Health & FitnessLife & Style

Mobile app to kick smoking habit

A mobile application has been recently launched by non-governmenal organization Hyah Bela Tadkheen (Life without Smoking) to raise public awareness on the hazards of tobacco consumption and provide hands-on assistance by experienced medical consultants to kick smoking for good. 
The mobile application offers a comprehensive step-by-step guide to fighting against the devastating consequences of consuming the various types of tobacco found in cigarettes, hasheesh and sheesha (water pipe).
“The app is mainly designed to reach out to as much people as possible and to foster a sustained commitment,” Amr al-Maghraby, the designer of the mobile application, explained.
“The heavy usage of mobiles nowadays facilitates our access to users; thus the likelihood of our users remaining abstinent is increased by frequently receiving tobacco cessation incentive notifications and invitations to our anti-tobacco events.”   
The long-term challenge of preventing relapse is always accompanied with nicotine withdrawal symptoms, including craving for cigarettes, insomnia, stress, hunger, coughing and dry throat.
The app emphasizes how to overcome the ramifications of tobacco cessation and to avoid common smoking triggers by offering a variety of educational tips and practical techniques.
Each smoker differs from the other regarding reasons for smoking, amount of tobacco consumed daily, health and age.  Through a number of polls, the mobile app is able to determine the best method for quitting tailored to the specific needs of the user.    
“The polls are also means for collecting a considerable, detailed database on smokers in Egypt and other Arab countries that will help us seek drastic solutions for eliminating the tobacco epidemic,” Nesreen Dabous, chairperson of Hayah Bela Tadkheen, said.
Poll results reveal that Egypt has the highest smoking rate in the Arab world. Another study shows that stress relief tops the list of reasons behind taking up smoking, followed by addiction, relaxation, pleasure and entertainment, and cognitive stimulation.
Among the other polls available on the app are self-test addiction and costs of smoking polls.
“The cost of smoking poll is a helpful way for smokers to take a step back and look not only at their excessive consumption of smoking over a long period, but also the financial burden of smoking that dramatically cuts income in the long run,” Dabous pointed out.
The mobile app is also intended to be an avenue for users to easily access medical experts through their question-and-answer service. In severe cases, users are referred to certain clinics where they receive free-of-charge medical tests and treatment.  
The mobile app is part of the extensive, anti-tobacco campaign launched by Hayah Bela Tadkheen in 2004.
The non-governmental organization provides schools, universities, and clubs with discussions, inter-active events for adults, and edutainment activities to empower a tobacco-free young generation.  
Eminent actor Mohamed Sobhy joined forces with Hayah Bela Tadkheen in a number of awareness-raising events since recently being appointed the goodwill ambassador of fighting addiction by Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly.
Speaking to Egypt Independent, Sobhy explained the aim of fighting the growing phenomenon of tobacco consumption in TV series and films “without any dramatic purposes.”
“Drama has an impact on audience knowledge and behavior. Many young viewers blindly follow negative behaviors presented in dramas in their own lives.” Sobhy said. 
 “It is common nowadays to see heavy tobacco consumption in dramas or scenes showing how to roll a cigarette. This is why recommendations to cut down tobacco use in dramas and other preventive measures are underway to be implemented in the near future.”
According to WHO figures, “Smokers increase their risk of lung cancer 5 to 10 times, and in developed countries, smoking is responsible for more than 80% of all lung cancers.”
“Tobacco use has long been linked to head and neck cancers and is the single most important cause of bladder cancer. Additionally, the risk of breast, pancreas and colon cancers is increased among smokers,” WHO’s studies revealed.
To download the quit-smoking mobile app, click here.
Check out the campaign’s Facebook page here.

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