May 31st is the one special day of the year the whole world is talking about smoking and its effects. It’s almost unbelievable that the primary cause of preventable death worldwide has only one day where everyone is promoting awareness of the harmful effects of smoking and discouraging tobacco use. Shouldn’t we speak about it more frequently?
According to the World Health Organization, the 2020 World No Tobacco Day aims to “debunk myths and expose devious tactics employed by the tobacco industry, providing young people with the knowledge required to easily detect industry manipulation and equip them with the tools to rebuff such tactics, empowering young people to stand up against them”.
In the midst of a global pandemic, anxiety and fear are rising, and since everyone is spending more time at home, there are higher chances that smoking rates increase. Effective interventions should take into account the current circumstances, and both public and private institutions should aim to assist smokers in following smoker-centered design approaches.
A positive aspect of the shelter-in-place situation is the increase in forced digitalization. Technology can offer new ways of helping people to quit smoking and can be even better at targeting communities that are not easily reached by standard interventions. Text messaging, social networks support groups, mobile apps, have all been studied and proven to help smokers quit.
Since young people are natural adopters of technology, using technology to counter the tobacco industry which surrounds them with propaganda about vaping can be very effective. New techniques are necessary to support and guide the next generation into a world free of smoking, whether vaping or cigarettes.
If you are a smoker, or you want to help the young around you to stop vaping, don’t hesitate to try out MindCotine. Our evidence-based product leverages the transformational power of Virtual Reality, mindfulness meditation, and cognitive-behavioral techniques, along with coaching support.