Smartphone App Turns Cigarettes Into Luxury Items To Help You Quit Smoking

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A new smartphone service launched today by the British Heart Foundation uses augmented reality to transform a packet of cigarettes into luxury items in an effort to help you quit smoking.

Using the Blippar app for Android and iOS, the service encourages you to “swap fags for swag” (“fag” is a British term for cigarette) by virtually transforming your cigarettes into other items you could afford if you didn’t spend your cash on smokes.

According to the BHF, British people who smoke 20 cigarettes a day could save themselves £7 ($10.47) a day, £49 ($73) a week, £210 ($314) a month, and £2,555 ($3,822) a year if they kicked the habit.

The charity suggests that money could be better spent on things like holidays, tickets to the movies, video games, and Blu-ray players. But rather than just telling you, it shows you by using Blippar’s augmented reality technology to transform your packet of cigarettes into one of these items.

Check out the demonstration video below.

“The tobacco giants are notoriously protective about their slick cigarette packaging — here’s a bit of slick that does some good for once,” said Betty McBride, director of policy and communications at the BHF. “We need to up our game if we are going to help people beat their addiction to tobacco by finding new ways to reach out to them.”

The new service has been launched on the BHF’s 30th annual No Smoking Day. According to the charity’s most recent study, 11% of smokers in the U.K. are “desperate” to quit, while 82% of the 2,000 people surveyed admitted that had tried and failed to kick the habit in the past.

Another poll conducted by Pru Health found that the average smoker spends 11% of their income on cigarettes.

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