Saturday 10 December 2016

Twitter can help finally kick the smoking habit

Daniel Anderson

Published 30/03/2016 | 16:13

quit smoking
quit smoking

New research says that the Twitter social network can be used to help people quit smoking with frequent messages and group chats

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Twitter could be one of the best methods to help you stop smoking, according to a new report.

A research paper monitored the use of Twitter based software Tweet2Quit to examine the effect it had on smoking patterns. Subjects who were included in the Tweet2Quit group were added to a 20 person Twitter group which was in use for 100 days with daily automated messages. These were designed to keep the users mindful of their intention to quit and to promote discussion within the groups. Texts were also sent daily for feedback.

The use of these Twitter groups saw some surprising results, helping former smokers to stay off cigarettes for twice as long as those who weren't in the group. The testing ended at an impressive 60 days, smoke free. The more they engaged with the tweets and the group, the more likely they were to continue to stay off cigarettes, alongside a system of emails and links to smokefree.gov in the US.

Tweet2Quit's results are encouraging, with social media engagment driving people to commit to quitting and also fostering constant communication and encouragement from their peers. It could be a powerful new method of combatting addiction and has the advantage of being accessible to a large proportion of people and very cheap to run. Let's hope this system becomes more widespread in the future.

For more information on quitting, head to Quit.ie.

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