Public Health (13-04-2015)
‘Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable’: Sign up to the new and improved iCoach and set your personal challenge today!
Today the Commission launches a new and improved version of ‘iCoach’ the innovative digital health coach that helps people quit smoking. iCoach is an essential component of the European Commission’s Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable campaign, which ran from 2011 to 2013, and which is now being continued in 2015. One in three of the more than 431 000 registered users of the 2011-2013 campaign stopped smoking after three months with iCoach.
With new and improved functions, the revamped online and mobile tool should help even more smokers stub out their last cigarette.
iCoach 2015 is available both online and as a mobile app for Apple and Android devices in the 23 languages of the 28 EU countries. It is still free and easily accessible and now offers a more contemporary look and feel and user-friendly navigations. Its latest feature is a special “challenger” function, so people can set personal, phase-specific challenges. For example:
- Keep track of how many cigarettes you smoke a day as you may be underestimating your habit (for smokers in Phase 2)
- Postpone the “nicest” cigarette of the day 10 times for 10 minutes and then for 20 minutes (for smokers in Phase 3)
- Leave your cigarettes at home when you need to run a short errand (for smokers in Phase 4)
These challenges enable users to set themselves small, attainable goals which once achieved, encourages them to take on further challenges and gain control over their habit. Why not join iCoach today and set your first challenge for World No Tobacco Day on 31 May?
Every year, smoking kills almost 700 000 people in Europe and causes millions more to suffer from diseases associated with smoking, including cancers, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Around 50% of smokers die prematurely - on average 14 years earlier than non-smokers. Despite these shocking statistics, nearly a third of EU citizens smoke - 94% of them having started before the age of 25.
The Commission takes a multi-faceted approach to tackling the harmful effects of tobacco. Awareness campaigns are an important element of the Commission's tobacco policy in addition to legislation on Tobacco products and on their advertising and sponsorship, and support to Member States.
The "Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable" campaign aims to motivate people to quit smoking by focusing on the positive benefits of quitting, highlighting the inspirational achievements of ex-smokers, and offering smokers practical help with quitting.