You can’t really say it more plainly than cigarette packages do: Smoking causes lung cancer. So, why do people smoke? You know it’s bad for you.
It has been difficult for many to quit smoking. Now people are quitting smoking with the help of Social Media. Is this the best way to quit?
Quit Smoking Using Social Media
Everyone understands that smoking is bad for you. The World Health Organisation (WHO) claims that tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. Cigarettes include many dangerous substances, such as arsenic, DDT and formaldehyde.
So, why do people smoke? Some start due to peer pressure. They see others doing it, so they follow suit.
That is why using the peer pressure of Social Media can be so advantageous. Studies have shown that people will do certain things due to emotional encouragement from friends they meet online. Why do Social Media cessation programs work?
Social Media Pressure
The concept of an “influencer” is one of the reasons why Social Media pressure can lead to cessation of bad habits. People online might create an emotional bond with one another. On Facebook, there are other people who will see what is posted and can share their comments.
Now, Social Media can give smokers the emotional strength to “Say No.” Others, who quit, can offer their personal experiences. They have been there, done that.
A University of California – San Francisco (UCSF) clinical trial showed that smokers were 2.5 times more likely to stop when the cessation message was delivered on Facebook. UCSF Associate Professor Danielle Ramo said that this Social Media message “could reach a hard-to-reach population, have short-term abstinence, and also have excellent engagement.” Social Media offered many key advantages for counselors.
Freeing Yourself from Addiction
Some smokers are introverts. They might not have a lot of friends offline. When they go online, they might spend quality time with more people.
Their caring friends can influence this hard-to-reach population. There is no real pressure on Social Media. People might be more willing to listen online.
The entire World Wide Web ideology is founded on collaboration. People are free to share their ideas and interact as equals. Friends can share their life experiences with others, who have faced the same challenges.
The aforementioned research showed that many people don’t quit smoking due to facts or evidence. They might not feel peer pressure on Social Media, they might feel empowered. They are freely choosing to listen.
Young adult smokers were the most likely to benefit from Facebook cessation services. They are hard-to-reach and not interested in learning more facts about how dangerous smoking is.
The Social Media cessation intervention involved daily posts, weekly question-and-answer sessions, and weekly live counseling sessions. The study followed 500 participants with an average age of 21 years. The results were published in Addiction journal.
In many ways, the results might be similar to multi-step drug addiction programs. Stopping any hazardous habit takes time. Social Media provided both the emotional reason for stopping, along with continued emotional support along the way. This could be an important beginning for other Social Media counseling programs.
While Social Media cigarette cessation programs had a short-term benefit, there were not many long-term benefits. Those who wanted to quit beforehand enjoyed better results. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
Cigarettes are coffin nails. But, only you can quit. Perhaps, Social Media and your friends can help you quit smoking.