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Besides allowing you to update your tweets or check in to places, social media such as Twitter and Facebook can provide powerful new weapons in the battle to quit smoking.

A study conducted by Dr Nicholas Christakis of the Harvard Medical School and James Fowler of the University of California found that smokers tend to quit in groups, which means that an online network allowing smokers to connect with quitters could provide lots of help and support to break the habit.

Social media could also counter the strong social element that often keeps people from kicking the habit, as smokers tend to gather and bond by smoking together; the resolve of a potential quitter may crumble with repeated lures from their friends for a smoke break.

Social media may counter this by enabling quitters to access smoking-cessation tools to distract themselves from the temptation.

And nowadays there are so many smartphone apps out there that it's easy to find the one that will fit your own needs and reinforce your desire to quit!

1. For the customiser


 

 

The I Quit app is the only local app to help you quit smoking. What's great about it is that it helps you identify your smoker profile to customise the most effective approach to quit smoking.

Progress tracking shows how long you’ve gone without a cigarette and even things you can now afford with the money saved through a simple interactive calculator.

Still crave a cigarette from time to time? It’s alright! The app will offer you tips and coping strategies to manage that craving.

It even links directly to the toll-free QuitLine and Quit Centres around the island where you can get the support and advice you need from professional Quit Consultants, right on your phone!


2. For the gamer


 

Need a fun distraction when the smoking urge hits?

Play a game of either hockey or golf where you blow into your smartphone to score a goal! The app includes audio messages voiced by former Canadian Olympic triathlon coach Barrie Shepley. These messages offer quick tips and encouragement to keep you focused on breaking the habit.

Get it on the App Store (iOS).

3. For the budget conscious


 

Not only do cigarettes cost you your health, but they also cost you money!

With a progress tracker and a real-time counter, this app helps you keep track of how long you have been smoke-free and how much money you have saved (in pounds though!).

Download it from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).

4. For the jaded


 

Yes, you know the dangers of smoking, and you don't need them to be shoved down your throat.

Yet, a little reminder would be good as it strengthens your resolve to quit.

How then, do you find the middle ground?

Buttoff is an easy and fun way to satisfy your nicotine craving. With its combination of sass and facts, Buttoff drives anti-smoking message home without being naggy.

As you can see, there are many ways your smartphone and your social networks can help you come to terms with smoking addictions!


This guest article is kindly brought to you by Kalis Koh, who was studying at NUS when the article was first published.