Twitter Helpful for Quitting

by Jenny Novac on March 11, 2015


A study by UC Irvine and Stanford University found that smokers involved in a smoking cessation program, in the course of which they do send each other tweets on a regular basis achive more success in quitting. It turned out that daily tweets which encourage smokers to kick their habit prove to be more effective than traditional social media.

Lead researchers of the study are Judith J. Prochaska, associate professor of medicine at Stanford and  Cornelia Pechmann, professor of marketing at UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business.

They discovered that 78% of smokers who used Tweet2Quit sent at least one message during the 100-day study., and 60% tweeted at least once during past 30 days. Smoking cessation rate of Group No. 1 was 42%. In case of  automessaging, Group No. 2 had a smoking cessation rate of 75%.

The research was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

According to Pechmann, it may be concluded that using social media-delivered automessages sent from professional counselors are quite effective in promoting smoking cessation. Two messages a day encouraged smokers to tweet to other smokers and this increased their chances of successful quitting.

The participants of the study communicated online via Twitter for 100 days. They were receiving automated text messages every day. The researchers also supplied them with nicotine patches.

The participants used Internet to create a personal cessation plan and had to send their group at least one tweet daily about their progress. They were receiving support exclusively from their group and not from professionls. However, namely daily automessages encouraged discussions with the group.

Pechmann told that twitter created perfect environmant for communication, especially for social smokers. The more smokers  shared messages about believing in themselves, setting a quit date, using nicotine patches, various self-rewards, the more likely they were to remain smoke-free.

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