The “Kwit” app to stop smoking is the first to be recognized by the WHOACTA
- The “Kwit” mobile application has just been validated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one way among others to quit smoking.
- More than three million people have downloaded it around the world.
- The principle of “Kwit”? Stimulation and motivation based on game mechanics to avoid returning to cigarettes.
Stop smoking before giving in to temptation and… start again. This infernal circle could well go up in smoke thanks to the “Kwit” application. Launched around ten years ago by Strasbourg resident Geoffrey Kretz, an engineer by training, “Kwit” has since been downloaded more than three million times. Translated into 14 languages and downloaded mainly in Europe and America, the app was recently validated by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The world body has set itself the objective in a 2010-2025 plan, of stopping 30% of the world’s population from smoking and has thus avoided millions of deaths around the world. “And the WHO is well aware that digital tools, such as mobile applications, have a big place to play and they have developed a new evaluation framework,” specifies Geoffrey Ketz. To obtain this sesame, “Kwit” therefore followed a six-month process. The company that bears the name of the app had to provide evidence, give guarantees, indicate that a scientific committee supported its research, that a psychologist in behavioral and cognitive therapy had worked with it for five years, just like a doctor in public health or, again, that she had collaborated externally with universities or scientific committees.
Result, “Kwit” [phonétiquement « quitter » en anglais] has become the first smoking cessation application validated by the WHO and is therefore recommended on the organization’s official website. Worldwide recognition for the Strasbourg company which has around ten employees.
A nine-day program
The principle of “Kwit”? Stimulation and motivation. “Stopping smoking or becoming a non-smoker again takes time,” recalls Geoffrey Kretz. Once smokers quit, that’s when the problems start. Stay a non-smoker, resist desires, suggestions, learn to manage stress differently (…). The app helps you quit with a nine-day program and is very effective in keeping motivation super high. Because it is not willpower that prevents you from smoking again but motivation. »
Concretely, “Kwit” offers “a fun journey, which allows you to discover all the benefits for your body, the planet, your well-being”. “There are levels to reach, with a feeling of progress over time, which allows you to motivate yourself,” Geoffrey Kretz further explains. The application is thus based on the game’s mechanics to help its users. Depending on the options chosen (10 euros per month or 60 euros per year), it is also possible to have access to “connection with a support group, to exchange with experts, breathing advice, stress management, and even a nine-day program to prepare to quit »
According to the engineer, more than eight out of ten “Kwit” users are still non-smokers after three months: “often there are relapses. It takes several attempts. And the longer you stay non-smoking, the longer you hold on before relapse, the more likely you are to do so for the rest of your life. » And with its experience and recognition, the company is working on a new application that would help fight alcoholism and another… against sugar addiction.