|Trying to butt out? Join an online social media support group, says a new study. (Sebastjan Medved/shutterstock.com) |
Smokers who are struggling to quit should consider joining a social media support group after a new study found that people who joined online forums were more successful at butting out.
According to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Communication, online social networking sites can provide a strong sense of community among members who found mutual support and trust in these groups, the study said.
And the more members became engaged, the more they started to identify with fellow smokers, sharing advice and building a sense of trust.
Researchers hypothesize that the success is linked to an increased sense of self-efficacy boosted with the help of their online support group.
"This study helps further the notion that social networking sites and other forms of social media can help people to improve their health conditions," said lead researcher Joe Phua from the University of Georgia.
"These can be used as a standalone way to improve chronic health conditions, or as part of a holistic treatment plan that includes both professional offline help and online social media sites."
And unlike traditional offline support groups, social media forums are free to use and require no travel times, the study adds.
Need more incentive to quit, aside from the fact that it will drastically reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and overall mortality? A 2011 study also found that successful quitters reported increased life satisfaction after they quit.Follow @CanoeLifestyle
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