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New mobile app to help people quit smoking in Switzerland

IANS  |  Geneva 

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) on Monday launched a personalised mobile phone app which aims to help smokers quit by enabling them to interact with somebody who will support them in doing so.

Named SmokeFree Buddy, FOPH said the app's primary focus was to encourage those wishing to stop smoking by putting them in touch with a friend or family member, a move which is particularly important in the first few weeks of the quitting process, Xinhua reported.

The app can also be used by two smokers who would like to stop together.

Statistics show that 57 percent of those who smoke regularly would like to stop altogether, while studies reveal that having someone close when attempting to quit increases the odds of success.

By combining a personalised approach with professional assistance and information, the application is part of a nationwide campaign instigated at the beginning of the year to reduce the number of smokers in the country.

With 25 percent of the Swiss population declaring themselves as smokers in 2013, statistics show that the habit accounts for 85 percent of pulmonary cancers in the country.

Though significantly decreasing since 2000, the number of people addicted to tobacco has hardly evolved since 2008, indicated FOPH, while statistics reveal that smoking kills some 9,000 people every year in the country.

First Published: Mon, September 21 2015. 22:36 IST