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It's nearly New Year again, which means millions of foolish people will con and delude themselves into thinking they can give up smoking. You can't, of course. You love those lovely little white cylinders of death. For some, this is an annual bit of fun; for others, the start of a sad and sorry demise in self-confidence that will see them become shadows of their former selves - long before they need a tracheotomy.

But if you are unable to learn from your lessons and are already stocking up on patches, fag-shaped cylinders, morphine and pornography for a new-year blast-out, you may as well add another weapon to your arsenal - the mobile phone service from MyAlert.com.

Apparently, MyAlert will send you "encouraging messages" and advice on how to keep on keeping on without the nicotine nuptials. What these means in reality is that once or twice a day - for three months - your phone will go BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP and it will be MyAlert saying: "Smoking's not big nor clever, so put that out before I smack your bottom."

Or something like that. In fact, we tried to find out exactly what the heart-rendering messages would be, but having established that the company's Web site was up the spout - you have to be a member, but the registration Javascript is knackered - we decided that the whole thing was too preposterous and nipped outside for a smoke. ®

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