Nothing is more irritating than being a smoker and having someone who has never smoked tell you to "just quit." It's not that simple. It's an addiction, you like it, and most important, to quit, you have to want to stop.
There are hundreds of reasons to ditch this habit (speaking as a smoker in reform). Smoking physically ages you, leads to cancer, complicates pregnancies, and increases the chance of other illnesses. Smaller, less life-threatening reasons make smoking worth quitting too: the disapproving stares, the ever-rising cost of a pack, yellow stains on your fingers, smelling like a bar, and have ashes literally everywhere.
If you're ready to quit, or even just cut back slowly on cigarettes, here are some smoking cessation apps that can help you through the process.
The SmokeFree app has two options for smokers: quit or reduce the amount of cigarettes smoked. The app's clean, minimalist layout is easy to navigate. Users can design their own plan to quit and track their progress.
The app offers users motivational phrases, helpful tips, time elapsed without cigarettes, and a chart of money saved. Users can even set an incentive for themselves, like, with money saved from not buying cigarettes, they'll get a new smartphone.
The app also pairs with wearable devices.
Beat Smoking (Android)
The Beat Smoking app also lets users choose whether to quit outright or slowly wean off cigarettes. The goal of the app is to get you to stop smoking, of course, but it does so by providing you with activities to focus on during the craving period.
The app says the 6 to 7 minutes that you crave a smoke are crucial to breaking the habit, and if you can wait them out, the urge will pass. The app hones in on times when people generally smoke--when they wake up, with coffee, after a meal, when they're nervous, and so on--tracks nicotine levels as the user weans off, and shows health improvements.
Quit Smoking Tracker (Android)
This Quit Smoking Tracker app collects your health analytics, keeps track of how long you've gone without a cigarette, and shows users how much money you've saved by not smoking. The only downside is, the app works more on the basis that you've decided to totally quit, rather than wean off.
To get started, enter the date you quit smoking, the approximate number of cigarettes you smoked a day, about how much your pack cost, and how long you've been smoking in total. Those should generate some fun numbers, right?
NYC HelpMeQuit (iOS)
The HelpMeQuit app comes from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and it's neatly organized and operates similarly to the others, but adds in a community element for motivation and accountability. It can be hard to talk to people who don't know what you're going through, especially when you're craving a smoke. The app gives users access to My Quit Buddies so users can chat, share tips, and encourage each other's journey to be smoke-free.
The app has a distraction game to help during those powerful cravings. On top of the games, the app also has a Why I Quit section, where users can write what's most important to them and why they're quitting smoking--whether it's for family or for their own health.
Quit Smoking Now (iOS)
The Quit Smoking Now app helps users quit by tracking how long they've been smoke free and a wishlist feature to set goals on possible rewards with money saved.
The app also gives "trophies" for each day you don't smoke. It may seem silly, but when you're trying to knock a bad habit, everyday and every little victory counts. For every achievement unlocked (day without a smoke), the app will send you a little motivational message.
Also, Quit Smoking Now tracks how your health is improving now that you've stopped smoking. The app provides tips backed up by scientific evidence on how to beat the cravings, and the ability to log them in the app. Users are encouraged to note when they want a cigarette, to discover patterns.
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