Fiordland teen wins top award

An app to help quit smoking

Last updated 11:38 25/03/2014
Nicholas Humpries
Fiordland College pupil Nicholas Humphries, 17, right, receives his award for being named supreme winner of the Massey University It's My Life competition from Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew.

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Young people use smartphones for all sorts of things - texting, tweeting and taking selfies.

And, thanks to the ingenuity of one Southland teen, they will soon be able to use them them to quit smoking.

Fiordland College student Nicholas Humphries, 17, was named supreme winner of Massey University's It's My Life competition for the smartphone app he created, called Quit Toolbox.

Nicholas created the quitting app from scratch for the competition, which aimed to encourage young people to work towards a smokefree New Zealand by 2025.

Nicholas' achievement was recognised at a ceremony in Wellington yesterday, when he picked up the high school section winner and supreme winner awards.

Judges said they were impressed by the sophistication of the app, especially as the teen had written all the programming himself.

The app allows users to receive quitting tips via text, links them to smokefree information and services and connects with their social media accounts.

Nicholas said he heard about the contest through school and decided to have a go, as he had previously designed a few apps as a hobby.

He attributed his win to the all-in-one nature of his app.

"I guess it was to do with the ease of access with the information. You push a button and call Quitline, if you want to."

Quit Toolbox is expected to be released to the public later in the year, but Nicholas will also receive $2100 prizemoney.

He hopes to study software engineering at the University of Canterbury next year.



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- The Southland Times


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