Increased involvement in Online Community is Correlated with Increased Likelihood to Quit Smoking

By Sidharth Anand is an online community created by Truth Initiative in partnership with Mayo Clinic. The community has over 800,000 users who share personal stories and information through various blogs and online forums. The site is focused on helping users quit smoking, and a study by the University of Iowa and the Truth initiative studied its success. The study tracked the tobacco use of 2600 participants in the community to see how varying levels of involvement impacted the likelihood of users to quit. Kang Zhao, a leader of the study from the Trippie College of Business at the University of Iowa, mentioned that studying online participation was key in determining the behavior of the users in real life. For those who were more involved in the website, this was a good indicator of increased quitting following participation. 21% of active participants, those who had actively posted their own content, quit smoking and 11% of those who had read other's blog posts alone quit smoking compared to only 8% of those who had never visited any of the blog posts. The study did not look at why an increased level of participation and involvement in the community correlated with an increased likelihood to quit smoking. However, it was surmised by Amanda Graham of Truth Initiative that the sense of community, and of supportive users encouraging one another was indicative of how these relationships could have a palpable impact on tobacco users.


University of Iowa. (2017, November 3). Kicking the habit, online. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 10, 2017 from