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Table of Contents
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 172-173

Is there a place today for augmented and virtual reality in cigarette smoking cessation?


Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital and HBNI, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission10-Jan-2022
Date of Decision24-Jan-2022
Date of Acceptance24-Jan-2022
Date of Web Publication24-Feb-2022

Correspondence Address:
Pankaj Chaturvedi
Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital and HBNI, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/crst.crst_12_22

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How to cite this article:
Chaturvedi P, Singh A. Is there a place today for augmented and virtual reality in cigarette smoking cessation?. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2022;5:172-3

How to cite this URL:
Chaturvedi P, Singh A. Is there a place today for augmented and virtual reality in cigarette smoking cessation?. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 May 21];5:172-3. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2022/5/1/172/342406



We read with interest a review article titled, “Application of augmented and virtual reality in cigarette smoking cessation: A systematic review,” by Sandra et al. published in your journal, commenting on a contemporary method of cigarette smoking cessation.[1] Smoking is a leading cause of preventable deaths,[2] and the authors have done a commendable job in reviewing the data on the application of augmented and virtual reality (AVR) for its cessation. These methods have gained some traction in the COVID-19 pandemic for cognitive–behavioral treatments (CBT) across disciplines, especially as access to health interventions came to a standstill early on.[3],[4] While its applicability might seem encouraging in the current pandemic, the longevity of its use as a cessation tool is questionable.

The techniques for smoking cessation can be broadly categorized into behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions, with decades of evidence present for both. AVR technique is one such tool through which various behavioral techniques can be administered. Further, both of these categories can be used for either encouraging cessation or maintaining abstinence. Although the review does suggest that these methods did not improve the success of CBT but rather improved the motivation for cessation, it would be of great interest to know in which of the above-mentioned areas in cessation science the AVR method would be useful.

In the current review and other literature present on the use of AVR for tobacco cessation, there are certain limitations that need to be highlighted. Most of the studies have analyzed its role in cue exposure and responses, comparing it to similar neutral images. It is possible that the images intended to be neutral might have elicited smoking urges in some participants. For example, if juice consumption had been reliably paired with smoking, the juice bottle could have been a conditioned stimulus rather than a neutral cue. In addition, the environments that the studies were conducted in were most likely very different from their naturalistic smoking environments, which could have affected the responses. In fact, across all the studies included in the current review, the quality of intervention for the cue exposures delivered was not standardized. The results of most of these studies could be of limited applicability due to the small sample size of the participants. With the world rapidly moving towards a digital future, AVR could be a great tool, but the current anticipated applicability seems to be poor. AVR is not a very common technology available today, even in developed countries, and needs special hardware. It would also need a motivated individual to come into the cessation clinic regularly for the intervention. Hence, this could be an interesting method to explore, but currently, its role is questionable for large-scale cessation efforts.

To conclude, AVR is a fresh and attractive addition to the current armamentarium of tobacco cessation delivery tools. Efforts are needed to make its implementation more scalable. In addition, we feel that this sort of technology would be a very useful addition to the current standardized methods available. Future research should be conducted in this direction rather than efforts to establish it as an independent method.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Sandra SC, Anusha R, Madankumar PD. Application of augmented and virtual reality in cigarette smoking cessation: A systematic review. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:684-91.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Biswas P. Cigarettes are killers that travel in “packs”: A physician's perspective. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:765-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
Pandey A, Rani M, Chandra N, Pandey M, Singh R, Monalisa K, et al. Impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on cancer care delivery: A single-center retrospective study. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:683-91.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with cancer and cancer survivors: A narrative review. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:315-20.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  




 

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