From Digital Community Engagement to Smoking Cessation: Insights from the Reddit r/StopSmoking Thread

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
De Santo, Alessio
Moro, Arielle
Kocher, Bruno
Holzer, Adrian
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Abstract
Despite decades of prevention, tobacco addiction is still a widespread health concern responsible for around 8 million deaths per year. Existing digital solutions such as social media are becoming increasingly popular and represent a novel approach for people to find community support. However, little is known about how they affect smoking behavior. This paper tackles this issue by investigating attitudes, motivations and behaviors of 169 users of one such digital community, namely the Reddit r/StopSmoking thread. We present a model based on the transtheoretical model as well as the uses and gratification approach that investigates the support of digital communities in the smoking cessation process. Our findings suggest that engagement in online smoking cessation communities has a positive link to smokers' behavior in their process of change. Providing help, seeking help, seeking information, seeking status and seeking entertainment being identified as motivational factors to engage in such online communities.
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Socia Media and Healthcare Technology, online community, smoking cessation, stages of change, transtheoretical model, uses and gratification
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