Technology-Based health intervention Application
Apps that help smokers to quit smoking have become common to manymobile phone users today. The apps come in different interfaces, butthe working concept is almost the same. An example of a popular appis smokefree.com for iPhone and Android users (Roth & Goldman,2016). The craze of healthy living has taken a toll on manyAmericans. The number of people willing to quit smoking, in order tostay away from tobacco-related illness, is on a tremendous rise. Thishealth app seeks to address the issue of smoking by recording thenumber of days that a user has stayed smoke-free.The targetpopulation for this app is young people because they form a largerportion of people seeking to quit smoking because it is no longertrendy. In addition, young people, especially female, are more likelyto download apps than older people are.
Smokefree.com (2016) operates as an online community as a well atobacco monitoring app. The app monitors the progress of people whowish to quit smoking. The number of days that a smoker has gonewithout smoking is shown on their account. The app also records theamount of money that the smoker saves by not indulging in the act.Users with the most impressive progress receive badges, which theycan share with their friends to encourage them to quit smoking. Theapp uses an online community as a communication strategy. In thecommunity, users can ask questions and contribute to various debates.The app also tries to pass the message that quitting smoking is themost important step towards healthy living.
Smoke Free applies the health belief model to pass the message acrossand attract more users in the process. According to the theory,people will react to a health message based on the perceivedseriousness of the health issue, perceived susceptibility, perceivedbarriers and perceived benefits (Green & Murphy, 2014).
The app highlights all the ailments that arise from smoking. Thismessage creates a perceived seriousness of the issue of being tobaccouse. The message on the app implies that the people who do not quitsmoking will succumb to tobacco-related diseases. The app also dwellson the perceived susceptibility of smoking. People who smoke are moresusceptible to cancer than those who do not. The app informs itsusers that it will reduce their level of susceptibility by monitoringthe progress in their quest to stay away from tobacco.
The perceived barriers to quitting smoking are lack of moral support.This app circumvents this hurdle by giving users the motivation toquit smoking. Impressive progress will motivate the user to keepstaying away from tobacco. The perceived benefits of using this appquitting smoke and steering clear of tobacco-related illnesses.
The technology manages to use communication strategies effectively inorder to attract more users. The welcome message on the app creates aperceived seriousness of the smoking issue. The message appears toimply that smoking is the worst health risk that one could exposehimself to. The app can further improve its communication strategy bypublishing real life success stories on its website. The presentstories look fabricated just by a glance.The app should also includeadvice to users to ensure they do not fall back to smoking. As itstands, the app only serves to encourage people to progress in theirjourney to quitting smoking but it does not offer solutions tosmoking addiction.
Green, E. C., & Murphy, E. (2014). Health belief model. TheWiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, andSociety.
smokefree.com, (2016). Quit Smoking with smokefree. Retrieved from,<https://www.smokefree.com>19 March, 2016
Roth, E., & Goldman, R., (2016). The Best Quit Smoking iPhone andAndroid Apps of the Year. Healthline.com. Retrieved from<http://www.healthline.com/health/quit-smoking/top-iphone-android-apps>19 March,2016.