Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

Cantonese app to help smokers kick habit

South China Morning Post – 19 June 2011

Smokers who want to quit will soon have a handy comrade in their battle against tobacco – the iPhone.

A free Cantonese software application – the first of its kind – will be available for download in the coming months. It will feature celebrities like Khalil Fong, Sammi Cheng and Kay Tse issuing regular reminders of the hazards of tobacco and urging smokers to resist temptation.

Apps to help smokers kick the habit are already widely available, but this will be the first with an interface in traditional Chinese and audio in Cantonese, said Dr Anne Chee, acting senior medical officer of the Tobacco Control Office, which developed the app. It targets young people, who are big smartphone users, she said. “We will start with the iPhone as it has the largest market share. If it works well, we will expand it to Android and other platforms,” she said.

The app features a colourful layout in five sections. In one, singers, actors and footballers offer positive video messages to cheer on quitters. Users can set the app to play the videos at random intervals.

In another section, users can calculate how much money they have saved by not smoking and set a saving goal.

It also includes health information such as notes and videos on the hazards of tobacco and ways to cope with withdrawal symptoms like coughing and dizziness. The app can also assess and provide advice on the nicotine-dependence of users.

“Users will be regularly reminded of why they want to kick the habit, be it for the family or for money,” Chee said, adding that design details are being finalised with Apple. The office expects the app to go online “before the end of the year”.

It is also planning a quit programme for new immigrants and ethnic minorities. And a series of television commercials will be launched in the coming months to remind people of the risks of smoking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>