App Review: Cigbreak Free: Game to Quit Smoking
★ ★ ★
Created by a games developer, this is touted as the UK's first smoking cessation app in the form of an interactive game.
Developed in collaboration with doctors and smoking cessation experts, it aims to be fun for smokers, encouraging them to quit while promising game rewards, which are delivered alongside educational messages.
In the style of another game, Fruit Ninja, users try to break virtual cigarettes in half within a time limit in order to pass each level. It reinforces their motivation to quit by tracking how much money they could save by not smoking.
When the game was introduced users were asked to make a payment after completing six games, but the new version is free if the user’s public health authority has commissioned it. The app has already been commissioned for use in several London boroughs including Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Tower Hamlets.
While some users may find gaming frivolous, nurses working in smoking cessation or mental health and tobacco dependency could guide patients on how to use it. Users should bear in mind it is not a substitute for smoking cessation advice from health professionals.
Reviewed by Layla Haidrani
Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Also available on Android
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