Stop Tobacco with Assistance to Recover Today

START – Stop Tobacco with Assistance to Recover Today

Tobacco use remains a global public health challenge, responsible for millions of deaths each year. The statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) are alarming, with up to half of all tobacco users eventually succumbing to its harmful effects. This challenge is compounded by the growing shortage of doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals, resulting in a significant gap between the demand for and availability of Tobacco Cessation Counselling (TCC) services.

Recognizing the urgency of addressing this problem, GIPHI, in partnership with the University of Toronto, has developed the START app. This innovative mobile application aims to empower health and social workers with the necessary skills and resources to effectively support individuals in their quest to quit tobacco.

Session-wise, evidence-based counselling protocol presented in lay language for social and healthcare workers.

Money Saved Calculator, enabling users to estimate the financial burden of tobacco use and the monetary benefits of quitting.

Chat bot with an extensive database of knowledge to address technical or medical concerns related to tobacco and its usage.

Assessment Tests, including the Motivation to Quit Scale, the Fagerstrom Nicotine Dependent Test, Quality of Life Assessment, and Readiness to Quit Scale.

START App screen video

Trackers to monitor usage, abstinence, mood, withdrawal symptoms, and relapse.

Calendar for scheduling future appointments.

Trigger training with strategies to help patients identify and manage triggers.

Withdrawal symptoms management tools and support to minimize discomfort and enhance the likelihood of successful tobacco cessation.

Relaxation and motivational exercises, such as postural deep breathing and the breathing 123 technique, among others.

The START app training program offers a low-cost opportunity to Healthcare Institutions to equip their healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills required for effective tobacco cessation counselling.


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Why START app?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco use kills up to half of its users. Each year, globally tobacco kills 8 million people. It causes non-communicable diseases (NCDs) namely cancer, heart diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and stroke. Many users want to quit but aren’t successful doing it by themselves. There is an increased shortage of doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals. This creates a humongous gap between the demand and supply for Tobacco Cessation Counselling (TCC) services.


What does the START app do?

To solve this problem START (Stop Tobacco with Assistance to Recover Today) was developed. Through this, we aim to train social workers to become tobacco cessation counselors. Due to a drastic increase in mobile phone usage, last-mile internet connectivity, and innovations in health technology penetrating rural geographies across the world, we envision success.


How does the START app work?

START provides session-wise and evidence-based counseling protocol in lay language for social workers as both textual and graphical cues to be delivered in each session. With features like a…

Calculator to calculate monetary benefits due to quitting and burden due to use.

Calendar to book appointments.

Tracker to monitor usage, abstinence, mood, withdrawal symptoms, and relapse; ChatBot to allow social workers to clear technical or medical doubts.

and Reminders to send daily messages for patient motivation and an appointment notification to both the counselor and the patient for better adherence to therapy.


Who can use the START app?

With minimum training, we envision training anyone ranging from a social worker, lay health worker, auxiliary health professional, nurse, dentist, or doctor.


Download the START App


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