Game (Tobbstop) for Smoking Cessation During Pregnancy: Randomized Controlled Trial
Summary: This pilot randomized controlled trial examined the effect of Tobbstop on continuous tobacco abstinence until delivery and total number of smoke-free days at delivery in pregnant smokers. Researchers recruited 42 pregnant women who smoked cigarettes from 2 primary healthcare centers in Spain. All participants were 18 years or older, in consultation with a midwife, and expressed motivation to quit smoking. Researchers randomized participants into an intervention group (n = 21) that played Tobbstop via personal mobile phone or tablet and underwent standard smoking cessation counseling and a control group (n = 21) that received standard smoking cessation counseling. Women in the intervention group chose a date to quit smoking and played Tobbstop from 7 days before the chosen cessation date to 90 days after. All participants completed a tobacco-use questionnaire at each of the 9 prenatal midwife consultations from baseline (pre-10 weeks of gestation) to delivery. Trained personnel measured participant carbon monoxide levels via carboxymeter at each consultation to validate participant-reported tobacco abstinence. Tobbstop appeared to have a significant impact on tobacco abstinence. Over half of women in the intervention group abstained from smoking from baseline until delivery (57.1%), while about 14.3% of control participants maintained continuous abstinence to delivery. Study results also revealed a significant group difference in total number of days without smoking (from baseline to delivery): the intervention group averaged 140 smoke-free days, while the control averaged 33 smoke-free days. Tobbstop yielded significant results despite not being specifically designed for pregnant women.
Take away: Tobbstop demonstrated preliminary efficacy for smoking reduction among pregnant women who want to quit smoking. Future research could further evaluate the efficacy of Tobbstop in a larger study.