Health & Wellbeing

Harm-reduction gadget helps smokers quit

Harm-reduction gadget helps smokers quit
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November 27, 2004 Smoking is a filthy habit as even users will concede, but despite a myriad of quit smoking products like nicotine patches and chewing gum, smoking is still one of the hardest habits to shake. Another weapon is now available to would-be quitters in the form of the "Cigarette Counter" - a small, US $5 electronic counter designed help smokers keep their habit under control and reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke.

The Cigarette Counter clips to the top side of the cigarette pack. It has four buttons - Reset/ Add/ Subtract/ On-Off - and has a display that shows the numbers.

Users are encouraged to look at the number of cigarettes they smoked the day before and to set themselves an achievable goal to not smoke more than that, or better yet to reduce that number. The Cigarette Counter is operated by press ing"+" to add the first cigarette, and then the counter is turned off (the numbers stay in memory). When a user is ready to take control of their smoking habit, the counter can be set to a certain number and by pressing the "Minus" button every time they smoke until they reach zero, they can train themselves to reduce consumption and achieve their quitting goals.

The counter keeps the selected numbers in memory, which allows the Cigarette Counter to turn itself off when it is not being used. In this way it negates accidental pressure of the buttons that could distort the count.

The purpose of the Cigarette Counter is to give smokers a tangible way to control their habit. Many people who smoke report doing so in an automatic, non-conscious way, often without control. By pushing the button and viewing the number of cigarettes already consumed, smokers become more aware of what they're doing and are able to recognise their habits and set new, healthy imprints.

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