top of page

A necklace to stop smoking

Global Goals & Global Society
A necklace to stop smoking

CHICAGO — A necklace that might encourage you to give up smoking is approaching. Researchers from Northwestern Medicine have created a smart neckpiece that resembles a lapis blue necklace and can detect smoking considerably more accurately than earlier systems. It does this by using thermal sensors to record heat signatures.

SmokeMon is a necklace that entirely protects a smoker's privacy by only monitoring heat and not images, which is essential for individuals to feel at ease wearing it.

Senior researcher Nabil Alshurafa, associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said, "This goes much beyond how many cigarettes a person smokes each day." We are able to tell when a cigarette is lighted, when someone holds it to their mouth and inhales, how much they inhale, how long they hold the cigarette in their mouth for, and how much time has passed between puffs.

Smoking topography refers to all of these specifics and is significant for two reasons. Tobacco-related disorders like cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, COPD, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis can all be linked to chemical exposure, which makes it possible for scientists to quantify and estimate dangerous carbon monoxide exposure among smokers.

The second is to support people in their attempts to stop smoking by gaining an understanding of how smoking topography relates to relapse, which frequently occurs in those who quit.

Imagine a former smoker taking a couple cigarette puffs. Do five puffs or five cigarettes in their entirety trigger a full relapse? With the aid of this data, it is possible to anticipate when a person will relapse and to take appropriate action, such as calling them on the phone or sending them a text or video message on their smartphone to encourage them to avoid relapsing. The efficiency of the instrument in detecting smoking puffs and topography from electronic cigarettes will also be investigated by the researchers.

Alshurafa stated, "We want to catch them before they completely go off the wagon. "After they do, quitting again is far more difficult for them.

"A slip for many people trying to stop smoking is one or two cigarettes, or even just one puff. But, a slip does not equal a relapse (going back to smoking regularly). One can learn from mistakes by realizing they weren't failures; they were only temporary setbacks. Then, we may start to change their attention to how we handle their triggers and cope with urges in order to prevent a relapse.

On February 13, Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable, and Ubiquitous Technologies will publish the study proving the device's accuracy and people's willingness to use it.

In order to increase the success rate of smoking cessation programs, Alshurafa remarked, "we can now start testing the usefulness of this device in preventing relapse in smokers who are going to quit." We will be able to determine whether real-time feedback and interventions are superior to standard care.

The fact that existing smoking topography tracking devices must be attached to the cigarette alters how a person smokes and reduces the accuracy of the data. Researchers have looked into discreet techniques to monitor smoking behavior, such as using inertial measurement unit wristband sensors in smartwatches. However, non-smoker hand-to-mouth actions frequently confuse such methods, which leads to a high number of false positives. Wearable video cameras are an additional choice, but they raise privacy and social stigma issues, which restricts their use in natural situations.

For the study, 19 volunteers were gathered. Participants participated in 115 smoking sessions where researchers studied their smoking habits in both controlled and uncontrolled environments.

In order to detect smoking events and associated smoking topography, such as time of a puff, number of puffs, puff duration, puff volume, inter-puff interval, and smoking duration, scientists trained a deep learning-based machine model as smokers wore the device. In order to learn more about how 18 experts in tobacco treatment felt about the gadget, they also conducted three focus groups with them.

"These real-time readings can truly assist us understand the depth a person is at in their smoking habits and treat the patient accordingly," one smoking cessation specialist said.

Additional Northwestern authors include Stefany Cruz, Lingfeng Li, Sougata Sen, Mahdi Pedram, Christopher Romano, Aggelos Katsaggelos, and Josiah Hester. Rawan Alharbi, a principal author and Ph.D. student of Alshurafa, is another.

"SmokeMon: Unobtrusive Extraction of Smoking Topography Utilizing Wearable Energy-Efficient Thermal," is the name of the research article.

The use of tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke can be prevented and reduced using a number of evidence-based measures. They include smoke-free laws, price rises, and public health awareness programs with broad appeal. People can also quit smoking with the aid of techniques like counseling and medicine.

Coming down from a drug that you have been used to for many years can be difficult for many people. Researchers from this example have meticulously searched for a solution to renounce cigarettes and have found a sustainable option that additionally works towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals worldwide.


bottom of page