AgeMe "Face Aging" Software Encourages Young Smokers to Quit, Shows Medical Research

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Young smokers are more likely to quit when presented with images of what they will look like older if they keep smoking. AgeMe software (April INC) is used to generate accurate scientific photos of them if they smoke versus if they stop smoking.

Age Me Face Aging

Scientific "face aging" can be extremely effective in a number of Health settings.

Researchers from Curtin University in Australia have reported success in encouraging young adult smokers to quit by showing them computer‐generated images of how their faces might look in their 50s and 60s if they continue to smoke. The results of the Curtin study have been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

To supply the accelerated smoking‐related photo‐agings, the researchers turned to (APRIL® Face Aging Software) of Toronto, Canada, who provide a scientific 'aging booth'. The photo-agings were completed on participants aged 18-30 in a community pharmacy setting to determine if the intervention promoted cessation among young adult smokers.

“Available literature suggests that cigarette smoking continues to be a major modifiable risk factor for a variety of diseases and that smokers aged 18-30 years are relatively resistant to anti‐smoking messages due to their widely held belief that they will not be lifelong smokers,” said study supervisor Professor Moyez Jiwa, Chair of Health Innovation, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute.

“As a result we wanted to look at the issue from a different angle. We conducted the trial to establish whether digitally photo-­‐aging participants using the internet-­‐based APRIL® Face Aging software, would have any effect on their smoking status. We found that using this photo-aging technology to confront smokers with how their smoking will affect their skin aging was effective at persuading one in seven young adult smokers to quit,” he said.

Mrs Oksana Burford, a pharmacist and lecturer at the School of Pharmacy, Curtin University, conducted the randomised control trial. The results have been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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Alex Brown

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