If you want to quit smoking, we could help.
Project Quit is a research team at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) who are dedicated to improving treatment for smokers that want to quit the habit.

What is Project Quit?

Many people want to quit smoking but think it's too hard. The nicotine in cigarettes is a very powerful and addictive drug. For most people, quitting isn't easy. Current statistics show that it can take a person 30 attempts before becoming successful in quitting and 1 in 20 smokers attempting to quit are successful without some form of help. The Project Quit team at MUSC is investigating ways on how to advance medical science in helping smokers quit.

After learning of the health consequences, most people who smoke want to quit, but a majority fail when they try to quit without help. They could have symptoms like irritability, depressed mood and trouble sleeping. Medication and/or counseling may be very helpful for smokers who want to quit.

There is no cost to you for participation, and if you qualify, you will be paid to participate. If you have questions about Project Quit’s research opportunities and how we could help you or a family member or friend, please call (843) 792-4097.

How it works

Regardless of your level of interest in quitting, participation in smoking research is important as it can help Project Quit learn more about tobacco use disorder. By understanding the addiction better, there could be greater gains in improving interventions to help those who want to quit. We have a comprehensive research team that focus on tobacco use disorder providing treatment and non-treatment research.

Interested smokers can contact the study team to learn about the active studies that are currently enrolling. Study personnel will ask some basic questions to see what study might be the best fit based on a person’s level of interest in quitting, age, and other factors. Safety is the team’s number one priority. If study participation is not the best option, staff will provide some other resources in the community for a smoker to access.

All services are at no cost, and we provide compensation for participation. Participants must provide informed consent. Contacting the Project Quit team does not obligate participation. Smokers under 18 must provide parental consent.

In The News



Project Quit Helps Smokers Kick The Habit

The Project Quit team is currently conducting a half–dozen research studies aimed at both ...

Read More
Researchers Identify Brain Circuit That Helps People Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is hard. Addiction experts at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center...

Read More
Project Quit Tests Medication To Help Teens Stop Smoking

Even with all the anti–smoking campaigns and efforts to stop tobacco companies…

Read More
Pets & Smoking: The Deadly Secret Lurking in Your Home

New article/feature with Charleston Animal Society on page 7…

Read More

Active Studies

All studies are funded through NIH/NIDA (**with additional supports through the Hollings Cancer Center and MUSC Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science’s Chairman’s Research Fund). We currently have five active studies. You can scroll through them below.

Protocol Title:

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Varenicline for Adolescent Smoking Cessation

Study short name:

Adolescent Cessation Study (the original Project Quit Study)

PI:

Dr. Kevin Gray

Recruitment Summary:

This is a research study to determine if a medication (varenicline) helps young cigarette smokers quit. Smokers aged 14-21 who participate in the study receive medication or placebo and help with quitting during 12 weekly sessions. Smokers under 18 must have parental consent.

Protocol Title:

Gender Differences in Latency to Smoke Following Exposure to Stressful and Smoking Cues in Daily Life

Study short name:

SCOR 3.5 Nicotine Pilot

PI(S):

Dr. Rachel Tomko (Mentor: Dr. Kevin Gray)

Recruitment Summary:

Smokers, ages 18-45, are being recruited for a non-treatment research study to help better understand patterns of cigarette smoking among male and female regular smokers. Specifically, participants will track their cigarette use using an electronic lighter and complete surveys on a mobile device for two weeks.

Protocol Title:

Translational Neuropsychopharmacology Research of Nicotine Addiction

Study short name:

Sugarcube

PI(S):

Drs. Brett Froeliger and Kevin Gray

Recruitment Summary:

This study is investigating the effects of combining 2 medications, Varenicline (commonly known as Chantix®) and N-acetylcysteine, on smoking behavior in daily cigarette smokers who are interested in quitting smoking. The study consists of 10 visits over 6 weeks. Smokers must be between the ages of 18 and 55.

Protocol Title

Evaluating N-acetylcysteine as a pharmacotherapy for tobacco use disorder

Study short name:

NAC for TUD

PI:

Dr. Erin McClure

Recruitment Summary:

The purpose of this study is to assess the effects of N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), an over-the-counter antioxidant, to assist adult cigarette smokers with quitting and preventing relapse to smoking. This medication may help people quit smoking by reducing withdrawal symptoms, craving, and preventing relapse, but we do not know if NAC helps smokers early in their quit attempt or after they have already quit.

Protocol Title:

Evaluating smoking and relapse in adolescents and emerging adults using remote monitoring technology**

Study short name:

M3 Exp2

PI:

Dr. Erin McClure

Recruitment Summary:

This is a research study that will test a new remote monitoring technology to assess smoking in the natural environment among adolescents and young adults ages 15-25. After assessment and inclusion in the study, participants will be asked to report on their smoking by answering questions on a mobile phone for 35 days. Participants will also be asked to make a brief quit attempt lasting for approximately 48 hours.

Protocol Title:

Personalized Smoking Relapse Prevention Delivered in Real-Time via Just-in-Time-Adaptive Interventions: Integrated Tobacco Retail Outlet Location

Study short name:

The QuitBuddy Study

PI:

Dr. Bryan Heckman

Recruitment Summary:

The QuitBuddy Study involves use of a new quit-smoking smartphone application. Participants will use the app for two weeks, which involves completing surveys several times a day (approx. 15 min each) and logging any smoking activity. Participants will need to make a nicotine replacement medicine (over-the-counter and study provided) aided quit-attempt. Participants will have the opportunity to make suggestions that may improve the development of the app.

What is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is a research study that helps answer specific health questions. In a clinical trial, human participants help research scientists find treatments that work in people. These participants, or human volunteers, find new ways to improve health.

Project Quit team studies are clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and specifically funded through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)to investigate methods to assist and improve people’s efforts to quit cigarette smoking.

Learn more about clinical studies at clinicaltrials.gov.