Facebook can help people quit smoking: the report says

Stop smoking now

According to a clinical trial conducted recently, smokers were 2.5 times more prone to quit post a cessation intervention program delivered entirely on the social media giant facebook by any other anti-smoking programmes conducted online. People between the age group 23-29 are less prone to use the evidence-based treatments for smoking cessation like that of medication, counseling, or phone-based anti-smoking lines, as stated by the research.

Ramo was reported saying that the social media environment can be an engaging tobacco treatment tool even for those not ready to quit. This study and its findings were published in the journal Addiction which involved 500 participants of an average age of people being 21 years old. More than 87% of the sample consisted of daily smokers. This can be used effectively in order to support the short-term positive behavior change particularly among the young adult smokers which is a challenging group that is needed to reach and treat the research states. According to Danielle Ramo, Associate Professor at University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), the team has found a way to reach a hard-to-reach population, have short-term abstinence, and also have excellent engagement.

These participants were in the study programme for complete 90-days known as tobacco status project, where they were assigned to the private Facebook groups that were tailored to their readiness to quit smoking. The methods of intervention consisted of daily posts, weekly live question and answer sessions, and weekly live cognitive behavioral counselling sessions with the doctoral level smoking cessation counsellors. The researchers got results where the participants were two-and-a-half times more prone to have biochemically verified abstinence from smoking as compared to the controls at three months period and that the abstinence occurred over a long period among those participants who were prepared to stop smoking as compared to that of others.

Tobacco kills more than 7 million people every year, as stated by the world health organization (WHO). More than 6 million people die from tobacco smoking and more than 890,000 non-smokers are exposed to the smoke. However, the results were not the same after a year of follow-up. Abstinence if continued for a longer time period occurred only among those people who were prepared to stop smoking versus those who simply contemplated it or those who were not thinking about this matter at all, as said by the researchers.

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