Publication at Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal

Our systematic review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness and acceptability of chatbots for smoking cessation was published at Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Check the abstract below and the full text here:


Conversational agents (computer programs that use artificial intelligence to simulate a conversation with users through natural language) have evolved considerably in recent years to support healthcare by providing autonomous, interactive, and accessible services, making them potentially useful for supporting smoking cessation. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to provide an overarching evaluation of their effectiveness and acceptability to inform future development and adoption.


PsycInfo, Web of Science, ACM Digital Library, IEEE Xplore, Medline, EMBASE, Communication and Mass Media Complete, and CINAHL Complete were searched for studies examining the use of conversational agents for smoking cessation. Data from eligible studies were extracted and used for random-effects meta-analyses.


The search yielded 1,245 publications with 13 studies eligible for systematic review (total N = 8,236) and 6 studies for random-effects meta-analyses. All studies reported positive effects on cessation related outcomes. A meta-analysis with RCTs reporting on abstinence yielded a sample-weighted odds ratio (OR) of 1.66 (95% CI 1.33-2.07, p<.001), favoring conversational agents over comparison groups. A narrative synthesis of all included studies showed overall high acceptability, while some barriers were identified from user-feedback. Overall, included studies were diverse in design with mixed quality, and evidence of publication bias was identified. A lack of theoretical foundations was noted, as well as a clear need for relational communication in future designs.


The effectiveness and acceptability of conversational agents for smoking cessation are promising. However, standardization of reporting and designing of the agents is warranted for a more comprehensive evaluation.


This is the first systematic review to provide insight into the use of conversational agents to support smoking cessation. Our findings demonstrated initial promise in the effectiveness and user acceptability of these agents. We also identified a lack of theoretical and methodological limitations to improve future study design and intervention delivery.

The paper

He, L., Balaji, D., Wiers, R. W., Antheunis, M. L., & Krahmer, E. (2022). Effectiveness and acceptability of conversational agents for smoking cessation: a systematic review and meta-analysisNicotine & Tobacco Research.