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Twitter=quitter? An analysis of Twitter quit smoking social networks

Abstract

Objective Widely popular, Twitter, a free social networking and micro-blogging service, offers potential for health promotion. This study examined the activity of Twitter quit smoking social network accounts.

Design A cross‐sectional analysis identified 153 activated Twitter quit smoking accounts dating back to 2007 and examined recent account activity for the month of August 2010.

Results The accounts had a median of 155 followers and 82 total tweets per account; 49% of accounts had >100 tweets. Posted content was largely inconsistent with clinical guidelines; 48% linked to commercial sites for quitting smoking and 43% had tweets on e‐cigarettes. In August 2010, 81 of the accounts (53%) were still active.

Conclusions Though popular for building quit smoking social networks, many of the Twitter accounts were no longer active, and tweet content was largely inconsistent with clinical guidelines. Future research is needed to examine the effectiveness of Twitter for supporting smoking cessation.

  • Tobacco
  • cigarettes
  • smoking
  • social media
  • blogging
  • social networking
  • cessation
  • health services

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