Quit Smoking: There’s an app for that!

February 24th, 2016

Smoke Free App1

There are a number of great apps available to help individuals in their quest to quit smoking; far too many to mention and not nearly enough time to fairly review them. However, I believe that a recommendation from a customer is the best recommendation, which is why I am only mentioning a single app, Smoke Free, in this blog.

It seems that opinions are split in the area of using apps to help with quitting smoking. Some believe it is valuable and encouraging; others believe that regularly checking and tracking progress further consumes the mind with thoughts of smoking.

Personally, I’m all for it! And I really like Smoke Free, despite the $5 cost on iTunes. There are several reasons that even a mediocre app can be good for smokers who want to kick the habit.

By distracting the mind to open and operate the app, you are stealing energy from the dangerous thought of smoking. The brief distraction is often adequate to allow the acute craving/thought to pass. This is no different from the reason we (Alpha Lifestyle Center) recommend bottled water, a deep breath, snapping a rubber band or calling to schedule a booster. They are all effective strategies to reroute a craving/thought away from smoking long enough for it to subside.

Besides that, it IS encouraging to see the rising tally of days not smoked, cigarette not smoked, days of life gained, money saved and on and on.

When my customer shared her Smoke Free app with me, I was immediately impressed with some of the additional resources and features on Smoke Free, which included Mission statements; a daily inspirational message of sorts. The app is also very visually appealing with various formats, charts and graphs to clearly display progress and highlight benchmarks.

We always tout our program as comprehensive; a stand-alone approach to combatting nicotine addiction, so I am not suggesting that additional support is necessary. But I don’t see how using one of the various stop smoking apps could hurt and I hope I’ve made something of an argument for their utility in managing the complexities of overcoming a dependence on tobacco products.

There is no cookie-cutter approach to quitting smoking. Tobacco use and dependence is still a major epidemic in society. Combining cessation strategies is an effective approach for nicotine addiction, but beware-not every combination is appropriate. If you are ready to quit smoking, talk to your doctor or a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist to identify an approach that is right for you.



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