Smoke Free

Smoke Free

Smoke Free is a behavioural change app used to support people giving up smoking. The app incorporates evidence on how to quit smoking and includes more than 30 different behaviour-change techniques. Users are encouraged to stay smoke-free through consistent notifications of progress in terms of time, money saved, health improvements made and more. They can also employ the app’s “missions”, which are daily tasks designed to help people quit and stay smoke-free. A Smoke Free-led, randomised control trial of more than 28,000 participants found that those who engaged with the missions were twice as likely to remain abstinent from smoking three months following their set quit date. A subsequent randomised control trial found that the app’s automated chatbot increased quit rates even further.

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By Smoke Free


Smoke Free was originally developed as a part-time university project by Dr David Crane while he was struggling to quit smoking and studying potential solutions. The app has now experienced more than four million downloads and has an average user rating of 4.7 out of 5.

How did the Innovation Exchange help?

Smoke Free was successful in its application to the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme in 2018. Throughout the programme, they received 12 months of intensive one-to-one advice and support from Tom Carlisle, a dedicated navigator on the Accelerator. The year included access to a variety of workshops, focused on areas like social media marketing, writing business cases, procurement, information governance and understanding the NHS, as well as “Meet the Expert” events. In addition to this, the AHSN’s national Innovation Exchange team provided market access analysis, including business development advice and public health funding contracts. As a programme alumnus, Smoke Free has continued access to support from the Accelerator.

Impact & Outcomes

  • Smoke Free has now experienced more than four million downloads and has an average user rating of 4.7 out of 5. 
  • In January 2020, it was made available in 1,400 Boots stores across the UK and online at in a major deal for Smoke Free. It is understood to be the first behavioural change app available in a high street pharmacy.