Twitter-Based Experiment to Help Smokers Quit Sees Positive Results
April 29, 2014~ Smokers looking to kick the habit may try any number of approaches: patches, gums, e-cigarettes, and now tweeting. At the University of California at Irvine, a recently completed clinical trial looked at whether virtual support networks created through Twitter could help smokers stay away from cigarettes. An early read of the study’s data suggests they can, said lead investigator Cornelia Pechmann. Of the roughly 280 participants in the study, twice as many people in the Twitter experimental group reported they had quit smoking compared with the non-Twitter users in the control group. People are already using Twitter to help them quit. But spontaneous efforts tend to crash and burn, Pechmann said. Too many people join in, and it’s hard for tweets offering real advice or consolation to break through the noise. Also, existing networks of friends sometimes just keep the status quo, she said.
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