Minneapolis, Minnesota. – The Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute is testing an innovative way to help people quit smoking – by letting them bet on themselves and win real money. It’s part of a new game called QuitBet and it’s funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant administered by researchers at Hennepin Healthcare.
Players pledge to quit smoking for four weeks and bet $30 on themselves, which goes into the pot. Players then receive a free breath test device to track their progress each day. In the end, all players who successfully surrender get their stake back plus a profit by splitting the pot with the other winners. Winners usually double their money while quitting smoking.
Developed by digital health company WayBetter, QuitBet is an example of the “serious gaming” movement where games are used to improve health. Serious games can take a chore like quitting smoking and add social elements like competition, social support and, in this case, the incentive to have money on the line, to make adoption fun and engaging. healthy habits. QuitBet builds on other successful WayBetter products such as DietBet (a weight loss game) and StepBet (a walking game).
Jamie Rosen, founder and CEO of WayBetter, is the study’s lead researcher. Sandra Japuntich Ph.D., Hennepin Healthcare Researcher, provides scientific support. The study was funded by $1.15 million from the National Institutes of Health.
“We’ve known for years that paying people to change their behavior, called contingency management, helps people quit smoking. However, implementing contingency management in a sustainable way is difficult. QuitBet solves this problem by allowing players to self-fund their own incentives,” said Dr Japuntich.
In this QuitBet study, players prove they are smoke-free by performing a daily carbon monoxide breath test using a device connected to their smartphone, which is provided to participants free of charge. The study will test whether providing social support while gaming via a social feed improves abstinence rates or user satisfaction.
“Quitting smoking is hard, but who said it also has to be lonely and frustrating? said Rosen. “Why not mix some fun, friendly competition with the thrill of making money? It’s a powerful new way to think about the problem. We’re finding that it really helps people get through those tough first few weeks.”
To register for the QuitBet study
Download the QuitBet app from the Apple or Google Play app stores, or visit http://Quit.bet
The research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number R44DA048668. The content is the sole responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About WayBetter Inc.
Much better is a software company whose mission is to spread health and happiness through social games. The company developed DietBet, StepBet and the WayBetter app and has over 1 million players who have collectively won over $100 million while losing 15 million pounds and walking 50% more steps every day.
Lauren Theur Kauf
About the Hennepin Health Research Institute Hennepin Health Research Institute (HHRI) is the research arm and not-for-profit subsidiary of Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., an integrated healthcare system that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized Level 1 trauma center and teaching hospital and acute care. HHRI is one of Minnesota’s largest nonprofit medical research organizations and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of all institutions receiving research funding from the National Institutes of Health. For more information about research at HHRI, visit hhrinstitute.org.
Corporate Communications Manager
Hennepin Health Research Institute
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