Carrot, a Redwood City, California firm, won FDA clearance for its Carbon Monoxide (CO) Breath Sensor System. It will be available as an over-the-counter product that’s designed to help smokers kick the habit as part of smoking cessation programs.
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The CO sensor features Bluetooth wireless connectivity, allowing it to interface with a smartphone app that records and displays the readings. The app is intended to be used by smokers themselves, providing them an important assessment of how their habit is affecting their health. The company hopes that its product will be a sort of mirror for smokers, that provides an unsanitized glimpse on the toll that smoking has on their bodies, which in turn would influence behavior to lean toward permanently quitting the habit.
While the product can be sold over-the-counter, Carrot is planning to first make it available to self-insured U.S. employers that are trying to make a dent in the smoking habits of their employees. The firm believes that improved productivity and reduced overall healthcare costs will be the necessary motivators to make this product a commercial success.
“Despite the fact that 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit, less than seven percent of eligible smokers sign up for workplace cessation programs – even when they’re free,” said Heather Patrick, Ph. D., vice president of behavioral science at Carrot, in a statment. “Part of the reason for that is that most programs start with setting a quit date, then go straight to creating a quit plan. That’s intimidating. So, Pivot has entirely reimagined smoking cessation, first by designing a program that is for all smokers, not just those ready to quit. And, second, by delivering evidence-based behavioral science strategies directly to the participant via their smartphone. Pivot is designed to appeal to and help smokers no matter where they are in their quit journey.”