About the Study & Data

Below is information about the study (Section A), and our data collection and privacy policy and terms (Section B). Please read this information before joining the study and using NRT2Quit, and contact us with any questions you may have.

Section A: About the Study

Principal Investigator: Dr Tobias Raupach (t.raupach@ucl.ac.uk)
Co-investigators: Dr Jamie Brown, Prof Robert West, and Aleksandra Herbec

About the study
The study is part of ongoing research on developing digital support for smokers wanting to quit smoking with nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT. This study aims to compare two versions of the NRT2Quit app with different features, which will help us to learn how we could develop better apps and if we could recommend the app to other smokers in the UK. The study has been approved by UCL Research Ethics Committee (ID: 5398/001).

Who can participate
You can participate if you are (a) living in the UK, (b) 18 years old or older, (c) currently smoking at least 10 cigarettes/day, (d) have bought at least one nicotine replacement therapy product (e.g. gums, patches, lozenges, sprays, inhalators, strips etc) without a prescription, and have no contraindications for its use, and (e) would like to quit smoking completely (not just cut down). If you are unsure if you can use NRT please speak to your pharmacists or consult the product leaflet.

You also have to have an iPhone (ideally iOS 8.1 or later) with regular access to the Internet and be willing to download NRT2Quit app and use the support offered through it during your quit attempt.

How can you join the study, and when
You can join the study at any time (we are recruiting now). You must have bought NRT and be ready to start the quit attempt in the next 2 weeks. Please search for and download NRT2Quit app from iTunes, and complete the registration on the app.

What will happen if you decide to participate
After downloading NRT2Quit you will be able to register through the app into the study. This takes only 5 minutes and involves answering some questions about yourself, your smoking and the NRT you want to use, as well as providing your contact details. The app will then ask you to set a Quit Date in the next 2 weeks of downloading the app. A Quit Date is a date when you will try to stop smoking cigarettes and will start using your NRT. After registering, the app will allocate you to one of its two version.

During the study
We will ask that you use the app when trying to quit smoking. We may send you an occasional e-mail about the study, e.g. at registration, and with any important updates.

After 2 months
After 2 months of registering into the study we will ask that you answer some questions on the App. If you do not respond through the app we may e-mail or call you with few questions to help us complete the study. If you will not be smoking we may need to confirm this by analyzing a small sample of saliva that we would collect through post (more details below).

After 7 months
We may also invite you to answer few questions about your smoking and NRT use over e-mail or telephone after 7 months since registering.

The success of our study depends on us being able to contact all study participants, regardless of whether they have quit smoking or are still smoking. You are free to participate in the study and can withdraw at any time and without providing any reason by contacting quitsmokingapp@ucl.ac.uk.

Why we collect samples of saliva from some participants
We will ask some participants to provide a very small sample of saliva through post, collected using a cotton stick after 2 months of registration to confirm not smoking.  This is a standard and quick procedure that takes only 2 minutes to complete, and it is used in many studies of stopping smoking. It will allow us to evaluate the app according to international standards. If selected, you will receive all the information and saliva sampling kits via post on the address you provided at the registration. The letter will also include a £20 gift voucher as a reimbursement and thank you for your time.

Benefits of participating
You will gain access to a free new App for quitting smoking. Stopping smoking is the single most beneficial thing that you can do to improve your health, and by using the app you may be more likely to quit smoking than if you tried smoking without any assistance. On request, you will also be able to receive a summary of our findings following publication. By participating you are also helping us to develop more effective apps in the future.

If you will be selected to take part in saliva testing you will receive a £20 gift voucher in return for your time. If you will be invited and agree to take part in the telephone interviews you will also receive a high street £20 gift voucher in return for your time.

Risks and costs of participating
You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, fatigue and difficulty concentrating when you abstain from smoking, which you will be familiar with if you have previously attempted to stop. Some people may also experience some side effects from taking NRT, but these are almost always short-lived and not dangerous. If you feel very unwell please speak to your GP or pharmacist.

We are unable to provide you with nicotine products, so you will need to buy your own supply. Buying a supply of NRT for few weeks is cheaper than continuing to smoke.

What are the telephone interviews, and how can you take part
After few months since the start of the study we would like to invite few participants to take part in a telephone interview to learn about their experiences with using the app and their views on how we could improve it. The interviews will be audio- recorded, anonymised, transcribed and then analysed. Anonymised findings may be published but you would not be identified. The interviews will help us to learn how to develop better apps in the future. If you are interested to participate in the interviews please indicate it on the app (in section Info>About the study>Future studies), or respond to an e-mail we will be sending with information about the interviews.

Sending comments or complains
If you have any comments or questions about the NRT2Quit or the study, please contact us on quitsmokingapp@ucl.ac.uk. If you have any concerns you should discuss these with the Principal Investigator (t.raupach@ucl.ac.uk). If you wish to go further and complain about any aspect of the way that you have been approached or treated during the course of this study, you should email the Chair of the UCL Committee for the Ethics of Non-NHS Human Research (gradschoolhead@ucl.ac.uk) or send a letter to: The Graduate School, North Cloisters, Wilkins Building, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT who will take the complaint forward as necessary.

Other information about the study and the team

Where is the study conducted
The study is run entirely remotely, and you will not need to travel anywhere as part of the study. You can register through the app, and we contact you mostly through the app and e-mail. If you do not reply we may also contact you over the phone to ask few questions after 2 and 7 months to complete the study. The research team is based at Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre  at UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, and at UCL Department for Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology.

How is the study funded
The researchers working on the study are funded by different research grants. Aleksandra Herbec is a PhD student at UCL who is funded by British Heart Foundation PhD Studentship. Other researchers on the team are funded by different organizations, for example from Cancer Research UK and Society for the Study of Addiction. The cost of developing NRT2Quit app and data collection is covered by GRAND Award 2013 - an independent research grant from  Pfizer®, a company that is producing some of the stop smoking medications (e.g. Champix that is available on prescription in the UK). No pharmaceutical company, including Pfizer®, has influenced the design of the study or the app, and they will not receive participant data that we collect.

Who has developed the app
The app was designed and planned by UCL researchers with advice from the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT).

Section B: Data collection and privacy policy

About the data we collect, and why
We collect data that you provide to use during the registration and when using the app (e.g. your contact details, your quit date, and data on smoking and on NRT you are using), data on app usage, and the number of times the app has been installed on the same phone. We use the data only for the purpose of the present research, which is to evaluate the effectiveness and acceptability of the tools offered through the app. We also use some of the data to tailor the information and features on the app.

Why do we collect contact details and how you can update them
We collect contact details only to contact participants with regards to this study. For example, if selected to take part in confirmation of not smoking, we will post you a letter to the address provided, together with saliva sampling kit and a £20 gift voucher. Please contact Aleksandra Herbec on quitsmokingapp@ucl.ac.uk if you would like to update your contact details.

Who has access to the data

We adhere to UK Data Protection Act 1998. Only the research team at UCL involved in the study will have access to your personal data. Your encrypted data will be stored on servers based in the United States: NRT2Quit app is supporting by Parse architecture (www.parse.com). All information collected by the app is stored in Parse, which is compliant with UCL Data Protection Regulations. This database is secure (www.parse.com/about/security) and accredited under: ISO 27001, SOC 1/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402 (Previously SAS 70 Type II), PCI Level 1, FISMA Moderate, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), and PCI. By providing your information you are agreeing to it being transferred in this way.

Anonymised and group data may be published in academic theses, journals or presented at conferences. We will never share data that could identify you.

Consent to take part in the NRT2Quit study

If you do not want to take part in this study, please do not download the app. If you would like to take part, please indicate that you consent to do so in the app introduction tunnel. By using the app you are indicating that:

  • You have read the information pages and had an opportunity to ask questions and are happy that you understand the study and what it involves for you.
  • You will receive one version of the app
  • You understand that if you decide at any time that you no longer wish to take part in this project, you can notify the researchers to withdraw immediately and request that your data be deleted
  • You agree that the findings of the study can be published but that you will not be identified.
  • All the information you provide will be treated as strictly confidential and handled in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

To read Terms, of End User License Agreement (EULA) click here