The practice of smoking is increasing in the teenage girls and boys. The government is leaving no stone turned to control youngsters from engaging in smoking habit. With the initiatives like giving anti-smoking messages on cigarette packs, the government has hoped for remarkable results in their goal.
However, a new study suggests that people who use health-based social networking sites find it easier to quit smoking.
Researchers at the University of Georgia examined health-based social networking sites that focus on helping members to quit smoking. During the study, they found that as participation on these sites increased, members began to build a sense of community on the sites.
The visitors began developing a sense of trust among each other. As a result of the increased social connectedness associated with participating on the sites, these members ultimately become more aware to the pros and cons of smoking and commonly raised the voice against smoking.
According to the researchers, the findings show that on health-based social networking sites, members can build strong social interconnectedness with other people who have the same health issue and hence end up giving the bad habits.
The social exchanges, moreover, helped them to achieve their health goals in a shorter amount of time, without having to go through more traditional, offline support groups and services, researchers said.
“This study helps further the notion that social networking sites and other forms of social media can help people to improve their health conditions. 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,” Phua said.
The study was published in the Journal of Communication.