The journey to smoking cessation can be long and painful if you’ve been smoking for a number of years. You’ll have to give up a habit that’s pretty much an essential part of your lifestyle, but remember that quitting is still one of the best decisions you can make for your personal health. You’ll add years back onto your life, reduce your risk for conditions like cancer and heart disease, and create a general sense of well-being.
With so much technology surrounding our daily lives, it’s no wonder that there are tech tools available to help you quit smoking. You don’t have to take the journey alone. Whether you’re utilizing cessation apps, online forums and support groups, wearable tech, or e-cigarettes, these tech options can help you quit smoking.
It is estimated that about five billion people have a mobile phone. With limitless information and resources available at our fingertips, the world is a much more connected place than it was just 30 years ago. Smartphones have changed how we communicate, meet people, and affect just about every aspect of modern life.
Cessation apps are an excellent resource for people attempting to give up tobacco for good. These apps allow you to track your progress, marking milestones along the way to give you an extra boost of motivation when you need it most. You’ll also be connected to information on the cessation process, and, in most cases, connected to a community of other users following the same journey.
Think of your cessation app as your mobile reminder to keep going. Tracking your progress and setting goals for your cessation journey can drastically increase your chances of success. These apps are simple, lightweight, and usually free of cost. All you have to do is navigate to the Google Play or Apple stores and type “cessation app”. You’ll get hundreds of options built for every operating system.
Studies report higher quit rates and reduction in tobacco use in those who utilize mobile cessation apps. The rate is about 19% higher than those who didn’t use an app or who quit cold turkey with no help at all. Combining the use of a cessation app with alternative products like tobacco free pouches or nicotine gum can give you the boost you need to reach your ultimate goal of quitting tobacco forever.
Online Forums and Support
The internet has become an unlimited network of forums, advice columns, information hubs, and social interaction sites. Among these are online forums and internet-based support groups which can help you on your journey toward cessation. Users find greater success when they have a support group behind them, and advice forums can answer questions, provide feedback, and allow you to access critical information on the quitting process.
Online support groups are perfect for those tobacco users who are people-shy or simply too embarrassed to visit an in-person support group. Obviously, during COVID-19, we’ve all had to practice social distancing; which means support groups are pretty much limited to online interactions.
When you begin the cessation journey, don’t do it alone. There are thousands of quit smoking forums online, as well as support groups of like-minded people who can provide you with the support you need to leave behind the habit. There’s no right or wrong time to quit, but the sooner you do, the better! Your body will begin to heal almost immediately, and your risk factors for certain conditions drop dramatically overnight.
Wearable tech like smartwatches can help you quit smoking by connecting with your cessation app, tracking things like blood pressure and heart rate, and sending reminders when you’re away from your phone. Monitoring your heart rate can help you see the difference not smoking makes in your health. Generally, smokers have higher blood pressure and resting heart rates, which can cause damage to blood vessels and cardiac tissue.
The minute you stop smoking, your blood pressure drops. Your body starts to bring things back down to normal levels, and the longer you go without a cigarette, the closer you get to a normal heartbeat and blood pressure.
With heart disease being the number one killer of adults in the US and one of the top ten in the world, it’s important that we take steps toward healthier hearts. The first step is to quit smoking!
E-cigarettes are a piece of technology that smokers have gotten quite excited about. Seemingly containing fewer toxic chemicals, a less harsh smell, and a more pleasant taste, e-cigarettes have made their way into markets all over the world.
These e-cigs utilize “juice”, which is a flavored concoction of nicotine, artificial flavoring, and other ingredients. While it’s not necessarily “healthier” than smoking, many smokers are already making the switch. Some have found success in transitioning from cigarettes to e-cigs to no nicotine at all!