Dr. Lorien Abroms is a behavioral scientist with expertise in applying communication technology to design scalable programs aimed at tobacco cessation. The aims of her research are to develop and evaluate evidence-based tobacco treatment programs that run on mobile phones, to investigate their mechanisms, and to investigate methods of promoting their uptake and dissemination.
With funding from the NIH, Dr. Abroms developed Text2Quit, a text messaging smoking cessation program, and conducted a randomized trial of Text2Quit in a sample of adult smokers recruited on the Internet. Results indicate a significant increase in biochemically verified sustained quit rates at 6 months follow-up. Through a partnership with the American Cancer Society/Optum, Text2Quit is offered to callers of 1-800-QuitNow (quitline) in over 15 states and has been used by over 350,000 quitline callers. Dr. Abroms has also developed mCessation programs for pregnant smokers, both for the National Cancer Institute and as an add on program for Text4baby. Preliminary results of the trial among Text4baby smokers indicate positive findings on pregnancy cessation, an important finding given the low reach of traditional counseling services. Dr. Abroms is an advisor to the WHO on their “Be Healthy Be Mobile” initiative and, as part of this work, has been involved in the development and evaluation of India’s National text messaging program for smoking cessation. To date, this program has over 2 million users and represents the largest text messaging program in the world.
At George Washington University (GW), Dr. Abroms is the founding director of the GW mHealth Collaborative, an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students with representation from GW faculty in clinical medicine, public health, biostatistics, and engineering and have led symposia on the topic of mHealth in health systems She is also the co-Director of MeTRIC, (the DC Metro Tobacco Research and Instruction Consortium) and the Director of the MPH program in Public Health Communication and Marketing.
Dr. Abroms was awarded the Early Career Award by the Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) Section of the American Public Health Association, the Best Materials Award from the American Public Health Association, and the Gareth M. Green Award for Excellence in Public Health Practice by the Harvard School of Public Health.