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The company combines a sensor, an app, and human coaching to help people reduce their smoking habit
The US has been waging a war on tobacco use for decades now, leading to the number of smokers falling in the U.S., down 67 percent since 1965. That still adds up to 34 million people, though, not to mention that the number is actually rising globally. In all, an estimated 1.3 billion people smoke globally.
So, even if it seems like smoking isn't a big issue, it actually still is. That is what makes a company like Carrot still necessary: its platform, called Pivot, takes a multifaceted approach to getting people to quit smoking, involving mobile technology, behavioral science, and clinical expertise.
The company started with the premise of creating a medical device, akin to a FitBit or a glucose meter, that was Bluetooth connected and could measure a biomarker in the bloodstream or the breath to tobacco use. In addition, to the Pivot Breath Sensor, which now FDA-cleared, the company has launched a complete program which includes a user-centered app, which gives users access to a coach, nicotine replacement therapy, and a HIPAA-compliment community.
Almost 15,000 tobacco users have participated in the Pivot program to date, and on Wednesday Carrot released data showing just how successful its platform has been so far.
Smokers who used Pivot were, on average, smoking 20 cigarettes per day when they enter the program; after using Pivot they reduced their consumption by 50%, on average. That's one half of a pack of cigarettes avoided per day, per person, equaling over 180 packs.
Most users stay on the platform for about 140 days, which is equal to four and a half months, but those who stick with it for six months, and who have also messaged a coach and given an update about their usage, more than half have made some improvement, whether that be reducing their daily smoking or quitting entirely.
All of that eventually translates into direct savings, as Pivot users who quit, or at least reduced their smoking, were able to save more than $1,200 per year. The company has demonstrated a quit rate of 35%.
“Every day we’re inspired by the thousands of Pivoters who have committed to reducing the use of and ultimately quitting tobacco through Pivot,” David S. Utley, M.D., President and CEO of Carrot, said in a statement.
“At Carrot, our mission is to save millions of lives by empowering people to join our program, build skills, meet their coach, practice reducing and quitting, and then ultimately quit. In addition to life-changing health benefits, users are seeing financial rewards which, for some, add up to thousands of dollars in savings per year.”
“I really couldn’t afford (smoking) in the first place,” said Irene, a 56-year-old Pivot user in Seymour, Connecticut, who quit after smoking for 40 years. She adds, “Now I don’t have to struggle to pay bills. And can splurge now and then.”
Carrot was founded in 2015, and has raised $30.8 million in funding from investors that include JJDC, New York Life Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Marc Benioff, and R7 Partners.
(Image source: niehs.nih.gov)
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