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In the News 3-30-11

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 by | Filed Under: In The News

If you are one the seven hundred buh-zillion people that have an iPhone, then you know how many applications there are to download. Apart from the normal stuff like music and games, you can download things like Kidney Diets, Zoom to see the Sky kind of stuff, and even an app to do your taxes – right from your phone. So it should come as no surprise that there are now many applications for helping you to quit smoking.

To see how legitimate these apps really are, Lorien Abroms and colleagues at the George Washington University in Washington DC scored how well the 47 quit-smoking apps adhered to the US Public Health Service’s 2008 guidelines for treating tobacco use and dependence. The apps were marked for how well twenty of the guidelines were covered, were given up to three marks per guideline, with a possible total score of sixty.

Cathy Backinger and Erik Augustson at the US National Cancer Institute agree that users and health professionals should not be “overly optimistic” about smartphone apps, because many have not been tested for their scientific benefits. For example, 6 per cent of the apps in this study use “hypnosis” techniques to encourage people to quit smoking. (From your iPhone?)

The scores are in, and on average the apps received a dismal 7.8 out of 60 (I hope these apps were free). The winner was Quit Smoking – Cold Turkey with 30 points; among the losers that received 0 points was Daily Tracker. Not many apps even referred the user to recommended treatments, a quit line, clinic or reaching out to friends and family for support. Like those work, anyway.

You think a smartphone won’t help you quit smoking? A friend of mine who smokes like a train is giving hers up.

Her smartphone, that is. Not her cigarettes.

~ Lori Cline


3 Responses to “In the News 3-30-11”

  1. Essie says:

    Lori Cline’s In the News story on IPhone’s aid in quitting smoking is an excellent report….I don’t smoke, but it will help to educate those who might want to try the IPhone apps for quitting. In fact, it is good educational material for anyone to know for almost everyone has a friend or family member who smokes and expresses a desire to quit.

  2. Maureen says:

    I DO smoke. I do NOT have an iPhone. I do find, however, that I smoke far less when I’m on the computer! Now, I take my heaviest smoking times, early morning and evening while watching TV, and fire up the computer! In the time I used to smoke 6, I now smoke 3 or less. I guess if you keep your mind on something else (interesting), you don’t need any app, just some old fashioned will power, which I hope to find, soon!!

  3. Betty Mizer says:

    All you need to quit smoking is will-power. I smoked for 50 years. I decided one Saturday morning that I was quitting. That was over 10 years ago I have not had a ciggie to this day. This was long before Smart Phones.

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