Indian Smokers Get Facebook App to "Unlike" Tobacco

By Kenneth Garger 08/15/11

Nicorette will use social networking to try to crack a huge, health-conscious market.

Would you "quit buddy" this man? Photo

Starting today, tobacco fiends in India who want to quit will receive a helping hand from Nicorette—the company that sells gum and throat lozenges to would-be quitters—by way of a new Facebook application. Nicotine is the most abused, addictive and harmful substance in the world, according to many experts. Quitting smoking is notoriously difficult: The relapse rate is a daunting 85% and failure often occurs within the first week, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The app, which is called "Nicorette Support," represents a new ruse for a company whose sales are sluggish due to all the competition from other patches and pills—its "Quit India" campaign, which kicked off in January, has been less than a resounding success. The app will try to offer a culturally specific, communal and personable support service to the 25 million cigarette-smoking social-network users—one fifth of all its puffers—in the fast-developing nation.

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Ken Garger is a reporter for the New York Post. You can follow him on Twitter.