Social media: a new tool to curb smoking

The aim is to get teens to support each other by making declarations such as “I won’t date anyone who smokes”, the TSANZ conference heard.

Researchers at Adelaide’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital are developing a pilot website as a model for schools, sporting communities and health clubs to engage teenagers in discussion about smoking, researcher Kristin Carson said.

“We looked at research on ways that prevent smoking and we found that with community intervention it needs to be multifaceted,” she said.

“A lot of people are using television and radio but we should be utilising the Internet and looking at using social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.”

The evidence-based website will offer an opportunity to answer questions online about smoking, such as whether they believe that tobacco companies target kids or how many of their friends smoke.

Their responses will be rewarded with the correct answers and