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Kick the Habit with Quitbit
TECH
Kick the Habit with Quitbit
A smart, flameless lighter and app that tracks exactly when and how much you smoke
by Nara Shin
on 13 May 2014
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In an age when even cigarettes are electronic, nicotine gum, patches and hypnosis are pretty outdated ways to approach the challenging—for some, impossible—act of quitting smoking. The Quitbit is a new device in the form of a lighter that aims to track your habits, allowing you to learn what time of day you're smoking most or measuring how long it's been since your last cigarette. Once you're face to face with concrete numbers, it's a lot harder to deny that you've got a problem—but Quitbit (whose name is perhaps a shout-out to that smart fitness tracking device) is here to motivate and manage the quitting process.

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Co-founders Ata Ghofrani and Kuji Nakano were two graduate students who met at Brown University; Ghofrani was in the process of quitting smoking when, one day before class, Nakano asked how many cigarettes he had smoked. It's a question that rarely receives an exact answer and Ghofrani realized there was no simple way to track and learn about one's smoking habits—the crucial first step to cutting back. (It's also partly why smokers give estimates in terms of half-packs and packs.)

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Instead of gas or butane, the Quitbit uses a heating coil (similar to those old-fashioned car lighters) which means it doesn't need refilling, and the internal battery lasts around a week before needing a quick recharge. While the lighter works as a standalone, it can be paired to your iPhone or Android device through Bluetooth. Open up the app to see stats—such as how many times you've lit up today or how much money you've saved by smoking less. You can set goals, but better yet, set a limit on the number of cigarettes you allow yourself to smoke daily. There are also options to share your progress with the Quitbit community or on social networks.

Quitbit has something that the latest lifestyle trackers on the shelves don't—features that ultimately motivate a change in behavior. And, once you've finally kicked the habit, you can give the Quitbit lighter to a friend or family member who's trying to do the same.

Contribute to their Kickstarter to get your own Quibit for a discounted price; expected to ship by December 2014 (though it's no excuse to wait until then to quit smoking).

Images courtesy of Quitbit

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