CDC's Tobacco Facebook Page Has a Growing List of Fans

May 17, 2011, 9:03 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

If you’re a smoker, or know someone who is, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hopes you’ll like their new smoking cessation Facebook page. The page, Tobacco Free, was launched last month and traffic has increased steadily.

It’s a good addition to the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health’s expansive social media presence which includes web pages, a Twitter feed, widgets and buttons. And the Facebook page extends that reach, says Diane Beistle, Chief of the Health Communications Branch at the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. In December, for example, the Surgeon General released a report How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease, which is included on the Facebook page. Beistle says updates will be added to the Facebook page, increasing the chance that fans will see—and share—the information. “We hope that getting quitting tips and other information from the CDC when people sign onto their home page, will help push many smokers to check the page regularly for information about the dangers of smoking, as well as quitting options,” says Beistle.

Facebook is a good choice, according to a recent survey. The National Research Corp, a healthcare research firm, surveyed over 22,000 Americans and found that about 16 percent use social media for health information. Of that group, over 90 percent use Facebook.

Weigh In: Do you use Facebook or other social media for health information?

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.