Smart necklace to help folks quit

3 minute read

A new gadget enters the battle against smoking’s perfidious addiction.

Your Back Page scribbler is happy to concede that as a young person he didn’t always make the smartest life choices.

While the competition is tough, the decision to begin smoking cigarettes as a teen ranks most highly on the list of dumb things that were done.

Correspondingly, the decision to ditch the durries while still a youngish man is among the cleverer moves. But like many quitters before him, it proved a surprisingly hard thing to do.

So any developments that can assist folks in snapping this perfidious addiction are to be welcomed   

Such as the “SmokeMon” necklace, for example – a pendant-style device designed by medical researchers which discreetly and reliably detects the wearer’s smoking habits by capturing heat signals via thermal sensors.

The researchers, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the US, says one of the advantages of the device is that it maintains a smoker’s privacy, making them feel more comfortable wearing it.

The device then captures critical information about not just how many cigarettes the wearer smokes in a day, but also how they smoke them

“We can detect when the cigarette is being lit, when the person holds it to their mouth and takes a puff, how much they inhale, how much time between puffs and how long they have the cigarette in their mouth,” Associate Professor Nabil Alshurafa told media.

But why is that information important in helping folks bin the gaspers?

Well, by capturing the wearer’s “smoking topography” using this device, scientists can more accurately measure and assess the harms being caused to the body.

But more critically, this information can help people in their efforts to quit by understanding how smoking topography relates to relapse, which we all know happens frequently in people try to give up.

By assessing the difference between, say, taking five puffs of a cigarette and smoking five entire death sticks, this information can be used to predict when a person will relapse and when an intervention may be helpful, such as a phone call from a health coach or a smartphone text or video message.

“For many people who attempt to quit smoking, a slip is one or two cigarettes or even a single puff. But a slip is not the same as a relapse. A person can learn from slips, by gaining awareness that they did not fail, they just had a temporary setback,” Professor Alshurafa said.

“To avoid a relapse, we can then begin to shift their focus on how we handle their triggers and deal with cravings.”

Which, IMHO, seems a much better strategy than simply replacing a cigarette addiction with a vaping device which may, or may not, be reducing the harmful effects of inhaling anything other than the cleanest air you can find.

If you see something that leaves you gasping, breathe easier by telling  

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