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One year after its launch in the spring of 2009, the New York City Facebook pageknown as NYC Quits Smoking/I Quit Becausenow has more than 5,000 fans.
Other online resources, ranging from the National Cancer Institutes to for-profit sites such as Quit Net and Habitchanger.com, offer a comprehensive suite of services to help you quit. Web-based smoking-cessation programs "are about as good as just about anything else out there," says Cameron D.
But among smokers who were depressed, there was no difference in success rates between the two groups.
"From a research point of view it seems, so far, that something more systematic [like the approach used by Smoke Clinic] is more helpful," says Daniel F.
Though these sites have become increasingly popular, their effectiveness is still being determined. A 2008 study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, for instance, showed that personalized web programs nearly double a patients chances of quitting compared to a control group, while a 2006 study showed no significant differences between smokers who used an Internet-based cessation program and those who participated in counseling sessions. A study sponsored by the American Cancer Society and published this February in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine examined the effectiveness of an Internet-based program called Smoke Clinic, which guides smokers through a sequence of interactive steps to help them quit smoking and is based on the structure used in in-person counseling.
Of the 1,106 people who completed Smoke Clinic, 13% were smoke-free 13 months later, compared to 10% of people who visited a control site featuring free booklets for self-guided quitters.