WO1998046093A1 - Smoking control device - Google Patents

Smoking control device

Info

Publication number
WO1998046093A1
WO1998046093A1 PCT/US1998/007527 US9807527W WO1998046093A1 WO 1998046093 A1 WO1998046093 A1 WO 1998046093A1 US 9807527 W US9807527 W US 9807527W WO 1998046093 A1 WO1998046093 A1 WO 1998046093A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
smoking
cigarette
user
device
day
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1998/007527
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Robert Lindburg
Kent Zilliox
Original Assignee
Robert Lindburg
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES
    • A24F13/00Appliances for smoking cigars or cigarettes
    • A24F13/02Cigar or cigarette holders
    • A24F13/12Cigar or cigarette holders combined with other objects, e.g. writing utensils
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES
    • A24F47/00Smokers' requisites not provided for elsewhere, e.g. devices to assist in stopping or limiting smoking

Abstract

A behavior modification device (20) contained in a portable object able to count consecutive numbers, record and store hourly running totals, compare the numbers or totals for the current day with the previous day. Differences between the previous day and the current day could be expressed as a numeric or percentage + or - on a liquid crystal display (LCD) (28). The device (20) may be in the form of a cigarette holder (20). An LCD display (28) may be exposed or hidden with a cover that could flip up or slide open for access to data displayed by the LCD. Every puff on a cigarette is counted by opening a valve in the cigarette holder (20) to allow the puff to be taken. Puffs are counted and the total at each hour saved. A chime may be used to signal the hour so that a user may enter the total into a log booklet which would provide a complete record of the quitting process. Preferably, the device (20) would store hourly totals for later documentation, should some entries be missed. A log booklet where results can be recorded and graphed may also be used.

Description

PATENT APPLICATION

SMOKING CONTROL DEVICE

HELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to devices which aid a user in modification or cessation of an unwanted behavior. More particularly, the invention relates to a device which aids a user in quitting smoking.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Although smoking cessation devices have been previously proposed, they have not been universally accepted or successful. The devices have lacked individual control and engagement. Moreover, many of these devices have not been sufficiently compact and handy to promote their usage.

Some methods of tapering cigarette use call for the smoker to change to brands with lower tar and nicotine levels. This theoretically helps the smoker break through the plateaus encountered in the reduction process. However, in many cases, the smoker ends up smoking a greater number of cigarettes to get their usual dose of tar and nicotine, thereby negating the effect of changing brands, and ultimately increasing the cost and number of times they smoke. If the aim is to reduce or quit smoking, then the behavioral modification created is counterproductive.

Patent numbers 4,311,448 to Strauss and 4,853,854 to Behar et al. describe devices which inform a user when it is time to smoke a cigarette. This may be done on the basis of a straight line decrease, a percentage increase of time between smoking cigarettes, or it may combine one of these with the user's smoking pattern. These devices use a regimented schedule giving specific times for a user to smoke. Regimented schedules are generally not preferred since they do not take into account situational circumstances. For example, if a user frequently smokes at lunch and shifts his or her lunch hour from one day to the next, he or she may smoke more before or after lunch in keeping with the indication from the device, but then not have sufficient smoking allotted for lunch when the craving and normal smoking pattern would have increased smoking. This type of device leaves the user feeling powerless and out of control of their smoking and may cause additional undue stress by forcing excessive alterations of the smoker's smoking pattern. Counting or allotting cigarettes on a fixed schedule also does not account for a smoker's individual smoking habits. Some smokers smoke a cigarette attentively, trying to get the most out of it, while others smoke more casually, allowing the cigarette to burn down between puffs while conversing or otherwise distracted. Thus, different smokers derive widely varying amounts of nicotine from a cigarette depending on their personal habits. Therefore, a system counting cigarette puffs taken by the smoker would be a more accurate measure that takes these personal smoking habits into account.

Currently on the market are reduction devices which include patches or gums that release nicotine into the bloodstream. These devices try to wean the user from the nicotine addiction. However, for many, the process of lighting up and smoking offers comfort or provides other pleasant factors besides inhalation of nicotine. With these devices the users who wishes to cease smoking must abruptly cease the smoking process itself and slowly reduce levels of nicotine in the blood. For those who find smoking soothing or receive other beneficial emotional or physical support from the smoking process, these devices require a very difficult first step in cessation of smoking and provide no support for this step. These other psychological factors of smoking are likely to correlate with the number of puffs taken, thus controlling the number puffs would more accurately measure and control these factors as well as the nicotine intake. Clearly, a device which allows a user to understand and modify or control his or her own smoking behavior in a gentle, gradual, and non-threatening way would be of great benefit to those who wish to give up smoking on a permanent basis. Since individuals and situations are unique, a device which could adjust to a user's needs would be especially beneficial. Furthermore, a device which left the user in control of the quitting process, thereby giving the user a sense of control instead of restricting the user to a predefined regimen, which may or not be appropriate or comfortable for the user, would be optimal. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In keeping with the foregoing discussion, the objective of the present invention is to provide a device which aids and encourages a smoker to cease or decrease smoking. Another objective of the present invention is to provide a device that is actuated by the smoker during the smoking process, thereby bringing a consciousness to the smoking process.

A further object is to provide a device that can record the puffs and recall the number of puffs taken over a given period of time and provide a comparison of the number taken recently with the number taken over some past period of time.

In keeping with these objectives, the present invention takes the form of a behavior modification device contained in a portable object which is able to count consecutive numbers of events or actions, in particular puffs from a cigarette, record and store hourly running totals, compare the numbers or totals from the current day with the previous day or days. Differences between the previous day and the current day could be expressed as a numeric or percentage + or - on an LCD. The device may be in the form of a cigarette holder or ring for a user's finger. An LCD watch may be exposed or hidden with a cover that could flip up or slide open for access to data displayed by the LCD. Every puff on a cigarette is counted by pushing a button on the ring or by opening a valve in the cigarette holder to allow the puff to be taken. Puffs are counted and the total at each hour saved. A chime may be used to signal the hour so that a user may enter the total into a log booklet which would provide a complete record of the quitting process. The log booklet would ideally be stored behind the cellophane of the cigarette pack. Preferably, the device would store hourly totals for later documentation, should some entries be missed. In alternate embodiments, the device may interface with a personal computer to download, track, graph, etc. the user's progress. Pushing another button on the device allows review of a user's progress by giving the percent or numerical change relative to the previous day's data. Pushing both buttons simultaneously accesses the hourly totals for recording the current day's data. Other objects and advantages of the invention will no doubt occur to those skilled in the art upon reading and understanding the following detailed description along with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a cigarette holder incorporating the principles of the present invention. Figure 2 is a perspective view of the cigarette holder being held by a user.

Figure 3 is top view of an alternate embodiment of the cigarette holder.

Figure 4 is a side view of the cigarette holder.

Figure 5 is an end view of the cigarette holder. Figure 6 is a cross-sectional, end view of the valve of the cigarette holder in a closed position.

Figure 7 is a cross-sectional, end view of the valve of the cigarette holder in an open position.

Figure 8 is a cross-sectional, side view of the valve of the cigarette holder in an open position.

Figure 9 is a front view of a ring embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 10 is a top view of the ring.

Figure 11 is a side view of the ring.

Figures 12 A and B are perspective views of a ring /cigarette holder embodiment.

Figures 13A-F are several different possible screen displays for the display unit of the present invention.

Figures 14A-C show alternate possible log booklet page configurations.

Figure 15 is a table listing cigarette brands for entry to determine tar and nicotine inhalation.

Figure 16 is a schematic diagram of the information storage and processing device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE F VENTION The smoking control device of the present invention is a case or housing within which an electronic display device is mounted for displaying information stored in an electronic information storage and processing device. The case may take several different forms, including but not limited to a ring, a key chain, an ashtray, a cigarette holder, necklace, watch. Figure 1 is a perspective view of a cigarette holder 20 incorporating the principles of the present invention. Figure 2 shows the cigarette holder 20 being held by a user. Figures 3, 4, and 5 are top, side, and end views, respectively, of an alternate cigarette holder 20. The information storage and processing device 22 is sometimes hereinafter referred to as the ISPD 22 and is discussed in further detail in figure 16. A switch 24, which takes the form of a push button in the embodiment shown, is connected to the ISPD 22. With each puff taken by a smoker, the smoker actuates the switch 24 to cause the ISPD 22 to record the event. In the preferred embodiment, the event being a puff taken from a cigarette held in the holder 20. The cigarette is held within the cigarette retaining opening 19 by a protrusion 16 or angled wall within the cigarette retaining opening 19. Alternately, an insert sleeve 17 may be placed around the end of the cigarette, then inserted into the cigarette retaining opening 19. The insert sleeve is especially useful for slim style cigarettes. The ISPD 22 includes a time keeping function whereby the number of puff events in a predetermined amount of time, such as in an hour, is calculated. Also connected to the ISPD 22 is a second switch 26, which is a second push button in the embodiment shown. By actuating the second switch 26, the number of puffs taken in a preceding amount of time, such as in the preceding hour, is compared to the number of puffs taken in the same time period from the previous day which may be recalled from the ISPD 22. The results are then displayed by the display device 28. By pressing the second switch 26 in a predetermined sequence, or by pressing a third switch or button, as shown in figures 13A-F, the number of puffs taken in a preceding time period, such as the preceding hour, may be displayed by the display device 28. The switches 24, 26 are located in the housing 30 so that they may be easily manipulated by the smoker by a finger pressing the switches 24, 26.

If preferred, alternate embodiments may include other types of switches, such as membrane switches, levers, slide switches, etc. These actuators may be single, double, or triple clicked, held down for a chosen length of time, slid or otherwise actuated to select a particular screen display or function.

If desired, a filter 31 or other device, such as a bypass air inlet which decreases the amount of smoke inhaled, may be added into the channel 40 of the cigarette holder 20 to decrease the amount of tar and /or nicotine which is inhaled. If a filter is used, the holder 20 is separated into two independent sections: a mouthpiece section 29 and a cigarette retaining section 32. The two sections 29, 32 are attachable using threaded portions, snap fit, or other detachable attachment means. To remove the filter 31, the two sections 29, 32 are detached and the filter 31 may be removed. If desired, a new filter may be inserted. Alternately, an access opening such as a door or cartridge may hold the filter 31. Other embodiments may have a disposable mouthpiece section 29, with or without a filter 31.

Preferably, the electronics are formed into a module 22 that is snapped and locked into place in a recessed area in the housing 30 making removal difficult or impossible. During installation the battery will be insulated from the circuit by a plastic tab protector or other insulation method in order to retain maximum start- up strength and life. When the tab is removed by the user, the battery will be activated and the clock be ready to set to the correct time and day. Alternate embodiments may have the module 22 removable such that the majority of the holder 20 is disposable, and the module 22 is snapped may into a new holder 20 when desired.

Figure 6 is a cross-sectional, end view of the valve of the cigarette holder 20 with the valve in a closed position, figure 7 in an open position. Figure 8 is a cross-sectional, side view also in a open position. Although alternate configurations and valves may be used, the embodiment shown uses a gate valve 34. When a user wants to take a puff from a cigarette, he or she must push down on the button 24. The button 24 is attached to a shutter 36. Actuation of the button 24, moves the shutter 36, aligning an opening 38 in the shutter 36 with the channel 40 through the cigarette holder 20 and contacting a contact or switch 46 which automatically increments to the number of puffs. A spring 42 biases the shutter 36 to a closed position, such that when a user releases the pressure on the button 24, the button 24 returns to its original position, thereby shutting the valve 34. Alternate embodiments may have a timer which measures the time the shutter 36 is open to more accurately measure the amount of smoking taking place, or it may automatically shut the valve 34 after a predetermined length time to prevent overly long puffs. Another version may have a flow meter to even more closely measures the amount of smoke inhaled. The lower portion of the housing 30 may have a finger rest portion 44 to oppose the pressure during actuation of the button 24. Alternate embodiments could utilize an actuation mechanism which had buttons on both the upper surface and the lower surface of the cigarette holder 20. A user would then actuate both switches simultaneously in order to open the valve. The combining of the action of the valve 34 with the recording of a puff being taken would prevent a smoker from accidentally taking a puff without recording it in the ISPD 22, a conscious action being required of the smoker to mechanically open the airway 40 through the cigarette holder 20. This engages the smoker, making smoking a conscious act rather than a habitual or reflexive act.

In an alternate embodiment, the counter is actuated when the user presses together two or more opposing sections of the cigarette holder. When the sections are apart, the user is unable to take a puff from the cigarette because openings extend down the sides of the holder between the sections. When the sections are apart, air passes beside the cigarette, thereby preventing a smoker from smoking. When the sections are pressed together, the counter is incremented and the two sections of cigarette holder create a sealed chamber, thereby allowing the user to take a puff from the cigarette.

Figures 9, 10, and 11 are a front, top, and side views, respectively, of a ring embodiment of the present invention. The ring 50 is preferably formed in an adjustable configuration to fit a range of finger sizes. The embodiment shown has resilient flexible sides 52 so that the diameter of the ring 50 may expand to fit the user's finger. Other adjustment mechanisms may also be used. Alternately, an individually sized ring 50 could also be used. In this embodiment, as well as other jewelry style embodiments such as necklaces, bracelets, broaches etc., the user wears the device such that it is always conveniently located to record a puff taken from a cigarette. Although alternate configurations are envisioned, the embodiment shown has the puff counting button 54 located on the side of the ring 50 so that a user can easily press the button 54 with an adjacent finger. The display control button 56 is located on the top of the ring 50 adjacent the display 58. The ring 50 may be fitted with a cover which pivots or slides back to allow the user to see the display 58, thereby concealing the display 58 when not in use and permitting the appearance of a typical piece of jewelry.

Figures 12 A and B are perspective views of a ring /cigarette holder embodiment of the present invention. The ring/ cigarette holder 60 shown differs from the previous embodiments in that a cigarette holder 62 is attached to the ring 64 on one side, and a mouthpiece 68 is attached to the opposite side. Figure 12B shows the ring 64 on a user's index finger with a cigarette 66 held vertically within a cigarette retaining opening 67. Alternate configurations are also envisioned. The puff-recording switch button 70 could be provided alongside the ring 64 or, alternatively, in the holder 62. If the holder 62 is provided with a valve, the display control button 74 could be incorporated into the holder 62 to control air passing through the holder 62, as well as to signal the ISPD 78 that a puff has been taken for incrementation of the value shown on the display 80. For sanitary or aesthetic purposes, the mouthpiece 68 may be replaceable and joined to the holder

62 in the vicinity of a valve mechanism 72 or a sleeve may be used which covers the mouthpiece 68.

Any of the embodiments described may also include an alarm or chiming device that will supply an audible notification to signal the smoker at predetermined intervals, such as hourly or after a chosen number of puffs. The

ISPD 22,78 may also automatically transmit the number of puffs taken during the preceding hour to the display device 28, 58, 80 for automatic display simultaneously with the alarm signal, and may in addition transmit the time to the display device 28, 58, 80 for automatic display simultaneously with the alarm signal. The ISPD 22, 78 and display device 28, 58, 80 could also be configured such that a visual alarm would be displayed in the display device 28, 58, 80. Internally, the ring 50, 64 or holder 20, 62 will have configurations for containing a battery, switch mechanisms, display housings, and the ISPD 22, 78 and alarm housings. Modes for time, puff count, daily comparison, nicotine/tar inhalation and chime/ alarm can be offered. An LCD face crystal can protect the display device 28, 58, 80 which could be exposed or hidden with a cover as previously described. The display device 28, 58, 80 may be compartmented to provide a first window for displaying the time of day, a second window for displaying the number of puffs taken in a preceding predetermined period of time, such as in the preceding hour, and a third window for displaying the percentage or numerical difference (+ or -) between the number of puffs taken in the preceding time period and the number of puffs taken in that time period from the previous day. The display device 28, 58, 80 may be a multi-compartmented or multi-windowed LCD display device 28, 58, 80 . The housing may have a cover that can cover the face of display device 28, 58, 80 , the cover being of a design suited for being flipped up or slid for visual access to the data displayed by the display device 28, 58, 80.

Figures 13A-F are several different possible screen displays for the display device 90 of a three button version of the present invention. The examples are given for a two screen embodiment. If less or more information options are desired, embodiments with fewer or more screens may be used.

Figure 13A shows an hourly comparison. The bottom screen 94 shows the number of puffs taken during the current hour of the current day. The top screen 92 shows the difference, either plus or minus, between the number on the bottom screen 94 and the total puffs for the same hour during the previous day. A possible use for this screen would include a user trying to decrease the number of puffs taken during each hour. By the end of the day these incremental changes could add up to a significant reduction. Figure 13B shows a log screen, which displays the current smoking hour segment on the top screen 92 and the real time number of puffs taken so far during that segment on the bottom screen 94. To take a puff from a cigarette, the user pushes the top button 96 which records the puff and actuates the valve, if present in the embodiment. When the hour ends, a chime or alarm is automatically actuated, if present, to remind the user to record the information displayed. After that hour the next hour appears on the top screen 92 and the bottom screen 94 displays a start total of zero for the next hour segment. This continues throughout the day. At the end of the day the user may scroll through hour-by-hour to record any or all totals that they did not record during the day. Figure 13C shows the default screen which gives the user a plus or minus reading for the current days cumulative puffs as opposed to the prior days cumulative puff at the same time. The bottom screen 94 displays today's cumulative total; the top screen 92 displays a plus or minus score compared to yesterdays score at the same. This screen gives the user the overall picture on the increased or decreased number of puffs taken during the current day.

Figure 13D shows an optional tar screen, which is used to indicated the approximate amount of tar inhaled during the day. To display this screen, the user pushes the upper button 98. The top screen 92 displays the alphanumeric characters "TAR", and the bottom screen 94 displays an approximation of the cumulative total amount of tar inhaled that day. This screen may be activated at any time during the day.

Figure 13E shows an optional nicotine screen, which is used to indicated the approximate amount of nicotine inhaled during the day. To display this screen, the user pushes the lower button 100. The top screen 92 displays the alphanumeric characters "NIC", and the bottom screen 94 displays an approximation of the cumulative total amount of nicotine inhaled that day. This screen may be activated at any time during the day. Figure 13F shows cumulative totals for yesterday and today. The top screen

92 displays the total number of puffs taken for the current day. The bottom screen 94 displays the total number of puffs taken so far during the previous day.

If preferred, the display 90 could be programmed to show numeric or percent change between two preceding hours instead of or in addition to comparison with the previous day. The ISPD could also be used to measure and calculate other factors such as average time between puffs, shortest time between puffs, longest time between puffs, etc. These factors may also be displayed and/or stored for review and logging, daily, weekly, etc.

The previous day as described above, may refer to the day immediately prior to the current day, or it may refer to the prior same day of the week. For example, if today is Monday, the ISPD could be programmed to compare with the prior day, Sunday, or with the previous same day of the week, the prior Monday. Further comparisons may be made with another selected or selectable day.

The above screens, displays, actuation sequences, etc. are given by way of example. Other or alternate variations of screens and information are possible depending on the wants and needs of the user.

An alternate embodiment of the invention could interface with a personal computer to download the information to a spreadsheet for calculation or to specially designed software which could provide charts, graphs, projections, etc. The information may be manipulated and stored in several ways. It may be calendar by date or it may be listed by how many days the user is into the program. Alternately, there may be a set number of storage entries locations which are iteratively replaced when the set of entries is filled. For example, this could be a weekly system having seven entry locations. Optimally, the initial weeks data would be stored in a more permanent location so that an overall decrease could be periodically viewed to provide feedback as to the complete progress made. The computer information may be used in conjunction with or in place of the log booklet.

In operation of the invention, puffs are counted and the total at each hour saved. A chime, if used, signals the hour and the user is asked to enter the total into a log booklet that slides behind the cellophane of the cigarette pack. The ring 50, 64 or holder 20, 62 may store hourly totals for documenting later, should some entries be missed. A log booklet where results can be recorded and graphed may also be used. Pushing a button 26, 56, 74, 98, 100 on the side of the ring 50, 64 or holder 20, 62 allows review of current progress by giving the percent or numerical change relative to the previous day's data. Pushing two buttons 98, 100 simultaneously can access the hourly totals for recording the current day's data. Figures 14A-C show a few options for log booklet page configurations. The table shown in figure 14A displays the cumulative total as it accrues throughout the day. When recording cumulative totals in the log, the ever increasing number of puffs taken throughout the day is easily noted.

The table shown in figure 14B shows the hourly total for each hour of the day. When recording hourly totals in the log, it is easy to compare the hourly totals, allowing the user to see their daily smoking routine without doing any math. Further, it breaks down their smoking routine so they become aware and ultimately in control of their daily smoking pattern. Often certain situations, times of day, and activities may stimulate increased smoking. Being aware of these patterns allows the user to become more self-aware, and therefore, more in control of their behavior. The cumulative total is recorded at the bottom and can be compared to the previous day's cumulative total to determine an overall trend.

Figure 14C shows a table indicating the differential amount smoked, for example the difference between the number of puffs taken in the 9 AM hour today and the number of puffs taken in the 9 AM hour yesterday. This number may be either positive to indicate an increased amount of smoking or negative to indicated a decreased amount of smoking. When recording plus /minus totals in the log, the user is able to see times when he or she has improved or worsened.

The data from these tables may be used to form several different configuration of graphs from which overall trends and /or patterns may be easily discerned.

Although other progressions may be used, a suggested quitting regimen is as follows: Step 1. In the first week the smoker records each puff and logs each hourly total in the log booklet. The causes and effects of high and low puff counts are also written down in the log booklet increasing the user's awareness of the places, people, events, etc. that cause increased or decreased smoking. This process allows the smoker to understand his or her own smoking pattern. Knowledge regarding his or her own patterns gives the smoker the first tool in the quitting process and sets the stage for withdrawal.

Step 2. At the start of the second week the smoker will review and analyze the numbers from the previous week and associate each hour with what they were doing and the amount they were smoking. Based on the information gathered, the smoker is now able to create a plan based on his or her own smoking pattern. This may be a straight reduction in smoking or it may include other behavioral changes such as changing, altering, or substituting things associated with their smoking habit. Avoidance of situations which cause increased smoking may be temporary or permanent depending on the needs of the user.

Step 3. The cessation process beings. The smoker tries to decrease each hourly puff total from the previous day's count. The smoker is encouraged to slowly taper off his or her smoking day-by-day. The more gradual the tapering off, the easier it will be to retain the gains made and quit smoking permanently. During this step the smoker practices increasing the times between puffs, competing with themselves and becoming aware of his or her ability to deal with withdrawal.

Step 4. After finding the base puff rate, the smoker can plan a quit day, either immediately or after sustaining at the lowest level for some time, and quit totally.

After a user has completed the cessation process, the device could be switched over to a maintenance mode which displays the time since the last puff, the number of puffs not taken since quitting, the number of cigarettes not smoked, the amount of money saved, and the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and/or years added to the smokers life, etc. An ISPD may be formed in a separate device to provide this maintenance feedback in a key chain, an ex-smokers clock, screen saver or other software, or other similar devices.

Figure 15 is a partial table listing cigarette brands for entry into the ISPD to determine tar and nicotine inhalation. Optionally, tables including a listing of current brands could be enclosed with the device. The user would enter the cigarette brand being smoked. The information in the table would be stored in the ISPD. Entry of the cigarette brand into the ISPD would allow an approximate calculation of the amount of tar and nicotine which is inhaled for the day based on the number of puffs taken that day and the average number of puffs per cigarette. The resulting values calculated may then be displayed as indicated above.

Figure 16 is a schematic diagram of the smoking cessation device. This schematic represents only one of many possible configurations for the smoking cessation device. Those of ordinary skill in the art will be able to devise other configurations using commercially available or specially designed chips which fulfill the same function and that do not depart from the spirit of the invention. By way of example, figure 16 shows an operating circuit for the smoking cessation device implemented with the ISPD 22, formed of a CPU chip 106 and a memory chip 108, a speaker 110 to provide the chime or reminder alarm, a liquid crystal display (LCD) forming the display means 28, on/off switch 112, battery 114, switches for the buttons 96, 98, 100, and a mode switch 116 to switch between the different display and calculation options with interconnections as shown. Input into the device is through the switches. Output from the circuit is through speaker 110 and visual display 28.

Alternate embodiments of the present invention may also incorporate other features to aid the quitting smoker. For example, a reduction feature could be used to reduce the number of puffs taken in a chosen period of time from a previous period of time. If desired, an alarm or chime could be programmed to indicated that the user is about to exceed the allotted number of puffs. The device could be programmed to not allow further entries in order to maintain the reduction schedule, or the device could, after noting the excess was about to take place, allow the user to proceed if desired.

Optionally, a visually appealing image may form on the display to indicate an increase in the elapsed time between puffs. For example, a happy face would have an increasing smile as more and more time elapsed between puffs. In the case of a decrease in the amount of time between puffs, an increasing frown on a sad face may be used. Other positive and negative symbols such as pluses, stars, minuses, etc. could also be used. Alternate systems may also use a passive counting system. For example, within the channel. When a user inhales the cigarette smoke through the holder to take a puff, the flapper valve would automatically open. When the valve opened, it would automatically increment the counter. This would make the smoking process feel more natural to the smoker, while still providing feedback to assist the user to quit smoking.

If preferred, the device may also take on different configurations. For example, if the device were placed on the lit end of the cigarette. The valve would allow air to pass into a chamber which contained at least the lit end of the cigarette. The user would inhale smoke from the chamber through the mouthpiece. In this case, a lighter could be added which could light the cigarette for each puff. The lighting process could also be used to increment the counter. This would also significantly reduce second hand smoke by containing the smoking end of the cigarette.

The relationship of the smoker and the cigarette is personal, intricate, and substantially unconscious. The psychological benefits of the process described herein are powerful because of the engagement of the individual's mind. Once the brain is given the dimensions of the habit, a profile is developed and the smoker begins to exert control in a very subtle and unconscious ways. The present invention brings consciousness to the smoking process, and recognition to each puff because the user is required to push a button to receive smoke. Knowledge is gained on the activities, events, and times that correlate to increases and decreases in smoking activity. Knowing the patterns enables the user to alter his or her daily routines to lessen activities which increase smoking activity and increase activities which decrease smoking activity. In general, the smoker begins to control his or her habit by gaining an awareness of the times and places which increase smoking and by bringing a conscious choice to each puff decision. Once a smoking profile is established, significant results are achieved in a short period of time by controlling and reducing the puffs taken. Significant reductions in smoking result in a short period by simply reducing a few puffs here and there. The psychological benefits of this process are powerful because of the dynamic engagement of the smoker's brain. The control the smoker begins to exert over the habit is subtle at first, not- threatening, and guilt-free. The dosage specific nature of the process is key to painless, gradual withdrawal. All major components of addiction are reduced at the same time. Nicotine addiction is unraveled and dismantled by giving the smoker control of their own nicotine blood levels while the user is also slowly weaned off of the smoking process itself. The smoker's brain now has the smoking habits and parameters identified and can provide for smoking reduction as fits the individual user.

Complete control and awareness empower the smoker to reduce nicotine levels and smoking behavior patterns at the same time. Small successes instill confidence and increase the smoker's belief in becoming smoke-free. The present invention reduces nicotine levels by dose (i.e. puffs) at a rate so minute that withdrawal is almost imperceptible. Built upon over a period of days and weeks, this process yields substantial progress both in the actual blood levels of addictive cigarette content and in the state of mind of the smoker. Combining an empowered, aware state of mind with weakened behavior patterns and low nicotine blood levels, bring together the factors necessary for easy, permanent smoking cessation.

Other smoking cessation techniques lack this individual control and engagement, leaving the smoker with little or no mental preparation. Engaging the untapped power of the human mind is the key to the present invention's success.

The present invention may also find value in other areas as yet unthought of. For example, it would be a useful tool for anyone who has to count and /or compare numbers of things in general. For that reason, it is understood that the uniqueness of the product be recognized for any number of uses beyond the specific smoking reduction process.

Many features have been listed with particular configurations, options, and embodiments. Any one or more of the features may be added to or combined with any of the other embodiments or other standard devices to create alternate combinations and embodiments.

Although the examples given include many specificities, they are intended as illustrative of only one possible embodiment of the invention. For example, alternate embodiments may be used for other behavioral modification such as reducing the number of bites of food eaten for a weight reduction program. Also, the particular configurations given may be changed or modified. Other embodiments and modifications will, no doubt, occur to those skilled in the art. Thus, the examples given should only be interpreted as illustrations of some of the preferred embodiments of the invention, and the full scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.

Claims

I claim:
1. An aid device for cessation of a behavior, said aid device comprising: a counting means for counting an occurrence of a chosen event, an incrementing means for incrementing said counting means when the chosen event occurs, a comparing means for comparing the value in said counting means with a previous value, and a display means for displaying the number of times the chosen event has occurred.
2. The aid device of claim 1 wherein said aid device takes the form of a cigarette holder.
3. The aid device of claim 2 further comprising a valve having a closed position and an open position, wherein in said closed position a shutter seals an opening through said cigarette holder, and wherein in said open position said opening through said cigarette holder is clear.
4. The aid device of claim 3 further comprising a switch and wherein said shutter is moved from said closed position to said open position by actuation of said switch.
5. The aid device of claim 4 wherein said switch comprises said incrementing means.
6. The aid device of claim 1 wherein said aid device takes the form of a piece of jewelry.
7. The aid device of claim 6 wherein said piece of jewelry is chosen from the group consisting of a ring, a necklace, a bracelet, a brooch, a pin, and a watch.
8. The aid device of claim 1 further comprising a timing means for timing a chosen period of time.
9. The aid device of claim 1 further comprising a calculating means for calculating a differential between a first number of said chosen events having taken place in a first period of time and a second number of said chosen events having taken place in a second period of time.
10. A smoking cessation aid for aiding a user to decrease the number of puffs taken from a cigarette, said aid comprising: a counter, said counter being incremented when the user takes the puff from the cigarette.
11. The smoking cessation aid of claim 10 wherein said counter is housed within a housing.
12. The smoking cessation aid of claim 11 wherein said housing is in the form of a ring configured to fit the user's finger.
13. The smoking cessation aid of claim 11 wherein said housing is in the form of a cigarette holder.
14. The smoking cessation aid of claim 13 further comprising a valve and wherein when said valve is opened, said counter is incremented.
15. The smoking cessation aid of claim 14 wherein said valve is a gate valve.
16. A method for a smoker to cease smoking, the method comprising the steps of: (a) recording and displaying a first number of smoking events as they occur through a first time period; (b) recording and displaying a second number of smoking events as they occur through a second time period; (c) comparing said second number of smoking events to said first number of smoking events; (d) recording and displaying a further number of smoking events as they occur through a further time period; (e) comparing said further number of smoking events to one of the previous number of smoking events; (f) repeating steps (d) and (e) for a cycle; (g) and repeating step (f) until a chosen behavioral pattern has been achieved.
17. The method of claim 16 further comprising the steps of: (h) recording an initial smoking pattern for a smoker by recording a starting number of smoking events during each of a plurality of starting time periods for a initial cycle; (i) and analyzing said pattern to determine situations which alter said number of smoking events during each of said plurality of starting time periods.
18. The method of claim 16 further comprising the step of: (h) decreasing said further number of smoking events in each cycle of step (f).
19. The method of claim 16 further comprising the step of: (h) cessation to smoke.
20. The method of claim 16 wherein the smoking event is a puff taken from a cigarette.
PCT/US1998/007527 1997-04-14 1998-04-13 Smoking control device WO1998046093A1 (en)

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US4299197 true 1997-04-14 1997-04-14
US60/042,991 1997-04-14

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Cited By (13)

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EP1013184A1 (en) * 1998-12-21 2000-06-28 René Launay Method and apparatus for reducing cigarette consumption
FR2879746A1 (en) * 2004-12-22 2006-06-23 Tabacs & Allumettes Ind Method and device for the cigarette smoking of analysis
GB2422038A (en) * 2005-01-07 2006-07-12 Seiko Instr Inc Event quantity measuring instrument
CN103141944A (en) * 2011-12-07 2013-06-12 刘志宾 Electronic cigarette with OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display
CN103734915A (en) * 2014-01-13 2014-04-23 刘秋明 Electronic cigarette limited in service life and method for limiting service life of electronic cigarette
WO2015074307A1 (en) * 2013-11-25 2015-05-28 吉瑞高新科技股份有限公司 Electronic cigarette
CN105146756A (en) * 2015-09-12 2015-12-16 南京理工大学 Intelligent electric heating cigarette system
WO2016106499A1 (en) * 2014-12-29 2016-07-07 惠州市吉瑞科技有限公司 Atomizer, electronic cigarette, and method therefor for preventing e-liquid leakage when filling e-liquid into electronic cigarette
WO2016145373A1 (en) * 2015-03-12 2016-09-15 Chrono Therapeutics Inc. Craving input and support system
USRE46217E1 (en) 2005-05-24 2016-11-29 Chrono Therapeutics Inc. Portable drug delivery device including a detachable and replaceable administration or dosing element
US9555226B2 (en) 2003-10-27 2017-01-31 Chrono Therapeutics Inc. Transdermal drug delivery method and system
WO2017063278A1 (en) * 2015-10-17 2017-04-20 深圳市贝沃德克生物技术研究院有限公司 Smart smoking cessation monitoring system and method
US9669199B2 (en) 2004-09-13 2017-06-06 Chrono Therapeutics Inc. Biosynchronous transdermal drug delivery for longevity, anti-aging, fatigue management, obesity, weight loss, weight management, delivery of nutraceuticals, and the treatment of hyperglycemia, alzheimer's disease, sleep disorders, parkinson's disease, aids, epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, nicotine addiction, cancer, headache and pain control, asthma, angina, hypertension, depression, cold, flu and the like

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US4615681A (en) * 1983-10-11 1986-10-07 Schwarz Eitan D Programmable, user interactive cigarette dispenser and method therefor

Cited By (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1013184A1 (en) * 1998-12-21 2000-06-28 René Launay Method and apparatus for reducing cigarette consumption
US9555226B2 (en) 2003-10-27 2017-01-31 Chrono Therapeutics Inc. Transdermal drug delivery method and system
US9555227B2 (en) 2004-09-13 2017-01-31 Chrono Therapeutics Inc. Biosynchronous transdermal drug delivery
US9669199B2 (en) 2004-09-13 2017-06-06 Chrono Therapeutics Inc. Biosynchronous transdermal drug delivery for longevity, anti-aging, fatigue management, obesity, weight loss, weight management, delivery of nutraceuticals, and the treatment of hyperglycemia, alzheimer's disease, sleep disorders, parkinson's disease, aids, epilepsy, attention deficit disorder, nicotine addiction, cancer, headache and pain control, asthma, angina, hypertension, depression, cold, flu and the like
FR2879746A1 (en) * 2004-12-22 2006-06-23 Tabacs & Allumettes Ind Method and device for the cigarette smoking of analysis
GB2422038A (en) * 2005-01-07 2006-07-12 Seiko Instr Inc Event quantity measuring instrument
GB2422038B (en) * 2005-01-07 2010-01-13 Seiko Instr Inc Event-quantity measuring instrument and pedometer
USRE46217E1 (en) 2005-05-24 2016-11-29 Chrono Therapeutics Inc. Portable drug delivery device including a detachable and replaceable administration or dosing element
CN103141944A (en) * 2011-12-07 2013-06-12 刘志宾 Electronic cigarette with OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display
WO2015074307A1 (en) * 2013-11-25 2015-05-28 吉瑞高新科技股份有限公司 Electronic cigarette
CN103734915A (en) * 2014-01-13 2014-04-23 刘秋明 Electronic cigarette limited in service life and method for limiting service life of electronic cigarette
WO2016106499A1 (en) * 2014-12-29 2016-07-07 惠州市吉瑞科技有限公司 Atomizer, electronic cigarette, and method therefor for preventing e-liquid leakage when filling e-liquid into electronic cigarette
WO2016145373A1 (en) * 2015-03-12 2016-09-15 Chrono Therapeutics Inc. Craving input and support system
CN105146756A (en) * 2015-09-12 2015-12-16 南京理工大学 Intelligent electric heating cigarette system
WO2017063278A1 (en) * 2015-10-17 2017-04-20 深圳市贝沃德克生物技术研究院有限公司 Smart smoking cessation monitoring system and method

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