WHO recommends QuitNow to quit smoking

  • The Catalan app adds a new section featuring self-help books

  • QuitNow! hits a record-beating 8 million downloads

The COVID-19 pandemic has led thousands of tobacco users to decide they want to quit, as smokers are more likely to catch this disease compared to non-smokers. In a global effort, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended, among other support measures, the QuitNow! app for smokers who in 2021 are determined to quit smoking but are worried about suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Florence, the WHO’s official digital health assistant, suggests the QuitNow! app when asked about a recommendation for a smartphone app to help quit smoking.

Since 2012, QuitNow! each year supports millions of people in their effort to quit smoking through indicators, recommendations, and suggestions. Unlike other apps, QuitNow! is based on a gamification system, keeping users entertained while they stay on track and committed to their goal of quitting smoking. The app’s intuitive interface allows them to see statistics on smoke-free days and hours, the amount of money saved and the number of cigarettes they’ve not smoked. In addition to being one of the best-reviewed apps in Spain, it has also been a finalist in various awards, including the renowned AppCircus BCN showcase.

Quitting smoking is more important than ever

Cigarettes kill more than eight million people in the world each year. More than seven million of these deaths are due to direct tobacco use and approximately 1.2 million to second-hand smoke to which non-smokers are exposed.

Smoking cigarettes is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections that increases the severity of these types of diseases as well as increasing the risk of heart disease. However, it is also known that acting immediately to definitively stop smoking reduces this risk by 50% after just one year.

In the context of a pandemic, the WHO has found that smokers are more likely to develop severe symptoms of COVID-19 compared to non-smokers, as COVID-19 is an infectious disease that mainly attacks the lungs. Smoking impairs lung function, making it harder for the body to fight this and other diseases.

Furthermore, several studies confirm that tobacco consumption increases the probability of COVID-19 contagion, due to both exhaled smoke and contact with objects and surfaces, since smoking or vaping increases hand-mouth contact, including putting on and taking off a face covering.

More than 30 books that will help you quit smoking

In 2020 the QuitNow! app added a section featuring self-help books where users, through reading, can find extra support. Some titles are more practical, such as Quitting smoking: weighing up the pros and cons, which offers tips and suggested actions aimed at keeping the growth of smoking in check; others are more inspiring, such as Don't Give In!, which brings together thoughts on persistence, endurance, optimism and success based on stories from great minds such as Albert Einstein, Henry Ford or Dale Carnegie.

Record downloads!

The free-to-download QuitNow! app has hit a record 8 million downloads, with a total of 566,000 downloads this year alone (Android and iOS combined). In the case of Android, the download amount rose by 1.4% compared to 2019.

How it works

In the highly-competitive market of mobile apps, QuitNow! stands out from the crowd for being a useful tool for millions of people, with an interface that’s intuitive, colourful and easy to use. By entering personal data such as the number of cigarettes smoked per day or the price of a pack, users can track the days they have been smoke-free, the number of cigarettes not smoked, and thus calculate their financial savings and much more useful information.

The app also features a Q&A section validated by the World Health Organization, a self-help bot and a chat room where ex-smokers can share their personal experiences, which can prove useful for current smokers in dealing with obstacles during the quitting process. In addition, users can observe how their health improves day by day through health indicators endorsed by the WHO.