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People are Turning to Twitter to Help Them Quit Smoking

When it comes to handling addiction, support tends to be one of the most effective methods for helping people quit. Support groups as well as having friends and family encouraging you really works but they can't be there all the time. The recent Tweet2Quit program has proven that social media like Twitter can actually be useful for helping to provide the support people need to quit smoking.

Fact Coexist

A recent report compiled by Tobacco Control found that after 60 days around 40% of participants reported a sustained abstinence and this was double that of the control group, who only reported a 20% sustained abstinence. They might not sound like large numbers but it makes it clear that social media can make a difference. However it's unlikely that one person using social media on their own would have any extra support. This program has been run in such a way that Twitter is being used as a messaging site. People haven't been using Twitter as expected but rather users have been sorted into small groups of 20 with a bot and then the bot automatically posts messages twice a day. This encourages the users to post themselves allowing them to interact more about what's going on. This can be really helpful if someone is fighting the urge to actually smoke because they can tell the others and get support, advice or even just feel better with the fact they've gotten it off of their chest. Most of the time though it just made the users feel more accountable. If they're talking with people regularly about not smoking then if they do then they're either going to feel bad or other people are going to judge them.

The other reason this might work is going to be that anonymity is still a factor. You'll be held accountable for your actions but it's not going to be by someone you see on the school run or at work. You're a user name and an icon, not a face and maybe that means some people feel they are able to be more honest. Who cares if RandomUser12 tells you off for having a sneaky cigarette as long as your partner doesn't. Of course, you should still tell people in your real life but it can help. You do have to remember though that the number did reach only 40%, so it's still far from a perfect system.

These small social groups are clearly a great idea and it's an innovative way to use Twitter but perhaps it should only be part of the treatment. There should be the Twitter support groups and nicotine replacements, plus some real life support as well.

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @Songbird_Rosina

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People are Turning to Twitter to Help Them Quit Smoking Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, April 06, 2016 Rating: 5

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