Although the beginning of the new year is long past, there’s never a bad time to quit smoking. Quitting smoking will help you feel better, improve lung function, make your skin look better, and help you live longer.
Although it isn’t easy, it is possible to quit smoking without using patches or other chemicals, and can be just as effective in helping you to stop smoking. It will also save you money, and instead of spending that money on cigarettes, why not spend it on something you have always wanted to do? With cigarettes becoming more and more expensive, that money adds up quickly. For those who want to quit smoking, social media might the answer.
In 2012, the Canadian Cancer Society started a social media campaign as part of a study to help young smokers quit. The findings on the use of social media campaigns to help smokers quit smoking was recently released. The results of the study were astounding.
After three months, 32 percent of those who participated quit smoking, compared to 14 percent who used phone-based support to help them quit. Users were given an interactive website and phone app as part of a campaign called “Break It Off,” which compared quitting smoking to ending a relationship.
According to Dr. Bruce Baskerville, of the University of Waterloo, Canada, in the Daily Mail U.K., public health officials need to evaluate social media campaigns as a way to influence the public.
“These finding suggest that the creators of public health campaigns need to evaluate how they use social media channels and social networks to improve health, especially with regards to younger demographics.”
The study, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, was conducted with 18- to 29-year-olds who have the highest rate of smoking in Canada. Dr. Baskerville went on to say that social media can reach those who want to quit smoking in a way that traditional programs cannot.
“Traditional cessation services can have limited reach and this reduced visibility lessens their impact in a digital era. Because they are such heavy users of social media, these platforms provide an alternative and successful way of reaching smokers who are less likely to relate to other cessation programs.”
The success of the study may have had a lot to do with succeeding in reaching the largest demographic of social media users is young people. About 91 percent use Facebook on a regular basis, and one-third use microblogging sites like Twitter, according to Gizbot.
Have you tried to quit smoking in the past? Is social media a tool you would use to help you quit smoking for good?
[Photo Credit: Gizbot]