It might reek of Big Brother to some, but it could be embraced by cigarette addicts who are willing to do anything to quit, he said.
“The point is to reach out to the person, see how they’re doing, remind them of key kinds of things that will be beneficial to them if they stop smoking, and (smartphone capabilities) are changing all the time,” Gustafson said.
There are plenty of smoking-cessation apps and websites on the market. And even though they might not come with a GPS-triggered phone call to your spouse, they will create a sense of support that will help some people turn away from cigarettes.
All you have to do is keep searching until you find an approach that resonates with you, experts say.
Would you be willing to try guided meditation when the urge strikes? There’s an app that can help with that. Are you a tad competitive? There are apps that “dare” you to quit and stack up your progress against other users. Or how about an app that boosts your self-esteem, cheering you on each time you wrestle an urge into submission? If you’re motivated by money, plenty of apps will allow you to see how much green you’re saving. Others frighten you with an in-your-face look at the health risks.
Bottom line: Don’t stop until you find the right app or online community, Gustafson said.
But if you’re thinking “why bother” because nothing has worked before, then know this: The strongest predictor of future success just might be your stunning number of failures, said Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at UC San Francisco and head of the school’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.
“It sounds counterintuitive,” Glantz said, “but just the number of attempts is a strong indicator of (ultimate) success.”