The scientific basis of Kwit

The scientific basis of Kwit

Kwit is an application based on scientific research to give you every chance of successfully quitting smoking! On this page, you'll find a non-exhaustive list of the primary references on which we rely.



French health authorities consider cognitive and behavioral techniques as the only approved non-drug approach for smoking cessation (best practices, 2014). Cognitive and behavioral therapies can be used as first-line treatments with high levels of proof (Hartmann-Boyce et al., 2021).

Kwit’s benevolent and gratitude-based approach have shown their efficacy, for example in the management of depressive symptoms (Iodice et al, 2021).


According to the transtheoretical model of change (Prochaska, DiClemente & Norcross, 1992), behavioral change is a step-by-step process. Each step is associated with specific strategies. The COM-B model (Michie, Van Stralen & West, 2011) shows the importance of several factors contributing to a successful change: opportunity, self-efficacy, motivation.

Only a few programs integrate those three factors. That’s why we have created a 9-step intervention following motivational interviewing principles and using cognitive and behavioral strategies. In accordance with the above-cited models, this program aims to reinforce users’ willingness to change, to fight difficulties and barriers to smoking cessation, to challenge themselves, and to plan their quit date. This program was designed for people at the preparation stage, which corresponds to this state of mind: “I want to change, but I don’t know how to do it”.

Two standardized and validated questionnaires are used during the program: Fagerström's test for nicotine dependence, and Horn's test to evaluate the type of dependence. Several behavioral change techniques were used to design the 9-step path. Breathing exercises are provided to the users as a strategy to overcome cravings (Loftalian et al, 2020).


Accomplishments to be unlocked within the app are based upon data from the scientific literature. For environmental accomplishments, see Zafeiridou et al. (2018). For accomplishments related to smoke and tobacco components (nicotine, tars, carbon monoxide), see Calafat et al. (2004). For health-related accomplishments, see the references on the CDC and the WHO websites.


The mood tracker allows the user to increase their knowledge about themselves, about their reactions, and to stay proactive in the management of their mental wellbeing (Church et al., 2010; Gay et al., 2011). Mental health is a component of general health, according to the WHO definition. Being in a positive mood has benefits on physical health and reinforces engagement in healthier behaviors. Tracking one’s mood also allows one to determine which contexts trigger definite feelings, so that one can adapt their environment and routine in order to increase their wellbeing.


Users can set personal time and/or money goals. Goal setting is a well-known behavior change technique (Michie et al, 2013).


Journaling has been studied, particularly in people struggling with anxiety, depression (Smyth et al., 2018), and major depressive disorder (Krpan et al., 2013).


HAS, 2014. Arrêt de la consommation de tabac : du dépistage individuel au maintien de l’abstinence en premier recours. (Source)

Hartmann-Boyce J, Livingstone-Banks J, Ordóñez-Mena JM, Fanshawe TR, Lindson N, Freeman SC, Sutton AJ, Theodoulou A, Aveyard P. Behavioural interventions for smoking cessation: an overview and network meta-analysis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2021 Jan 4;1:CD013229. (Source)

Iodice JA, Malouff JM, Schutte NS (2021) The Association between Gratitude and Depression: A Meta-Analysis. Int J Depress Anxiety 4:024. (Source)

Prochaska, J. O., DiClemente, C. C., & Norcross, J. C. (1992). In search of how people change: Applications to addictive behaviors. American Psychologist, 47(9), 1102–1114. (Source)

Michie, S., van Stralen, M.M. & West, R. The behaviour change wheel: A new method for characterising and designing behaviour change interventions. Implementation Sci 6, 42 (2011). (Source)

Fagerström K. Determinants of tobacco use and renaming the FTND to the Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependence. Nicotine Tob Res. 2012 Jan;14(1):75-8. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntr137. Epub 2011 Oct 24. PMID: 22025545. (Source)

Frederick F. Ikard, Dorothy E. Green & Daniel Horn (1969) A Scale to Differentiate between Types of Smoking as Related to the Management of Affect, International Journal of the Addictions, 4:4, 649-659. (Source)

Lotfalian S, Spears CA, Juliano LM. The effects of mindfulness-based yogic breathing on craving, affect, and smoking behavior. Psychol Addict Behav. 2020 Mar;34(2):351-359. doi: 10.1037/adb0000536. Epub 2019 Nov 21. PMID: 31750699; PMCID: PMC7064378. (Source)

Zafeiridou, M., Hopkinson, N. S., & Voulvoulis, N. (2018). Cigarette Smoking: An Assessment of Tobacco’s Global Environmental Footprint Across Its Entire Supply Chain. Environmental Science & Technology, 52(15), 8087-8094. (Source)

Calafat AM, Polzin GM, Saylor J, et alDetermination of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide yields in the mainstream smoke of selected international cigarettesTobacco Control 2004;13:45-51. (Source)

Benefits of Quitting (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). (Source)

Tobacco: Health benefits of smoking cessation (World Health Organisation). (Source)

Karen Church, Eve Hoggan, and Nuria Oliver. 2010. A study of mobile mood awareness and communication through MobiMood. In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries (NordiCHI '10). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 128–137. (Source)

Gay, G., Pollak, J. P., Adams, P., & Leonard, J. P. (2011). Pilot Study of Aurora, a Social, Mobile-Phone-Based Emotion Sharing and Recording System. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 5(2), 325–332. (Source)

Michie, S., Richardson, M., Johnston, M., Abraham, C., Francis, J., Hardeman, W., Eccles, M. P., Cane, J., & Wood, C. E. (2013). The behavior change technique taxonomy (v1) of 93 hierarchically clustered techniques: Building an international consensus for the reporting of behavior change interventions. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 46(1), 81-95. (Source)

Smyth, J. M., Johnson, J. A., Auer, B. J., Lehman, E., Talamo, G., & Sciamanna, C. N. (2018). Online Positive Affect Journaling in the Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-Being in General Medical Patients With Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR mental health, 5(4), e11290. (Source)

Krpan, K. M., Kross, E., Berman, M. G., Deldin, P. J., Askren, M. K., & Jonides, J. (2013). An everyday activity as a treatment for depression: the benefits of expressive writing for people diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Journal of affective disorders, 150(3), 1148–1151. (Source)


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