A games developer from London has developed a mobile phone game called ‘Cigbreak’ aimed at smokers wanting to kick the habit.
Cigbreak has been developed by Hope Caton, writer of the global hit video game TombRaider IV: The Last Revelation. Together with business partner Robin Bell, they have formed Healthy Games with the aim of making games that improve health.
‘Cigbreak’, developed with the support of Camden-based IT firm Maldaba Ltd, replicates the ‘Fruit Ninja’ game by getting players to break cigarettes in order to gain game rewards.
Hope commented: “Cigbreak is the UK’s first smoking cessation app in the form of a game. It was co-created with a medical team and was tested on smokers throughout development. The result is a game that is fun for smokers to play, while reinforcing their motivation to quit smoking.
“Research proves that when a game mechanic mirrors the desired behaviour change in the virtual world, this change is continued and maintained in the real world. A Canadian study proved that if smokers play a game that involves breaking or crushing cigarettes, they are 13% more likely to quit. In Cigbreak, the player swipes the phone screen to break cigarettes, hence our tagline: “Break the cigarette to break the habit”
“Research also indicates that 52% of video game players smoke while 37% of non-video game players smoke. Games form the largest market share of apps comprising 33% of all downloads.
“An estimated 69% of people in the UK aged 8-74 play games on average 14 hours per week. Smokers reported playing for longer durations each week and 63.7% of smokers believed computer game-based intervention would motivate them to quit,” added Hope.
Lorenzo Gordon, MD of Maldaba Ltd who have been involved in producing a back-end system that captures users’ postcodes and integrates with a number of other systems, commented: “We were really impressed by the work Hope and Robin and their team have done on the smoking cessation game. It’s been a pleasure to work with a company whose ethos mirrors our own.”
The app is available to download on Apple ITunes and Google Play.
View an interview with the game’s creators here: