Craving Buster

Platform: Android
Cost: $0.99
Purchase here:

2012 is finally here, and that means making New Year’s resolutions to quit all those nasty habits–including smoking cigarettes. Need some help with your anti-smoking quest? The Android app Craving Buster serves as users’ own personal quit-smoking coach, with a variety of ways to kill your need for a fix.

The app, which alerts you to the number of cigarette-related deaths since the previous midnight, allows you to set daily reminders for yourself, such as to take a nicotine pill. It also offers help whenever you have a craving. Touch “Kill Craving,” and you’ll get a piece of written advice along with a graphic picture of side effects of smoking. A sample piece of advice follows: “Open your (digital) album and recite the fun moments you had while taking these pictures. Are you willing to sacrifice 12 years of your life for 3 minutes of a craving? Remember: on average, smokers shorten their life by 12 years.” Sample pictures include victims of throat cancer, unhealthy lungs and a map of the body with all the body parts affected by smoking.

After seeing the “Kill Craving” aids, you can click for more advice and images, click “Resist” if you don’t want to smoke any more, or click “Smoke” if you still need a cigarette. Craving Buster keeps track of all the cravings and cigarettes you have, including the times you resist a cigarette, so you have a visual representation of your smoking history after downloading the app.

Click on your daily summary, and you’ll see your body’s progress on your anti-smoking journey. For example: “Today is day 5 in your quit smoking effort and you haven’t smoked for 2 days. Your damaged nerve endings have started to regrow. Your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Out of 1 attempt to control your cravings, you succeeded once.”

Pro’s: This app really does feature highly disturbing photos of the effects of smoking, which may be enough to compel some people to not smoke. The advice is encouraging, heartfelt and practical, and it includes important knowledge most smokers aren’t aware of. Having a chart detailing your progress is a good visual aid, especially for goal-oriented people. The chart is a simple bar graph, which makes it easy to discern progress and serve as a motivator.

Con’s: There are some grammar errors in the advice section–sometimes the text reads as if it were translated from another language. Also, within 10 touches of “Kill Craving,” users start to see repeated advice and images, though new material constantly cycles through. The app would seem more trustworthy if all the copy was clean, and the app would be better if it contained more words of advice and images.

Rating (1 being worst, 10 being best): 7

More quit smoking apps for Android: