Revisiting the X-Pack
My current work focuses on mobile technologies and smoking cessation. This includes using emails, text messaging and smartphone apps. Through a series of events and partners, a product I developed and evaluated called Text2Quit has become an American Cancer Society product and is used as part of the Quit for Life program. Text2Quit is an interactive text messaging program for smoking cessation. The program acts like a personal health coach on your phone with customized help to overcome cravings, personalized tips and reminders.
Additionally, I developed and evaluated a smoking cessation kit for young adult smokers called the X-Pack. It is a behavior modification toolkit to help people stop smoking without the use of medication therapy.
The X-Pack kit resembles an oversized pack of cigarettes and includes a Quitting booklet, a set of motivating quit cards, a Success-O-Meter/Ick-U-Lator (a slide card showing the harmful chemicals in cigarettes on one side and the money saved and health benefits of quitting on the other side), a pack of Wrigley’s Orbit chewing gum, Hotlix cinnamon toothpicks, and Preoccupation Putty. The gum, toothpicks and putty serve as a substitute to cigarettes.
In addition to the self-help kit, the X-Pack program included a 15-minute face-to-face counseling session and a series of counseling emails.
The X-Pack kit was developed specifically for young adults. The kit received the Best Materials Award by the Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) Section of American Public Health Association.
More than 20,000 X-Packs were sold in the United States but ultimately, funding was not available to launch the X-Pack on a scale large enough to compete with tobacco products or other cessation products.
I received a doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health and was a post-doc at the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. In 2008, she received the Early Career Award from the Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) Section of the American Public Health Association.
About the Author: Lorien Abroms, Sc.D., M.A., is an Associate Professor of Prevention and Community Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and Director of the George Washington University Public Health Communication and Marketing Program. She discusses her work with smoking cessation.