A Facebook-based intervention, according to a study, could help young adults kick their asses more effectively than other online smoking cessation programs. The study, published in the journal Addiction, is the first to test the effectiveness of a full-fledged smoke intervention on Facebook and also uses biochemically proven smoking cessation. Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) in the United States believe that the method can be used effectively to support short-term positive behavioral changes, especially in young adult smokers, who had a challenging group to reach and treat  "We have found that we can reach a hard-to-reach population, have short-term abstinence, and have an excellent commitment," said Danielle Ramo, an associate professor at UCSF. "It suggests that the social media environment can be an interesting tool for tobacco even for those who are unwilling to quit," said Ramo. The researchers created the Tobacco Status Project, a 90-day motivational program that assigned participants to secret (private) Facebook groups tailored to their willingness to quit.
The intervention consisted of methods such as daily contributions, weekly live questions and response sessions and weekly cognitive behavior counseling sessions with a graduate student smoking cessation consultant. The control group received a recommendation to the Smokefree.gov website of the US National Cancer Institute and was encouraged to actively use it for the duration of the study. A total of 500 people participated: 45 percent were men, 73 percent were white and 87 percent smoked daily. The average age was nearly 21
The researchers rated abstinence at the beginning, then at three months, six months, and twelve months. Participants could receive a monetary incentive consisting of gift cards for each evaluation, plus a $ 20 bonus to complete all three, for a potential total incentive of $ 100.
The researchers found that the social media program had a significant effect on stopping the time the intervention was active, at the rate of three months. They also found that abstinence occurred over a longer period of time among those willing to quit smoking, compared to those who simply considered it or those who did not think about it at all.
The tobacco status project assigned two and a half times had a biochemically proven smoke abstinence compared to controls at three months (8.3% versus 3.2%).