SmokeSignals is a division of LIFETECHniques, Inc., based in Santa Barbara, CA. The parent company is a product incubator that innovates and tests technologies to help people self-manage difficult health problems. The company was founded in Texas in 1995.
Our Executive Leadership This woman-owned business was founded by Vesta Brue , who remains Board Chairman and leads the company’s product innovation. She was a smoker for 18 years. Now –18 years later -- diagnosed with asthma and emphysema, she is reminded constantly of the reasons for quitting and is compassionate toward those trying.
Vesta is a writer and entrepreneur by training, not a scientist, but she has learned plenty about nicotine treatment in the past 7 years, discovering how to make SmokeSignals more effective. She has written eight successful NIH grants. Vesta holds two patents for SmokeSignals, with another one pending. She holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in journalism from Kansas State University.
Jerome Hahn is President of LIFETECHniques and serves as Chief Technical Officer, as well.
Jerry is a problem solver and loves coaxing the company’s new products to full functionality. He enjoys brainstorming with our superb engineering and software teams, as well as our manufacturing team in Dongguan, China. He was previously a management consulting Partner at KPMG, where his specialties were supply chain, manufacturing, product design and systems architecture—skills that serve the company’s needs perfectly now. He holds a BSME degree from Santa Clara University.
The company is now testing another new product – MedSignals, a computerized pillbox that helps patients manage complicated medication regimens and communicate usage patterns to remote caregivers. MedSignals is now in clinical trials with HIV patients.
How This Idea was Born.
The concept of tracking smoking patterns was first tested in
1997 in Dallas, TX in a small pilot of smokers who greatly
benefited from understanding their smoking patterns. We envisioned a smart cigarette case but, lacking a defined program, the concept languished.
In 1999, we discovered the principles of Scheduled Reduction that had been tested with great success at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. There, scientists found that when smokers both reduced their quantities and scheduled them evenly across the day, they achieved great success at quitting. (Click to review the underlying principles of our product.)
We applied for a grant from National Institute of Drug Abuse to test the theory in cigarette cases that would signal on schedule, and the idea for SmokeSignals was born.
The concept worked well. Our growing team of nicotine scientists won five more grants from National Institutes of Health to further develop and test the device and its support system. Along the way, they tweaked the original scheduling techniques and achieved quit rates that were twice those achieved in earlier tests. (Click for more on our science base.) We have two clinical trials now in progress
Phone: (561) 228-8487
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