The Best Way to Quit Smoking

Now here’s something for smokers to ponder. The popular online medical information website,, has a feature on ‘The best quit smoking apps’ for 2016.

Before we come to the list of the twelve winners we are reminded, in the usual encouraging way, that ‘Quitting smoking can be incredibly difficult, but it is ultimately worth the struggle.’ Never mind. Let’s check out a selection of their ‘picks for the best quit smoking apps of the year.’ They don’t seem to be arranged in any particular order.

Butt Out: Quit Smoking Forever in which you can ‘Track your cravings and how many times you end up smoking, then watch your progress over time.’

Craving to Quit which contains ‘Videos help to guide you through each step of the process.’

Get Rich or Die Smoking. This one ‘shows you what you can now buy with that money instead [of spending it on cigarettes]’.

There’s the cutesy spelling of Kwit which is for smokers who like games, it seems.

Smoke Free which enables you to ‘Log your habits and cravings, track how many cigarettes you’ve successfully not smoked’.

This is getting boring so I’ll pick just one more: Quit Smoking with Andrew Johnson. The reviewer seems to have forgotten that clichés should be avoided like the plague:

Like most bad habits, smoking can become a deeply rooted part of your routine…Sometimes it takes thinking outside the box to break through…uses deep relaxation to help send messages to your subconscious to help you kick the habit.

Apart from apps they list ‘The Top 8 Products to Help You Quit Smoking’. More encouragement, put somewhat repetitively:

…quitting ain’t easy. More Americans are addicted to nicotine—the drug in cigarettes—than any other drug. And because nicotine is so addictive, it isn’t a drug you can just put down. Quitting can take several attempts…Quitting smoking is hard work.

The products, predictably, are nicotine gum, lozenges and prescription drugs. And one more I hadn’t come across before, The Quitter’s Circle. It’s another app: ‘The revamped version includes many new features designed to guide Quitters through their Quit Plan.’

Techniques, methods, ways, tools, programmes, plans etc., to stop doing something, and now we have apps. This review of the winners for 2016 rubs it in that quitting (or kwitting) smoking is not just difficult but incredibly difficult and will be a struggle, not forgetting that quitting ain’t easy and is hard work. Gee, thanks.

There’s something wrong here. When I was doing my medical training it was pointed out that if many different treatments were recommended for a particular disease, it probably meant none of them was much good. Another thing we learnt was that in order to treat a disease effectively you need to understand the cause, if possible.

This is the problem with the current orthodox approach to smoking: all the apps mentioned above are merely gimmicks of one sort or another.

Not one helps you understand why you smoke in the first place or why quitting seems so hard. But if you can be helped to grasp these matters—very easy!—then quitting can be easy too.

Text © Gabriel Symonds

Gabriel Symonds

Dr Gabriel Symonds is a British medical doctor living in Japan who has developed a unique interactive stop smoking method. It involves no nicotine, drugs, hypnosis, or gimmicks but consists in helping smokers to demonstrate to themselves why they really smoke and why it seems so hard to stop doing it. Then most people find they can quit straightaway and without a struggle. He has used this approach successfully with hundreds of smokers; it works equally well for vapers. Dr Symonds also writes about transgenderism and other controversial medical matters. See

Nathaniel Fried - 13 March 2017 Reply

I’ve been trying to quit smoking recently and it has been really hard, I tried using TBX Free (, but it didn’t really get rid of any of my urges to smoke, do you have any suggestions for cheap affordable things I could use?

I’m a student and this is really something that I want to get over and out of the way while I am young before it becomes a really serious issue.

    Gabriel Symonds - 18 March 2017 Reply

    This question is whether a plant-based drug, cytisine, is effective for smoking cessation. The essence of my method is that you don’t need a drug to stop using another drug, nicotine, and the belief that you do merely reinforces the common but wrong idea that stopping smoking is too difficult to achieve on your own. I referred the questioner to my books and offered to meet him on Skype if he would like individual help. So far I have heard nothing back from him.

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