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…

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Smoking cessation strategies targeting stress reduction may be more successful in women

Female smokers experienced more stress and craving…

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MUSC study uses pet health as motivation to help smokers quit

The Charleston Animal Society is partnering with M.U.S.C,…

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MUSC’s Project Quit Seeking Tobacco Use Research Candidates

There are approximately 50 million people in America…

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Pets & Smoking: The Deadly Secret Lurking in Your Home

New article/feature with Charleston Animal Society…

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Quit Smoking! Do it for your dog!

New article/featured in Lowcountry Dog Magazine on page 10…

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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 ten active studies. You can scroll through them below.

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:

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 purpose of this study is to explore whether “QuitBuddy”, a quit-smoking app, can improve quit attempt outcomes for those using over-the-counter quit medicine by providing reminders and prompts for the most effective times to take a dose. Participants will also use the app to complete surveys about their smoking use and behaviors outside of the clinic visits. Nicotine replacement therapy (lozenges) will be provided at no cost to assist with the quit attempt as well as ongoing study participation. The study involves 6 visits over the course of 3 months.

Protocol Title:

Mobile, remote, and individual-focused: Comparing breath carbon monoxide readings and abstinence in next generation monitors

Study short name:

CoCo Study

PI:

Dr. Erin McClure

Recruitment Summary:

Current smokers and nonsmokers are needed for an observational study that is comparing carbon monoxide (CO) monitors. CO monitors are used in smoking research to assess smoking use/behavior by assessing the level of carbon monoxide in a breath sample. The study involves almost daily but brief visits over the course of 2 weeks. There is a total of 10 visits after completing the initial screening visit. No quit attempt is required for smokers.

Protocol Title:

Effects of filter ventilation on sensory response, smoking, topography and inhalation

Study short name:

Vent Study

PI:

Dr. Brett Froeliger

Recruitment Summary:

Current cigarette smokers that are not looking to actively make a quit attempt within 30 days are needed for an observational/nontreatment study to examine how ventilation levels in cigarette filters influences the appeal of the product as well as risk perceptions and the intent to purchase. This study is completed in 2 visits and will involve smoking various cigarettes and completing surveys and questionnaires.

Protocol Title:

An fMRI pilot study of the effects of Clavulanic Acid on cigarette withdrawal

Study short name:

Clav Study

PI:

Dr. Brett Froeliger

Recruitment Summary:

This non-treatment study is looking at the effects of Clavulanic Acid (a drug used in antibiotics) on brain activity with smoking withdrawal. Participants do not need to be looking to quit but must be willing to make a quit attempt during their participation. This study involves 6 visits to the clinic over 2 weeks.

Protocol Title:

Impact of e-cigarette characteristics on reinforcement and tobacco use patterns among current smokers

Study short name:

K01 E-cig Study

PI:

Dr. Tracy Smith

Recruitment Summary:

The purpose of this project is to understand how different e-cigarettes influence their likeability and use among current smokers who try using e-cigarettes. Participants will receive an e-cigarette to sample over a three-week period. During this time, they will complete daily electronic diaries and weekly lab visits.

Protocol Title:

Clinical Outcomes of a Nationwide, Naturalistic E-Cig Trial

Study short name:

CONNECT Study

PI:

Dr. Matthew Carpenter

Recruitment Summary:

The purpose of this study is to measure changes in smoking behavior during and following sampling of an e-cigarette product. We are testing the effects of one specific e-cigarette (NJoy) on smoking behavior. Neither the tobacco industry nor any e-cigarette manufacturer provides support of any kind to this study. There is no requirement to quit smoking in this study. This study involves 7 phone calls and 4 study visits over 6 months of participation.

Protocol Title:

Evaluating transcranial magnetic stimulation as a tool to reduce smoking directly following a quit attempt

Study short name:

QuitFast Study

PI:

Dr. Colleen Hanlon

Recruitment Summary:

In this study we are evaluating a new tool to assist individuals with quitting cigarette smoking. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive technique that uses magnetic pulses to temporarily stimulate specific brain areas (without the need for surgery, anesthetic, or other invasive procedures). This treatment study will test whether 10 daily sessions of TMS over the forehead can help decrease smoking rates in treatment-seeking individuals. There are a total of 15 study visits completed over 6-8 weeks of participation.

Protocol Title:

Enhancing self-regulation by altering memories that increase risk of relapse among smokers: A translational clinical neuroscience study of a novel medication

Study short name:

MIMIC Study

PI:

Dr. Michael Saladin

Recruitment Summary:

This study is looking to recruit smokers over the age of 18 that are willing to complete a mandatory 2-day abstinence from smoking. Participants will receive either Rapamycin (also known as Sirolimus, an FDA approved drug for use with transplants) or a placebo to assess potential effects on smoking craving and relapse. This study involves 4 visits over the course of about 3 weeks.

Protocol Title:

Targeting Foundational Memory Processes in Nicotine Addiction: A Translational Clinical Neuroscience Study of a Retrieval-Extinction

Study short name:

Behavioral Memory Modulation in Nicotine Addiction (BMM Study)

PI:

Dr. Michael Saladin

Recruitment Summary:

This study examines the use of smoking cues (pictures, videos and objects) to change a person’s interest in smoking. This treatment study does NOT involve the use of study medication. Participants will complete 12 clinic visits over the course of 6 months. Participants must be between 22-65 in order to participate.

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.