Twenty years ago, smokers who wanted support while quitting had relatively few options. They could try to find a support group or smoking-cessation clinic in their area, but that was about it. These resources still exist, but now smokers – and ex-smokers fearful of falling off the wagon – can also turn to websites, Facebook pages, and even Twitter accounts dedicated to helping people kick the habit.
The Internet enables smokers to get access to quitting tools anywhere and anytime and allows for a platform to share information, videos and stories with others just like them.
For example, since its launch in 2009, a page on Facebook known as NYC Quits Smoke/I Quit Because now has over 8,800 fans. The Twitter handle @QuitSmoking123 has over 6,000 followers and is a resource to find the latest information, tips and resources on how to quit.
Social media allows many to counter the strong social element that often keeps people from kicking the habit. Much like smokers tend to gather – and bond – in designated smoking areas, quitters can find support in a smoke-free online network.
This is just another way how new media and technology can positively improve people’s health.