Trying to Quit Smoking? Use Tech

According to the CDC, smoking causes about one in five deaths in the U.S. each year, which makes it the #1 cause of preventable deaths. This includes one-third of all cancer and 90% of all lung cancer deaths, and it is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The addictive nicotine in cigarettes and the many other toxic chemicals used in tobacco products damage every aspect of the smoker’s health, yet many people struggle to quit, even with this knowledge.

According to some studies, only about 5% of people are able to quit smoking without some smoking support group or quit-smoking product. At BCHIP, we provide a Quit Smoking Program that supports people trying to quit. We can also refer you to a doctor who can provide nicotine replacement therapy. Other products and technology have been developed to help people to kick the nicotine habit.


The variety of apps available to help you quit smoking is truly dizzying. As different people respond to different approaches, the apps can have very different support methods. One creates a personalized quit plan, whether you want to go slow or quit cold turkey, tracks how much money you’re saving by not smoking, and offers reward badges for success. Another takes a more “mindfulness” approach, with guided meditations to help ease the stress of quitting.

If you’re motivated by statistics, there are apps that track your decrease in usage, the number of hours added to your life, the W.H.O. indicators for improved health as you decrease smoking, and other interesting personalized statistics. The cleverly-named “Get Rich or Die” app focuses on how much money you are personally saving, while at the same time saving your life.

Other apps include a “craving timer” which reminds you of your goals as you fight off a craving.


Wearable devices are being developed and are starting to be available in the market to help you quit smoking. Like apps, they have different approaches.

A simple item, sold as an anti-smoking, anti-vaping necklace, helps the user take relaxing, long breaths to calm anxiety. A wide variety of inhalers with aromatherapy or citrus also help calm cravings and anxiety. Though unproven, some people get relief from magnetic bracelets or from ear or hand acupressure devices.

Though not yet widely available, some other wearables are being developed, like a necklace, called Smokemon (like Pokémon), with thermal sensors that track a cigarette going to and from the mouth. This can help the smoker and a health coach track occasional slips and determine what triggers caused those slips and how to avoid them in the future. The necklace can be synced to send a text or video message to the smoker to send encouraging reminders to help the person stay on track.

Another method being developed is a tracking program in a smartwatch that can track hand-to-mouth movements indicative of smoking. Wearable cameras designed to alert the presence of cigarettes or other smoking triggers have been floated, but these carry privacy concerns.

Successfully quitting

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), nearly 70% of adults who smoke say they want to quit. Combining counseling with medication can more than double the chance of quitting successfully. Apps and wearables can enhance the benefit of counseling alone, or counseling and medication if your doctor believes medication or nicotine replacement therapy is warranted.

BCHIP offers a 5-session Quit Smoking Programboth virtually and in person, at two different locations for your convenience. Nicotine replacement therapy is available for those who qualify. Click HERE to register, or call (267) 291-7882 for more information. Smoking kills, on average, 440,000 Americans each year. That’s a really good reason to quit.


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