Tuesday, November 11, 2014

SmartQuit app helps smokers kick the habit


As a former smoker, I can testify that most smokers are willing to try just about anything to break free of cigarettes. I remember trying everything from nicotine gum to hypnotism, all with varying degrees of success.

Today, smokers can get help from their mobile phones with an app called SmartQuit. The app was developed by Jonathan Bricker, a Ph.D. researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle.

Bricker takes a new approach to smoking cessation programs. Instead of counting cigarettes, smokers are trained to recognize the urge to smoke and teaches them new ways to deal with those urges - ways that don't involve lighting up.

An article in the Puget Sound Business Journal described the SmartQuit system this way: "SmartQuit has three phases: First, users answer questions about what things are important to them, such as their family and other personal values; Next, they unlock a series of exercises that introduces them to methods to track their urges; Finally, they keep track of all the times they let their urges go."

2Morrow, which licensed Bricker's work, cites research says four out of five smokers prefer the privacy and convenience of an app based program over telephone coaching. 2Morrow's website also points to research that says SmartQuit is the first smoking cessation app that has been scientifically proven to help smokers quit.

Smokers who want to try SmartQuit can download a free trial version of the app in the Apple iTunes Store or the Google Play Store. If they want to continue, they can upgrade to the full version for $50.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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