There is NHS quit smoking help available, many people find that replacement therapies like nicotine gum can help and some may find techniques such as hypnotherapy to be valuable. In the digital age, when most people now have a smartphone to hand throughout the day, quit smoking apps can provide another helping hand.

 

The benefits of quitting smoking

What happens when you quit smoking? Well, it’s true that you are likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms, especially if you are a long-term smoker, but there are so many benefits in the long run.

For a start you are likely to be prolonging your life, with life expectancy for smokers being 10 years shorter than non-smokers.  You are less likely to suffer numerous illnesses including lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Your lung capacity and general fitness will increase and you are likely to have more energy. Your skin will stop prematurely aging, you will smell better and stopping smoking improves blood flow, which can lead to better sex.

You will also have more money, saving the cost of all those cigarettes that are literally going up in smoke.

 

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals but the most important in terms of addiction is the nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive, acting as a mild stimulant and causing the release of the pleasure drug dopamine.

Smoking can also provide temporary relief from stress and anxiety but in between cigarettes the nicotine in the body drops. This creates a rise in stress and anxiety, which is alleviated by the next cigarette and so on, creating a vicious cycle.

“From a scientific standpoint, nicotine is just as hard, or harder, to quit than heroin … but people don’t recognize that,” Dr. Neil Benowitz, a nicotine researcher at the University of California, San Francisco told the American #Heart Foundation.

So what happens when you quit smoking? It is different for everybody but if you are a long-term or heavy smoker you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.

You may have a cough and be phlegmy as your system works out the nicotine and other residue. You may suffer headaches, fatigue and constipation. You will almost certainly get cravings, which can be severe.

Side effects of quitting smoking may also include mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ‘brain fog’. It can be a very difficult time but, as mentioned, there are numerous ways to help quit smoking including apps to help quit smoking.

 

What is the best app to help quit smoking?

There is no single best app as different people might have different requirements or respond better to different approaches. There are a large number of paid and free apps to help you quit smoking, however, and here we round up some of the best…

 

According to the NHS, you’re five times more likely to stay stopped for good if you can make it through the first 28 days smoke free.

Their Smokefree app therefore focuses on the first four weeks that promises to put ‘practical support, encouragement and tailored advice in the palm of your hand’.

This includes daily messages for support and motivation, progress badges, a savings calculator to see how much cash you’re saving, tips, advice and a facility to record your own motivations for quitting.

Price: Free

 

QuitNow! has helped millions of smokers to become ex-smokers and is one of the most popular apps to help you quit smoking out there. It features a clear and user-friendly interface and focuses on giving you a picture of yourself across four main areas.

These are: Your ex-smoker status, with stats such as how many days you are smoke free, money saved and the number of cigarettes you would have smoked; Achievable goals that you can start celebrating from the very first day; A chat community to offer advice and support; Health indicators to track how you are improving day by day, based on information from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Price: Free

 

Kwit says its app is inspired by cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is commonly used in the treatment of addictions, as well as conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Your personalised dashboard can also help you to keep track and manage e-cigarettes (vaping) and nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine gum or patches if you use them.

Price: Free with in-app purchases

 

Quitting smoking can be a serious business but Unsmok’d helps make it fun. Whenever you have the urge to smoke, you’ll be served up a random funny video instead – the idea being that the craving will be gone by the time you’ve watched the clip.

You can also use the app to vent your frustrations and beat up Smoky, the ‘embodiment of your inner temptation to smoke one’.

Price: Free

 

This is a different app to the NHS Smokefree app and offers two different options for smokers. Highly-motivated people can choose the ‘Quit’ mode to stop completely, but there’s also a ‘Reduce’ mode if you’re more comfortable in cutting back gradually first.

You can create your own quitting plan, track your progress and receive motivational videos tips and quotes. It is designed for use with Android Wear smartwatches.

Price: Free

 

My QuitBuddy also has a mode to help you cut down, breaking your quitting journey into more manageable chunks.

The app comes from the Australian National Preventive Health Agency and features a live map of the body, letting you see the benefits of your cutting down or quitting.

Price: Free

 

Below are a list of URL’s for the apps if you need them for links, in order

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/nhs-smokefree/id687298065

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.EAGINsoftware.dejaloYa

https://apps.apple.com/app/id525441365

https://unsmok-d-beat-cigarette-cravings-ios.soft112.com/

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.motivebite.smokefree.free

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/quit-now-my-quitbuddy/id527485761

 

 Sources

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/index.htm

https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/10/17/why-its-so-hard-to-quit-smoking

John Gillen - Director at Ocean Recovery
John Gillen

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.