|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 173-174
Future scope of virtual reality and augmented reality in tobacco control
Harsh Priya1, Bharathi M Purohit1, Priyanka Ravi2
1 Division of Public Health Dentistry, Centre for Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
|Date of Submission||13-Jan-2022|
|Date of Decision||25-Jan-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||26-Jan-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||31-Mar-2022|
Room Number 603, Sixth Floor, Division of Public Health Dentistry, Centre for Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Priya H, Purohit BM, Ravi P. Future scope of virtual reality and augmented reality in tobacco control. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2022;5:173-4
We read with great interest the article by Sandra et al. titled, “Application of augmented and virtual reality in cigarette smoking cessation: A systematic review,” in the last issue of the journal. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are interactive and immersive technologies for understanding and experiencing real-life situations.
In recent years, VR and AR have been increasingly imbibed in the health-care system in general and in tobacco cessation. There are three main considerations that are important when using AR and VR to help patients quit tobacco in the clinical or community setup. Firstly, from the users' point of view, they could be adopted by adolescents and young adults as interesting new technologies. This might result in short-term improvements in outcomes such as adherence to cessation and better quit rates. However, determining the long-term efficacy of VR and AR in tobacco cessation requires additional research. Secondly, from the health-care provider's point of view, this technology could be used to enhance knowledge and research skills for effective tobacco counseling. Thirdly, the use of VR and AR by any health-care management would require additional infrastructure.
Using AR through smartphones has been explored in many health-care fields, including tobacco cessation. Providing cue exposure treatments where computer-generated images trigger smoking urges among tobacco users and further training them to control their cue reactivity is a novel method in digital tobacco cessation interventions. Similarly, VR is another novel therapeutic three-dimensional immersive real-life simulation which helps the user to relive the environmental cues which trigger the tobacco use.
The outcome variables for successful quitting assessment for AR and VR can be immediate rating of severity of the cue exposure, reduction in cue reactivity, self-reported reduction in tobacco use, analysis of carbon monoxide levels, and biochemical analyses such as salivary and urine cotinine levels. These are recent technological advances and must be detailed in all dimensions.
The tobacco menace is one of the major public health problems the world is facing today, and AR and VR have the potential to become part of the standard treatment toolkit for tobacco intervention services. However, advanced technologies come with their own limitations. With regard to tobacco cessation, the role of conventional individualized behavioral counseling can never be underestimated. Digital therapeutics such as VR and AR can successfully complement the human touch and social interaction of behavioral therapy in achieving better quit rates. A clinical setup or a laboratory research setup would be an added cost requirement in the health-care infrastructure. Exploring the use of AR and VR for tobacco cessation for educational institutions such as schools and colleges is the need of the hour, in order to target the early users, and in public places such as airports and railways to spread mass awareness. Additionally, these services cannot be used as short-term tobacco cessation interventions; rather, they are best utilized in chronic tobacco-related disease treatment engagements. Despite the limitations, there is scope for exploring AR and VR at various levels of tobacco usage.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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