According to the World Health Organization, there are 1.2 billion people who smoke worldwide, an addiction which represents the single greatest cause of global preventable death. Tobacco smoking increases the risk of many diseases, from lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to heart attacks and erectile dysfunction.

It is no surprise, then, that smoking cessation represents a vital healthcare issue, both for individual health benefits as well as from a public health perspective. Within 1 year of cessation, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half; within 5 years, the risk of stroke drops to that of a non-smoker; within 10 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer drops in half.

An assortment of approaches are available for smoking cessation, ranging from physician or nursing counseling and community interventions to nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion, nicotinic receptor partial agonists, and electronic cigarettes. As a physician, it can be challenging to encourage my patients to consider quitting smoking and to illustrate the extent of the threats from smoking to their health.

Borm Bruckmeier Publishing, founded by two German physicians in 1992, and producers of 24 medically-themed apps (mostly in their i-Pocketcards series), has developed the Smoking Cessation i-Pocketcards App. The app was released in April 2011 to help healthcare professionals educate themselves and their patients.

Developed by physicians in collaboration with the COPD Foundation, this app is targeted towards healthcare professionals for the purposes of education and counseling, in contrast to many available apps in the iTunes store targeted towards smokers themselves. Read below the jump to learn more about this app.

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The Smoking Cessation i-Pocketcards App features a simple, streamlined layout, opening with links to the Table of Contents, Classic View, BB iTools, and About Us. Moreover, the index bar at the bottom has quick links to Home, Table of Contents, Classic View, and BB iTools.

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The Table of Contents (TOC) displays the contents of the pocketcards. Categories, where applicable (designated by “+”), can be expanded inside the TOC.

Categories include the following:

  • Smoking—Facts and Figures
  • Risks of Smoking
  • Benefits of Smoking Cessation
  • Nicotine
  • The 5 A’s of Treatment
  • Tobacco Users Willing to Quit
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy
  • Non-Nicotine Replacement Therapy
  • Special Considerations
  • Therapy in Special Populations
  • Follow-Up
  • Tobacco Users Who Recently Quit
  • Tobacco Users Unwilling to Quit

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Here, we take a look at the pocketcard for the “Risks of Active Smoking.” As seen here, the pocketcard features organized (acute vs long-term) lists of risks, with data modified from information provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

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Here is the pocketcard for the 5 A’s of intervention for tobacco cessation support, also based on DHHS Clinical Practice Guidelines. The app’s pocketcards follow this model of well-organized chunks of information, based on reputable resources. Moreover, the buttons along the top allow for forward-and-backward navigation of pocketcards.

These pocketcards can be useful tools for healthcare professionals encouraging and counseling tobacco users, ranging from those not yet considering quitting or those willing to quit to those who recently quit and those unwilling to quit.

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The Classic View option displays the app’s contents in traditional form, condensed onto 6 cards. For most purposes, the classic view is not as well organized nor as easy to navigate as the typical view.

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The BB iTools link displays the various Borm Bruckmeier apps for sale in the App Store.

Pricing:

  • The Smoking Cessation i-Pocketcards App currently costs $3.99 at the iTunes store.

Likes:

  • Easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate i-Pocketcards
  • Information based on reputable resources, such as the US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Fairly comprehensive overview of tobacco use risks and cessation

Concerns:

  • Inability to email or share i-Pocketcards with patients or colleagues from within the app

Conclusion:

  • The contents of the Smoking Cessation i-Pocketcards App, from Borm Bruckmeier Publishing, represent valuable tools for healthcare professionals to help educate themselves and counsel tobacco users on cessation

iTunes Link: