Quitting Smoking Made Easy-All Thanks to Social Media
/ Article By Enozia Vakil, freelance writer, India /
Smoking has been blamed for anything and everything-from weight gain and heartburn to heart diseases and cancers, and probably everyone today is aware of the detrimental impacts of smoking on human health.
Sadly though, the current trends of e-cigarettes and other clever marketing strategies, the sales have risen, and more and more people today are getting addicted to smoking. What’s worse is that quitting smoking isn’t easy-it takes a lot of effort, especially in terms of mental strength and willpower, for a person to completely quit smoking.
A new discovery, however, is all set to change our previous perspectives and may put forth a new, better way for smokers to actually curb their addiction.
Researchers from the University of Georgia, in their new study, have revealed how people who actively use and participate in different social media networks, find it easy to let go of a few cigarettes in a day. This study, titled ‘Participating in Health Issue-Specific Social Networking Sties to Quit Smoking: How Does Online Social Interconnectedness Influence Smoking Cessation Self-Efficacy’, published in the Journal of Communication, revealed how social media could play a pivotal role in helping people quit smoking.
Joe Phua, lead author of the study, observed the behavior of several smoking addicts when they participated in health-based social networking sites and social media networks that educated about health, and found that it actually helped them quit smoking. He discovered that with the increase in participation of the people in these social media networks, they started to feel a sense of trust, similarity and support, which helped them cut down on the number of cigarettes they had per day.
He also found out that with a long-term participation on these social media networks, the smoking addicts were more likely to maintain abstinence for a longer duration, and managed to cut down on the number of cigarettes, despite facing tempting situations like sadness, anger and stress.
This is not the first time social interaction has been found to be helpful in helping people quit smoking-several previous studies have pointed out how social groups, offline support groups and services could have a positive effect on the smoker’s mind and encourage him/her to quit smoking. This study, however, has made it even simpler and has blurred the geographical horizons and boundaries, and has used the power of social media as a tool to help curb smoking addiction.
“This study helps further the notion that social networking sites and other forms of social media can help people to improve their health conditions,” Phua explained. “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.”
This new discovery may prove to be an amazing breakthrough, considering that over 443,000 people every year fall prey (and die) to the ill-effects of smoking. While quitting smoking is not a one-step process, and takes an enormous amount of mental stimulation, engaging in social media networks could surely help.
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