Popular stop-smoking app updated to help more users butt out

April 17, 2013, University of Waterloo

An enhanced version of a smoking cessation app developed at the University of Waterloo was launched today with new features to help keep even more people from smoking.

More people can access Crush the Crave 2.0. It is now available on , , Android phones, and tablets, making it accessible for a potential 650,000 Canadian users. This version introduces a number of new features, including even greater personalization and supportive reminders of money saved, health improvements, and achievement of goals. There are more comprehensive tools, including health-based calculators, and tracking of locations where users smoke and crave cigarettes. A leaderboard shows progress in remaining smoke-free compared to other app users and there is increased Facebook integration. These new features build on Crush the Crave's informative help screens and customized quit plan that help users monitor habits, understand cravings, share results and receive support from friends online. Crush the Crave also helps users handle cravings with social , such as videos, games and opportunities to chat with friends online until cravings subside.

Funded by Health Canada, the first version of Crush the Crave was launched in April 2012, and was the first evidence-based mobile app targeted to aged 19 to 29. This age group has the highest smoking rate in Canada at 24.4 per cent, and they are also the greatest users of both social media and mobile technology; 69 per cent of young adults with cellphones own a smartphone.

"Smartphones offer a smoker an intervention that takes place any time, anywhere and allows something to happen at the point of the problem," said Bruce Baskerville, senior scientist at the Propel Centre for Impact at Waterloo.

The first version of the app was well received, with more than 17,000 Facebook fans, and at least 600 Twitter followers. Facebook comments have included reports of successful smoke-free days and cravings conquered, as well as encouragement from peers, and represent a growing community of support for young adults who want to quit.

Leave the Pack Behind, a program to control tobacco consumption among young adults in Ontario's post-secondary institutions, was a key partner in the development of the app.

For more information on the features of Crush the Crave and how to download it, please visit www.crushthecrave.ca .

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