Navigation Links
Smartphones, GPS part of UH scientist's smoking cessation research

We use them to text, tweet, post and, sometimes, make a call. Now, smartphones are helping with public health research.

A recently published smoking cessation study conducted by a researcher affiliated with the University of Houston includes a technique called "geo-mapping," which makes use of GPS technology to pinpoint a study participant's location and the location of tobacco retail outlets nearby.

The study was published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

"We're examining the possible mechanisms underlying the relationship between being close to a tobacco retail outlet and not being able to successfully quit smoking," said Lorraine Reitzel, associate professor of health in the UH College of Education. "We think it's because tobacco retail outlets might cue a greater urge to smoke within the person attempting to quit, maybe because of product advertising, a learned association between the retail outlet and purchasing cigarettes, or simply the greater availability and access to cigarettes that a close retail outlet provides."

Reitzel is part of a growing health department at the college. Recruited from MD Anderson Cancer Center, her research focuses on understanding individual and environmental influences that lead to health risk behaviors. She's interested in developing tobacco dependence interventions for low socio-economic areas and groups.

"I'm interested in better understanding whatever is preventing these smokers from successfully quitting, and then learning how to tailor treatments or public policy to help them," she said.

Participants carried a smart phone to collect data about their real-time, in-the-moment experiences throughout their daily travels during the quitting process. The study examined data collected from them before quitting through one week after their "quit day."

"When people were answering questions about their urge to smoke, we knew where they were," she said. "We used that information to better understand what the tobacco retailer outlet environment was like around them at the same moment they were describing their urge."

The smartphone research suggested that it wasn't the number of locations to purchase cigarettes that increased the urge to smoke, but the proximity of the closest tobacco retail outlet to the participant's home. When people responded from home, those living closer to tobacco retail outlets reported greater urges to smoke than those living farther from outlets.

"From a policy perspective, this suggests that if we are going to help people quit smoking, especially those in lower income areas, which tend to have a higher prevalence of tobacco stores, we need to think about disallowing the sale of tobacco products in close proximity to residential areas to make it more difficult to get tobacco when the urge to smoke strikes," Reitzel said. "If people can't access cigarettes within three to five minutes, the urge to smoke usually passes."

Reitzel's research was funded by the UT Health Science Center School of Public Health, the American Cancer Society and MD Anderson Cancer Center, among others.

"Many people try to quit smoking upwards of eight, nine, 10 times before they're successful," she said. "For the rest of their lives they have to be vigilant and fight to stay tobacco-free."


Contact: Marisa Ramirez
University of Houston

Related medicine news :

1. Smartphones, drones, to save lives in Malawi
2. CNIO scientists reduce progression of one of the most aggressive skin cancers in mice
3. Chicago Public High School Students to Rub Shoulders with Scientists from Around the World
4. NIH scientists pursue new therapies to improve rare disease drug development
5. NCI scientists identify targets for melanoma immunotherapy
6. Peering into Genetic Defects, CU Scientists Discover a New Metabolic Disease
7. What scientists can see in your pee
8. St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital scientists identify ALS disease mechanism
9. NIH-funded scientists describe genesis, evolution of H7N9 influenza virus
10. American Scientists Attempt to Sequence John Lennon's Genetic Code from the Beatle's Tooth
11. Harvard Scientists Commend Erchonia for Excellence in Clinical Research for the Zerona Laser
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Smartphones, GPS part of UH scientist's smoking cessation research
(Date:10/13/2015)... MA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... Protein ... of the body, including muscle, bone, and blood. But how much protein does the ... complicated than it might seem, according to the October 2015 issue of Harvard ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... T-System and Centegra ... than 59,000 emergency department visits per year, today announced the successful and rapid ... improve clinical, operational and financial outcomes. , In less than four ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing , a vertically ... melting invention that helps people in clearing snow away from the streets and driveways. ... at 3.8% per year," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Thermi, ... the newest professional to introduce the latest development, ThermiVa® temperature controlled radiofrequency to ... leading professional in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a pioneer in the field of ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... and the Florida Apartment Association (FAA) has partnered with the Florida Department of ... the demand. , The FAA Smoke-Free Multifamily Housing Program launched last week ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (NYSE:  WX), a ... serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries, ... version of OncoWuXi, the first App in the ... and data on the go.  The OncoWuXi App ... to identify relevant tumor models for use in ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Oct. 13, 2015  The Wyss Institute ... today announced the launch of its latest ... will introduce imaging reagents providing super-resolution capabilities ... of expensive specialized instruments. The announcement follows ... Office of Technology Development (OTD) and ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... -- --> --> Opportunities ... the Asthma and COPD Therapies market? Which areas are going ... new report shows you potential revenues to 2025, assessing data, ... 260 tables, charts, and graphs. Discover the most lucrative areas ... study lets you assess forecasted sales at overall world market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: