Agile Health Adds Smokeless Tobacco Cessation Support to Kick Buts Program Provides Comprehensive Tobacco Cessation Solution for Employers and Benefit Plan Sponsors Seeking to Maximize Wellness Incentives

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Agile Health, a provider of mobile healthcare engagement solutions, today announced the release of a new version of its Kick Buts Smoking Cessation program to help employees and covered beneficiaries kick the smokeless tobacco habit. The new adaptation builds on the success of the company's STOMP Health Message Engine, which has powered two successful clinical trials in New Zealand and the UK leading the Cochrane Library to conclude that mobile smoking cessation programs are an effective means of support.

While much attention is paid to the high rates of smoking in the United States, the American Cancer Society reports that over 8.2 million people in the U.S. – nearly the number of people in the State of Virginia – use smokeless tobacco products. Additionally, use of smokeless tobacco is higher in younger age groups and males, which makes it a prime demographic for a text messaging based intervention.

Similar to smoking, the health risks associated with smokeless tobacco are numerous and diverse. Nicotine addiction, experienced by both smokers and smokeless tobacco users, creates strong physical and behavioral dependencies and can have significant health consequences due to its impact on the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. Smokeless tobacco carries additional consequences including higher risk of oral, pancreatic, and kidney cancers, as well as the potential for a variety of serious dental and periodontal diseases.   

The Kick Buts program delivers personalized text messages at scheduled intervals over a six-month period to help users develop the knowledge, motivation and behavioral skills necessary to drive sustained behavior change. The message content and protocols are designed to educate users on the facts and consequences of using different forms of smokeless tobacco, motivate and empower them to formulate and pursue a personal quit plan, and help prepare them for the realities of the quit process, including what to expect and how to cope with challenges along the way. The program also provides in-the-moment support by responding immediately to key words participants can send in requesting help to overcome cravings, slip-ups or relapse, effectively creating a two-way dialogue that engages program participants when and where they need it most.

The message content and protocols for the smokeless version of the program have been adapted from Kick Buts using the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence 2008 Update published by the Public Health Service. Specific adaptations focus on the different forms of smokeless tobacco, the differences in health risks associated with smokeless tobacco versus smoking, and the symptoms one experiences when quitting smokeless tobacco compared to quitting cigarettes. Other adaptations address the relevant demographic differences between smokeless tobacco users and the broader smoking population. However, the core behavioral content from Kick Buts remains intact, as the strategy for cessation is consistent between smoking and smokeless tobacco use. Both versions of the text-based coaching program are also fully supported by a suite of relevant web-based content and tools, including Facebook® integration for personalized social support.

The Kick Buts program is available in Spanish and English to help employee benefit plan sponsors and administrators who are seeking a comprehensive, clinically sound and cost efficient solution in order to take full advantage of the opportunity to pursue increased engagement and behavior change in 2014 under the new rules for non-discriminatory wellness programs.

About Agile Health
Agile Health provides mobile healthcare engagement solutions to create lasting behavior changes that drive better health outcomes. The company's programs deliver practical, engaging and cost-effective support, as well as clinically verified results. Agile Health's solutions are tailored to integrate easily and effectively with employers, benefit plan sponsors, third party administrators, and other health & wellness program providers. For more information on Kick Buts or the STOMP platform, call Agile Health at (847) 955-1905 or visit www.agilehealth.com.

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SOURCE Agile Health



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