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Northwestern Medicine scientists have created a new smart necklace that may help individuals in quitting smoking. The device, designed to look like a lapis blue pendant, can detect smoking more accurately than prior systems by using thermal sensors to record heat signatures.

SmokeMon can measure the number of cigarettes smoked

The SmokeMon necklace fully upholds a smoker’s confidentiality by solely monitoring heat instead of images – an essential aspect of ensuring user comfort while wearing it.

According to Nabil Alshurafa, an associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the research extends beyond the number of cigarettes an individual smokes daily. The team is capable of identifying various aspects of smoking behavior, such as lighting the cigarette, duration of holding it to their mouth, inhaling, and intervals between puffs.

The collection of information related to smoking habits, also known as smoking topography, holds great significance due to two primary reasons. Firstly, it facilitates scientists in quantifying and evaluating the detrimental impact of carbon monoxide on smokers, and it enables them to understand the correlation between chemical exposure and tobacco-induced illnesses such as cancer, heart ailments, stroke, pulmonary conditions, diabetes, emphysema, COPD, and chronic bronchitis. Secondly, it is to aid individuals in their cessation efforts by comprehending the correlation between relapse and smoking topography.

Device to help prevent relapse

For instance, if a previous smoker consumes a few puffs of a cigarette, will five puffs or five complete cigarettes lead to a complete relapse? This knowledge can help predict when a relapse might occur and when it would be appropriate to intervene through a call from a healthcare coach, a text, or a video message to offer support and prevent relapse. The researchers are also planning to evaluate the efficacy of the gadget in identifying smoking topography and puffs from electronic cigarettes.

Alshurafa explains that they want to catch individuals looking to quit smoking before they fall off because after they do, it will be harder to quit again. For most people seeking to quit, a slip is a puff or a cigarette but not the same as a relapse.