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Zombies Help Smokers Kill the Habit

By Ben Feuerherd 02/06/13

A new app helps you combat cravings via virtual attacks on the undead.

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If nicotine gum and lollipops won't sate your cigarette cravings, killing zombies just might. A new phone app called Zombie Stakeout, developed by the American Cancer Society, takes you to a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by second-hand smoke, where you attack cigarette-smoking zombies with a super-soaker. "You have to douse the approaching zombies and flaming piles of cigarettes in the street with your giant water gun. All while you jump over obstacles like trashcans and abandoned cars," explains the app's website. "But you gotta keep your health up, or it’s game over." Tom Glynn, Cancer Science and Trends director at the American Cancer Society, says the game is designed to help smokers resist cravings, while offering a cancer-free distraction. “It’s trying to help people deal with that indescribable feeling gnawing at you due to loss of nicotine,” he says. There are many other quit-smoking apps available on the iPad, iPhone, including one called "QuitPal" that helps smokers track the money they save and share the milestones they've hit on social media sites like Facebook. Kelly McIvor, a Seattle mobile marketing expert, says the social aspects of these apps can make them particularly effective: “It’s helpful to be with other people trying to do the same thing.”

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Benjamin Feuerherd is a city reporter at the New York Post. He has previously worked for The Daily Beast and NBC. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter

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