To motivate teens to stay away from tobacco and teach behavioural skills, a new app has been developed to help them resist pro-tobacco pressures.
The app prevents teens from smoking and encourage them to quit if they've started and is available free on the Apple iTunes Store.
Designer Alexander Prokhorov, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Behavioral Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center said that the app combines education and entertainment with comics and interactive games.
Equipped with colorful animated teen characters and cool tunes, the app - available for iOS platform- addresses those who have never smoked, those wanting to quit, those having trouble quitting and those not interested in quitting.
The app includes gaming activities that reinforce smoking-cessation tips tailored for the teenage audience. In one game the user's task is to tap away various temptations to smoke -depicted as objects - that rapidly moves around the smartphone screen.
Another game challenges teens to match two pairs of cards that contain memorable images of smoking consequences including yellow teeth, bad breath and stained fingers.
Prokhorov said that every module of the app was carefully designed with teens in mind, as most of them are very particular about their appearance and don't realize that smoking can affect their appearance well before they develop cancer.