Prateek Sharma, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), has developed the world’s first smoking cessation filter called Cigibud. The idea came to him while watching a no-smoking advisory featuring actor Akshay Kumar in a cinema in 2018. The filter, which will be launched on Wednesday, can filter up to 80% of tar and nicotine from a cigarette without affecting its taste and smoking experience. Sharma claims that it can help a smoker quit in three months.
Sharma was already working on developing advanced air filtration solutions to curb the detrimental impact of pollution on human health when the idea of a smoking cessation filter came to him. At IIT Delhi, he had developed Nanofiber technology and got it patented with the help of his professors. After graduating in 2015, he launched products based on the technology to make it commercially viable. His efforts earned him the Startup National Award 2017 conferred by the President of India.
Sharma’s team carried out a study which suggested that 63% of smokers want to quit smoking but are unable to do so because of nicotine addiction. They also found out that only 4% of smokers succeed in quitting without any cessation support, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Inspired by this, they decided to use the same technology to develop something that could help people quit smoking.
Cigibud is expected to have a huge social impact as it can help smokers quit smoking and reduce the harmful effects of tobacco on health. It is a significant achievement for Sharma and his team, who have worked hard for nearly five years to develop this innovative product.