How does it work?
The user of the app takes a photograph of themselves on their phone and then blows smoke onto it. The app 'ages' the photograph to show how smoking damages the skin and makes people look up to 19 years older than they actually are.
Why has it been launched?
The launch of the app in January, when smokers often make a new year’s resolution to give up their habit, will be accompanied by a cinema advertisement showing the effects of smoking on people’s skin. The ageing aspect of smoking is, according to the agency that made the app, a "compelling disincentive" to younger smokers. Glyn McIntosh, communications director at Quit UK, says the charity hopes the app will be successful in reaching the teen smoker market, which he says is hard to access because teenagers "believe they are immune from the effects of smoking".
Who is behind it?
The app and cinema advertisement were developed by the creative agency Iris, the production company Hungry Man and the post-production company Framestore.
Third Sector verdict:
Teenagers are enthusiastic about apps, so it is a useful medium for getting the 'quit smoking' message across. Young people will be able to see how smoking can affect their personal appearance, but whether the app will be successful in getting teenagers to quit the habit is open to question.