Four hundred and forty thousand.
That's the number of reasons you should quit smoking. Along with causing a host of nightmarish health-related problems, cigarettes kill 440,000 Americans a year, on average. The good news: if you're finally ready to leave the smokes behind forever, help is in the palm of your hand. Whether you're using an iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone, a quit-smoking app offers up the virtual support you need to kick your habit for good. Here are our top five picks.
Reviewed and approved by smoking cessation specialists, this app comes with a personalized quit plan that allows you to either quit cold turkey or gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke a day. You can track your finances to see how much you've saved without the smokes, and earn reward badges for meeting personal goals. But here's what really makes this app stand out: You can connect to Facebook, Twitter, and livestrong.com to chat with a supportive online community and get tips and health facts to strengthen your resolve. Plus, it's free.
Based on a Yale University study that examined meditation's ability to curb addiction, this app provides you with guided meditation sessions that are designed to reduce the stress of addiction. You can also connect to Facebook and Twitter to get support and advice. The first five-minute session is free. Longer sessions cost $0.99 each, or you can get them all for $1.99.
Using a customizable one-step-at-a-time program that compares your smoking pattern against the statistics of other users, Quit Smoking gradually weans you off the cigs one day at a time. Track your daily cigarette consumption and manage your urges with this app.
QuitNow! gives you all the motivational stats you'll need to kick the habit. You'll keep track of the amount of time that has elapsed since you quit, the amount of money you've saved, how many cigarettes you've avoided, and the number of hours added to your life. The app also provides you with U.N. World Health Organization-approved indicators that your health is gradually improving.
With the eye-candy layout of Windows Phone tiles, KickSmoking records how long you've been smoke-free, how much money you've saved, the number of cigarettes you've dodged, and the health benefits you should be experiencing. You can track and battle your cravings with the "craving timer," which reminds you of your end goals as a way to stymie the temptation.