Can VR help you quit smoking?

Giving up smoking is hard. So hard, in fact, that it often takes people years and many failed attempts before they successfully kick the habit.

Millions of dollars, years of research and a range of different therapeutic strategies have tried to find a silver bullet solution to the problem of nicotine addiction.

there are still over 1 billion active smokers worldwide

Yet, the World Health Organisation estimates that there are still over 1 billion active smokers worldwide and that the practice results in 6 million deaths a year.

Can the rapidly evolving VR market offer any new approaches to the problem of addiction?

MindCotine, a VR product that looks to combine mindfulness, psychological therapies and community engagement, thinks that it may have an answer.

Individual solutions  

The app, which is currently seeking crowd-funding, aims to provide the tools that individual smokers need to quit for good.

Created by a team with both medical and VR expertise wanted to create an easy to use mobile app that treat the “actual root” of an individual’s addiction.

So how does it work?

help users to discover the tools that they need to tackle their own addiction

The app guides users through a series of mindfulness processes that help them to focus clearly on the present moment. This is then paired with a ‘biofeedback monitoring system’ that trains users to recognise the ques of their addiction (having an alcoholic beverage for instance) and control them.

By recognising the situations or emotions that lead them to light up a cigarette, people are better able to take charge of their behaviours.

It is here that we hit the fundamental problem of addiction: it is a different beast for every individual. Going cold turkey works for some, while others need to phase out their tobacco usage over time.

The guided VR experiences aim to help users to discover the tools that they need to tackle their own addiction. There is also a strong community platform and AI component, where users are encouraged to support their peers in their journey.

The MindCotine kit includes a VR headset, 2 biofeedback wristbands and access to the app. Kit distribution will be on January 2018. 

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