Location: United States
MindCotine uses virtual reality to expose smokers to situations that may tempt them while remaining in a controlled environment. The program offers a support group, lessons, weekly online therapy, and more.
In 2018, 55% of smokers in the USA attempted to quit smoking, according to the CDC. Yet, only 7.5% of smokers were successful at quitting. The nicotine in cigarettes is a highly addictive chemical that makes stopping extremely difficult, especially when combined with social factors.
There are different ways to quit, all with varying levels of effectiveness. Suddenly stopping is the least effective way, while quitting with the support of cognitive behavioural therapy is six times more effective. However, MindCotine has found that their immersive VR program with mindfulness is 33% effective in helping people quit smoking.
The full program requires the user to have a smartphone, but everything else is included. The smoking cessation kit consists of a cardboard virtual reality headset, weekly therapy with a coach, chat group, virtual reality training, and more.
The virtual reality simulations take the user through various social situations that increase temptation, such as watching other friends light up or being offered a cigarette. Weekly one-to-one online therapy helps with accountability while being able to get answers to their questions. A peer group of others can also provide the user with accountability and ongoing support.