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Cigbreak Case Study: Break the Smoker’s Habit

By Lorenzo 2nd November, 2016

Apps, Integration, Smoking Cessation

A games developer from London has developed a mobile phone game called ‘Cigbreak’ aimed at smokers wanting to quit 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 post-codes 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.”

Watch Robin and Hope talk about their experience of working with Maldaba: