Stoptober: Want To Give Up Smoking? Get On Social Media, Says Study

Sense of community from social media sites may help smokers to quit
Sense of community from social media sites may help smokers to quit

Quitting smoking can have a profound effect on a person's health, but it is also one of the hardest addictions to kick.

According to a recent study, people who engage in health specific social networking sites found it easier to quit smoking.

Examining health-based social networking sites that focus on helping members to quit smoking, study author Joe Phua from University of Georgia found high participation rates and a strong sense of community.

As a result members become more likely to quit smoking. They also maintain abstinence for a longer period of time and are less likely to relapse in tempting situations, when drinking alcohol, stressed or sad.

Findings suggest that users can achieve their health goals in a shorter amount of time, without having to go through more traditional, offline support groups and services - which can be expensive and not necessarily readily accessible.

"This study helps further the notion that social networking sites and other forms of social media can help people to improve their health conditions," said Phua. "These can be used as a standalone way to improve chronic health conditions, or as part of a holistic treatment plan that includes both professional offline help and online social media sites."

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