"It's a digital reminder," said Wayne Tormala, head of the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau for Tobacco and Chronic Disease.
"This is a way to especially target younger people who are more likely to use [Facebook]."
The sooner they can get smokers to kick the habit, the better, Tormala
"Although ideally we'd get them to never start in the first place."
The application has been in development since the spring, Tormala
said, and the agency plans to release the application for Apple's iPhone before the end of the year.
The application is ready to go, Tormala
said, but the agency is clearing up some last-minute details with Apple
before it can be officially released for smart phone users.
The smoker's helpline, (800) 556-6222, has had a great track record, Tormala
"We've got about a 40 to 50 percent success rate in getting people to quit," Tormala
"That's very good, probably the highest success rate in the country."
A key factor, Tormala
said, is that the service is staffed with people who are all former smokers, giving those trying to quit an opportunity to get support from someone who has already been there.