Like, Comment, Share: How Engagement With Social Media and Online Health Information Seeking Strengthens Resolve to Quit Among Current Smokers
Methods: Data from the 2013 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 4, Cycle 3) were used to estimate effects of engagement with social media and online information seeking about tobacco cessation on resolve to quit among current smokers (N=486). Analyses were adjusted for effects of demographics, previous quit attempts, belief in response efficacy of cessation, general health information seeking, and Internet access.
Results: Smokers who reported greater engagement with social media were 1.6 times more likely to engage in online information seeking about tobacco cessation [OR = 1.63 (95% CI: 1.62-1.64)]. Similarly smokers who reported online information seeking about tobacco cessation were 2.4 times more likely to indicate a strong resolve to quit [OR = 2.40 (95% CI: 2.37-2.43)]. A significant indirect effect of engagement with social media and resolve to quit was also detected. This effect was in part explained by online information seeking about tobacco cessation.
Conclusions: Public health and medical professionals may consider encouraging social media engagement and information seeking about tobacco cessation in campaigns and clinical encounters. Specifically, smokers who use the Internet and have previously attempted to quit may benefit from social media engagement and online information seeking about tobacco cessation in strengthening their resolve to quit.
Learning Areas:Communication and informatics
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify opportunities to strengthen the resolve to quit among current smokers. Describe how engagement with social media influences online information seeking about tobacco cessation and resolve to quit among current smokers. Discuss ways in which tobacco cessation interventions may consider encouraging smokers’ engagement with social media and online information seeking to increase resolve to quit.
Keyword(s): Tobacco Use, Communication
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department at Michigan State University. I previously coauthored number of peer-review journal articles on information seeking behavior and cancer prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.