According to a new US study, a person who uses Facebook to quit smoking is 2.5 times more likely to get there than a user who simply follows a basic online program.
What if you finally quit using Facebook? While social networks are often singled out for their impact on the mental health of their users, it appears that they can still improve their physical health. According to a new US study, Facebook could help users stop smoking. According to results from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) published Thursday, May 24 in the newspaper Addiction, a surfer who uses the social network to quit smoking 2.5 times more likely to succeed than another who simply follow a basic online program.
To arrive at this amazing conclusion, the researchers paid 500 participants of an average age of 21 to participate in the Tobacco Status Project, a 90-day extended program. The volunteers registered on private groups on Facebook to stop smoking. They were asked to post regularly on the subject, answer various questionnaires and meet a doctor once a week to follow his advice. Of the participants, 45% were men, 73% were white and 87% smoked every day. Finally, there is no need for them to absolutely want to stop smoking to be included in the study and no patch or nicotine replacement was provided.
The researchers evaluated the volunteers at the beginning of the study, then at the end of three months, six months and one year. Bottom line: Three months after the launch of the program, 8.3% of smokers had stopped compared to 3.2% of those who follow basic online programs. But while Facebook helped participants quit a lot in the first few months, in the long run the difference was smaller, with abstinence mostly being those who had been thinking about quitting for a long time.
"We did something very ambitious by involving people who did not necessarily want to smoke to see if social networks could help," said Danielle Ramo, author of the study, pleased with the results. "Sometimes people do not engage too much on social networks, but here we saw very committed people, with Internet users commenting a lot on the posts of the participants (...) .This form of intervention is very popular with young people," he said. she welcomes. Thus, "we discovered that we could reach a population that is normally difficult to access, obtain short-term abstinence and a lot of commitment from the participants". In the end, for the scientist, "this means that social networks can be a decisive tool in the treatment of smoking, even among those who do not want to stop.These volunteers may have participated for financial reasons but their commitment suggests that an intervention on the social networks could help them to stop smoking in the long term ".
In France as in the United States, young people are particularly affected by smoking. According to Tobacco-Info-Services, a third of French people between the ages of 15 and 85 (32%) smoke from time to time (36% of men and 28% of women) while between 18 and 34 years, almost one in two smokes. Also, if you have trouble stopping, log in and talk to your friends. If this new study believes, nothing beats the support of a digital community to take the challenge!