The double-ring smoking Moderator (is today April 1st?)
‘If all else fails, you can bind your fingers together,’ said a friend, trying to encourage me to give up my ten-a-day smoking habit.
Well, all else did fail and I’m wearing a £6.99 gadget that does exactly that. But will it give Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking and my nicotine patch a run for their money?
The double-ring Moderator is a bright plastic device that fits so snugly on your middle and index fingers that you can’t open them to hold — let alone light — a cigarette.
Launched by British entrepreneur Grant Penfield, whose father died from lung cancer aged 48, it’s supposed to be a not-so-subtle reminder to give up your vices.
Mine is smoking, but the Moderator claims to work for any bad habits. Drinking too much alcohol or coffee, biting your nails, unhealthy snacking, even a shopping addiction. The idea is simple and it’s not just about physically stopping you from ‘sinning’ — though that’s a good place to start. You’re supposed to wear the ring all the time as a reminder to behave yourself.
‘I got the inspiration from a ring my father left me. It was too small for me so I wore it on the end of my middle finger,’ says Grant. ‘Every time I picked up a drink, it clinked against the glass and reminded me of what I was doing.
‘I thought if a ring could help moderate my repetitive behaviour such as drinking, maybe it could help remind other people to moderate their habits as well.’
It’s supposed to be a not-so-subtle reminder to give up your vices. Mine is smoking, but the Moderator claims to work for any bad habits.
Once I’d worked out my size — it’s not the same as your usual ring size because the moderator sits above your knuckles — I popped one on and made a vow to smoke half my usual amount (well, you can’t expect miracles for £6.99).
As I have the willpower of Carrie Bradshaw in a shoe shop, I didn’t expect it to work. But in a survey of 100 smokers, 94 per cent said it had helped them to smoke less — and I found the same. Every time I reached for my cigarettes, not only was it hard to pick them up, but the ring reminded me that I was breaking my vow, so I put them away.
The problem was by the end of the day, the Moderator was annoying me so much — and had elicited so many ‘What the heck is that on your fingers?’ — I took it off . . .