Useful apps to help you quit smoking
Smoking is a dangerous habit and it’s not an easy one to give up. However, with the number of apps we have to help us make everyday life more manageable, maybe smokers can turn to their phones to help them too?
This week Moneybags journalist, Ashleigh Brown, looks at free apps that can help you kick the habit ahead of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May.
Most quit smoking apps work the same as diet, or food tracking apps: they track how much you smoke, and how much you would save if you stopped.
These apps also help you to work through your cravings by monitoring how often you have a craving, and give you suggestions on what you can substitute it with.
Moreover, the apps also highlight the health benefits when you quit smoking, and how much healthier you will look, and feel like, once you reach your goal.
Even though South Africa became one of the first countries in the world to ban smoking in public places in 2000 when it introduced its Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act, the number of cigarettes sold is still rather high.
According to the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (TISA), there were 7.7 million adult tobacco users in South Africa of which 6.3 million adults smoked cigarettes in 2013.
However, the consumption of legal products has declined by 30% in the last 10 years says TISA.
Apps to help
Below we look at four apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones which are free to download, and easy to use.
The main features of the apps are the same: with tracking your smoking, showing how much money you can save, and connecting you with other smokers for support.
However, each app looks, and ‘feels’ different, and thus comes down to your personal preferences.
This app is for iPhone users, and “creates a personalised plan to help you quit smoking” explains the app’s website.
“You will have the option to choose to quit smoking right away or gradually decrease your daily nicotine intake—tracking the times you smoke and have nicotine cravings along the way,” explains the website.
The app will also show you personalised inspirational photos, motivational tips and progress charts which will provide quit smoking help and keep you on track.
You will also win achievement badges as you progress through the app.
The website goes on to explain that you are not alone, as you are also able to build a social support circle through the app, or you can update your progress to Facebook and Twitter for added moral support.
Furthermore, this app will also track your finances to see how much you’ve saved without the cigarettes.
This app is free to download from the iTunes store.
“Quit is a widget application designed to gradually wean you from dependency on cigarettes. Each individual’s step-down program is calculated based on statistical data from other users, and it’s continuously adjusted to your specific smoking pattern,” explains the apps website.
The app provides you with charts on your cigarette consumption, and your stress and cravings levels to see how much they have changed as you go on.
The app is free to download from the Play Store for Android phones.
Everyone knows that quitting smoking is a great challenge, says Quit Now. Therefore, QuitNow! “is the app that will engage you to quit smoking once and for all, motivating you to achieve your goal.”
The app updates you on your health as you go along. It will also show you how much money you have saved, and you can unlock certain achievements when you reach certain milestones.
The app has a social aspect, where you can connect with and chat to fellow smokers who are trying to quit.
The app also provides you with U.N. World Health Organization-approved indicators that show you how your health is gradually improving.
Source: QuitNow Facebook page.
The app is free to download from the QuitNow website, for Android, iPhone, Windows and Blackberry devices.
“We all know quitting smoking gives you a tonne of health benefits, but it can be hard to know when to expect what,” says the KickSmoking website.
KickSmoking is for Windows phones, and is designed to help you resist cravings and offer encouragement by keeping a track of the health benefits you’ve unlocked and letting you set savings goals, according to the Windows Play Store.
“There’s even an in app craving timer that helps take your mind off the craving by giving you an end goal to focus on instead,” says the description.
The app records how long you’ve been smoke-free, how much money you’ve saved, the number of cigarettes you’ve dodged, and the health benefits you should be experiencing.
You can also track and battle your cravings with the “craving timer,” which reminds you of your end goals as a way to stymie the temptation.
Source: KickSmoking website.
The app is free to download from the Windows Play Store, and will be coming to iPhone and Android soon.
Quitting smoking is not easy, but with these apps you do not have to do it alone. Track how many cigarettes you smoke a day, how much healthier your life will be with once you quit, and how much money you are going to save.
Because we also live in an online community, being able to share your progress with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can provide added support from friends and family and motivation to your journey.