Thursday, March 20, 2014

Health department develops app to help Coloradans quit smoking

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has developed a free app to help smokers break their addiction to tobacco.
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Colorado. One in six Coloradans smokes cigarettes and more than half of smokers say they want to quit. A “pack-a-day” smoker spends nearly $2,000 per year on cigarettes.
“Tobacco use costs Colorado too many lives and too much money,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, department executive director and chief medical officer. “We developed this new app to help Coloradans easily learn about the cost of smoking and find resources to help them quit.”
The free Tobacco Quit and Save app is available for download on iPhone and Android devices atTobaccoFreeCO.org. It allows Coloradans to track their real-time savings by setting a quit date and providing some basic information: a quit date, cigarettes smoked per day, cost of a pack of cigarettes, and cigarettes per pack. The app’s dashboard then shows the major benefits of quitting, including money saved, days added to life, cigarettes not smoked and days since the last smoke. The app saves the user’s best quitting attempt in case of relapse.
The app also uses location-aware technology for additional motivation. When a user visits one of hundreds of locations in Colorado where tobacco products are sold, a message appears on the mobile device to help the user stick with his or her quit attempt.
Those using the app can access information on Colorado-specific quitting resources and services atTobaccoFreeCO.org. Users can get additional support through social media by letting friends and family know what they’ve saved and how many cigarettes they haven’t smoked via direct posts from the app to Facebook and Twitter.

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