Trying to kick the habit?
New research in the New England Journal of Medicine reinforced decades of research showing the dangers of smoking, finding that smokers typically shave a minimum of 10 years off their life expectancy.
It also found that the earlier a smoker quits, the better, as the study concluded that smokers who quit by age 40 reduced their excess risk of death by about 90%.
Young people seem to have gotten the message, with a 2012 Gallup poll finding the largest drop in cigarette smoking among 18- to 29-year-olds.
But that same age group still smokes the most, with 25% of poll respondents in the same age group reportedly smoking.
For those trying to quit in the digital age, developers have built a variety of apps designed to help you put down the next cigarette.
Here are three apps designed to help you quit:
One of the most popular such apps in the App Store, MyQuit Coach does much of what you’d expect it to; it uses your smoking history to set goals, track your daily smoking and reward you with in-app badges when you hit your targets.
The app also comes with built-in motivational boosts whenever you have a craving. Still, some might be turned off by the app’s association with Livestrong — perhaps it’s time for an app to help one quit doping?
While apps like MyQuit Coach are designed specifically around smoking, apps like Way of Life are built to be used for a variety of uses. Created to promote good habits and disincentivize bad behaviors, Way of Life lets users report their daily successes or failures on activities from exercising to avoiding a cigarette.
The biggest downside for smokers, though, is that the app does not provide much support for those who want to quit gradually. But what Way of Life lacks in smoking-specific applications, it makes up for in ease of use and functionality.
Quit It Lite is probably the simplest of all the apps to help you kick the habit. Beginning with the first time you open the app, Quit It Lite starts adding up all the real-time benefits of quitting — like the money saved and tar avoided — and features status bars that track your progress toward certain health milestones like regenerating nerve endings and lower mouth cancer.
Although the free version doesn’t let users set their own goals, its power rests in its simplicity and its ability to show the benefits of quitting so directly.
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