Friday, March 09, 2012

Smoking cessation smartphone app: I Can Quit

Have you considered recommending a smoking cessation app to your patients? Here's a press release about an app that may be beneficial:

Study indicates that encouraging text messages may increase ability to quit smoking; the new I Can Quit™ app from Iconosys is here to help you stop or reduce smoking.

Laguna Niguel, California, March 9, 2012 - Iconosys, Inc., a leading mobile safety Smartphone application developer based in Orange County, CA, has released its new "I Can Quit™" app, a new health-related Smartphone app aimed at providing assistance and tracking for person's effort to cease habits like smoking.

An estimated 50 Million people still smoke in this country, and many of them are trying to quit ... without permanent, or even temporary, success! Whether it is based on a desire to improve their own health, a new year's resolution, a commitment by a spouse to another, or a mom or dad promising to quit at the request of their children, the fact is that millions of smokers, drinkers and other addicted persons desire, if they had the power, to quit unhealthy habits, and simply need additional help to make these changes a reality. For example, it is estimated that 17 million Americans try to quit smoking each year with very little success. Self-help programs are popping up all over with options and resources encouraging those who want to quit to do so.

In June 2011, in the British medical journal "The Lancet", a study was done on the effects of supportive text messages in situations where smokers were trying to quit. The study points out that nearly 11 percent of smokers who were continuing to receive encouraging and supportive text messages while refraining from smoking were in fact successful. This suggests that repeated support of this kind may in fact facilitate the goal of stopping unsuccessful habits like smoking.

Read a summary on the study here:

"Research studies, like the Lancet study, have proven that smokers are twice as likely to succeed in quitting if they receive supportive text messages. I feel that this app is a valuable tool to assist you in successfully conquering a dangerous habit," observed Iconosys advisory board member Leonard Bernstein, M.D.

For years, we have known in this country that cigarette smoking is a leading cause for illnesses like cancers, heart disease, stroke, and others that lead to death.

In fact, the US Surgeon General's office gives us 4 official warnings (noted below) that must be posted on packaging that contains tobacco products:

  • Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy
  • Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health
  • Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight
  • Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide

"When I was in the US Marine Corps, I was summoned back to central Florida to attend the funeral of my grandmother, after she had died from very sad, distressing and ugly struggle with Emphysema. I was her oldest grandson, she was so young. It was one of the most horrible things to see. I feel awful for those struggling to break the cycle and get off of the road leading them to such live-ending illnesses,, and wish them all the strength in the world to quit if they so desire," commented Iconosys co-founder and CEO Wayne Irving II.

In the Lancet study, text message support was provided to a portion of the 5800 study participants, encouraging them to keep up the good work in trying to quit, while a portion of the participants received a placebo text, thanking them for participating only (and without any supportive references to the effort to quit). In further follow up interviews of participants who successfully quit the smoking habit, participants are reported to have said that the texts helped them in their efforts to stay on track with quitting, and, in particular, helped them keep from feeling isolated and alone in their mission to "kick the habit."

While the I Can Quit™ Smartphone app (ICQ) does not currently provide two-way text support, that is a support personnel to respond immediately at your request - as present in the study -- its design would enable that capability to be added in the future and Iconosys is seeking a partner that may wish to handle this. In the meantime, the app does sends supportive texts to the user throughout the day, motivating the quitter to continue his or her efforts toward a habit-free day.

The messages that are transmitted to the user come in at pre-programmed intervals, or can be customized in terms of content and/or frequency of transmission by the user/quitter, a loved one or a care-provider as it is requested or required. In particular, a timer and a quota can be set as to how many and the recurrence or frequency of messages that the quitter may get throughout the day.

Currently, there are 10 pre-programmed messages inside the app, which the app will send the user via SMS Text message; these would include encouraging words to the effect of "doing a good job" or "keep up the good work". A congratulatory timer is included that keeps track of the quitter's daily victories in remaining habit free and showing the quitter their daily and weekly progress.

The app is available now for download from Amazon AppStore, Android Marketplace, GetJar, and the AppHysteria Appstore. While Iconosys plans to sell the app and provide a portion of the resulting funds to non-profits in support of programs aimed at helping quitters quit, at the present time the app is free of charge.

About Iconosys, Inc.

Iconosys, a member of the National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS) and the maker of the widely used and well-publicized Word Bully™, Guard's Up!™, LatchKey Kid™, and My Max Speed™ Smartphone apps, is developing technologies and technology driven products for its clients with a goal toward designing apps that enrich, enhance, and ultimately make safer, our day-to-day lives.

Iconosys develops Apps and technologies for iOS and Android OS Smartphones and tablet computers. See a cross section of some of Iconosys' catalog of nearly 700 Smart device apps from your Smartphone browser:, and from your computer browser:

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