Faculty of Health

University of Tasmania researcher working to help smokers quit the habit

University of Tasmania researcher Ivan Bindoff has been recognised for his work in developing a smartphone game to help people quit smoking, in The National Heart Foundation of Australia 2017 research funding round.

School of Medicine research fellow (Pharmacy Division) Doctor Ivan Bindoff has been awarded a $54,000 Vanguard Grant to further his research into this method of helping people to quit smoking.

Vanguard Grants provide researchers with funding to test the feasibility of innovative concepts in public health or health services, including clinical service delivery, and whether they have the potential to improve cardiovascular health in the short term.

Doctor Bindoff has developed a smartphone game called Quittr which he hopes will help smokers succeed in their attempt to quit.

“When the user engages with the behavioral support content in the app they are rewarded with virtual currency that they can redeem for bonuses in the game,” he said.

“We believe this approach will keep users engaged with the quitting process for longer, improving their likelihood of success.”

Heart Foundation Tasmania CEO Graeme Lynch said the award showed that Tasmanian researchers could compete with the very best in the country.

“These grants are very competitive because we receive applications from highly-skilled researchers all over the country,” he said.

“Doctor Bindoff’s project is one of half a dozen world-class research projects currently underway in Tasmania that have benefited from more than $1.6million in Heart Foundation funding.

“This year’s funding round will build on a lengthy and impressive legacy of funding research which contributes to the treatment, cure and, importantly, prevention of heart disease.”