Eight apps that can help you quit smoking

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  • There are various aids smokers can use to help them quit
  • An app can be an effective tool to help you on your journey
  • An app can also track your progress, celebrate milestones, offer tips and provide distractions from cravings

Quitting cigarettes can be a daunting journey, but you don't have to do it alone.

The digital world has blessed us with apps that can help us manage our mental health, track our periods and improve our fitness, among other health challenges – and now you can add kicking the nicotine habit to the list.

It's estimated by the University of Cape Town and the Human Sciences Research Council that 20% of South Africans are smokers, with one in three men and one in 10 women either currently smoking or having smoked in the past.

There are various ways one can quit smoking – from nicotine replacement medication to therapy to a combination of both – and now there are a number of apps you can add to your arsenal. They offer tools, distractions from cravings, customised plans and tracking counters to keep you motivated on your journey.

READ | Smoking ups your risk of a fatal brain bleed 

Kwit

Kwit's strategy is modelled on scientific-backed evidence to help you stop, supported with kind messages to keep you going. Whenever you have the urge to smoke, you just shake your phone for a motivational message to help you fight the impulse.

The app is designed like a game with a personalised dashboard and daily diary that help you continue on your journey, even if if you've had a relapse. 

EasyQuit

This easy-to-use app has a downtime counter that shows you how your health is improving through a tobacco-free life.

It has a money counter that shows you much money you're saving by not smoking, as well as pointing out your specific triggers for relapse.

READ MORE | Only smoke socially? You're still at high risk of lung cancer 

Quitter's Circle

This app – developed by Pfizer and the American Lung Association – is focused on providing access to a community of people on the same journey as you, as well as tips from those who have managed to kick the habit.

It also shares news, resources and the latest studies to improve your chances of successfully quitting. 

QuitNow!

With a similar community-chat feature, QuitNow! helps you divide your goals into smaller chunks and celebrate even the smallest achievements to keep you motivated.

They also use tips from the World Health Organisation for a chatbot designed to answer any questions you might have throughout your process.

Quit Smoking Slowly

This is the perfect app for those who want to reduce their cigarette usage slowly instead of going cold turkey. It lets you customise your quitting plan and is compatible with an Android smartwatch.

It does require you to keep track of how many cigarettes you are smoking, and calculates how to extend the period between cigarettes.

READ | Under 50 and had a heart attack? Quit smoking, and you'll live longer 

Quit Smoking NOW with Max Kirsten

This is something a little different. Designed by a clinical hypnotherapist, it uses cognitive hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming methods to help you quit.

It's a range of recordings that you can play to help rewire your brain. However, you have to be mentally receptive to the suggestions for it to work.

Smoke Free

With similar dashboards that show you how your health is improving, you can also add a countdown timer for something you'd like to buy yourself with the money you have saved by quitting.

It focuses on behaviour change techniques developed based on official UK and US guidelines.

Flamy

The stylish app is like an intensive boot camp for quitting with a 14-day programme. It has milestones that tell you how far you've come, as well as a gamification element which you can use to challenge friends to see who can stay smoke-free the longest.

It also monitors your mental health and triggers, and uses motivational cards to distract you from your cravings.

READ MORE | Smoking raises aneurysm risk in women

Image credit: Unsplash

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