A New Way to Quit

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A computerized cigarette case that schedules a decreasing number of daily cigarettes is being marketed as a high-tech answer for smokers trying to quit.

The cases record smoking patterns, then wean a user off cigarettes over a five- to eight-week period.

San Antonio-based Smoke Signals sells the service starting at 100 dollars. It includes the case and personalized Web pages that are updated with information about daily consumption and target goals. It also sends e-mail alerts with tips about quitting.

Company founder Vesta Brue says the case tracks a smoker's habit by counting the number of times its lid is opened.

Fewer cigarettes are allowed each week, and only when the case beeps. Brue says that forces the smoker to gain control over his cravings.