Smokers Turn to Online Support Groups to Help Quit

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Experience Project announces "Stomp It Out" program providing anonymous, personalized emotional and psychological support tools for this popular New Year's resolution.

With the New Year rapidly approaching, smokers often cite quitting the habit as a key New Year's resolution. Experience Project (http://www.experienceproject.com), the leading online personalized support destination that links members who share life experiences, today announces the launch of an individually-tailored, emotional support resource for smokers called, "Stomp It Out" (http://www.stompitout2008.com).

Stomp it Out is a set of free tools that anonymously connects smokers with both other quitters-in-progress, as well as successful ex-smokers for emotional support through the quitting process. Unique to Stomp it Out, the free program takes into account each individual's life experiences that impact their smoking--from the reasons they started to the motivations for quitting--to provide a truly personalized support experience that is best suited to help someone quit. For example, an individual quitting smoking because of health concerns has a different experience than another quitting for financial or religious reasons, and each is best served by tailored connections to others who understand their situation.

Beyond custom emotional support, Stomp it Out prominently features each smoker's personal story, as well as tools for real-time interactive support, and graphical tracking of moods and wellness throughout the quitting process. Users can also set time deadlines for their goals, such as reduced smoking, and track their progress against those.

Although smoking is widely considered to be on the decline, the American Cancer Society finds that over 40 million Americans smoke, including over 20% of high school students. According to a recent survey of Experience Project users, quitting smoking is considered "hard" or "very hard" for nearly 70% of smokers. Nearly 85% of smokers have family or friends who smoke, which not only makes smoking more difficult through peer pressure, but leads to isolation among a smoker's social network of relatives and peers--underscoring the need for a powerful online component for smoking cessation support.

The inspiration for Experience Project to launch Stomp It Out came after surveying the community revealed that over half of smokers plan to quit in the New Year, and that of those quitting most will rely on will power and self-restraint to succeed.

"Quitting smoking is a severe psychological challenge, where the well-intentioned support of friends and family often falls short because they simply do not relate to the smoker's situation. By providing a tool that anonymously connects people who not only smoke, but share the same reasons for why they started as well as why they want to quit, we enable a powerful support fabric. Devoid of judgment, embarrassment and misunderstanding, we believe Stomp it Out can best meet the support needs of smokers aiming to quit," notes Armen Berjikly, Founder & CEO of Experience Project.

"Getting help from people online who had been there, done that, was incredibly important when I decided to quit. My close friends were all smokers and did not support my decision, and my family didn't understand why I couldn't just stop cold-turkey. That my online supporters also shared similar lifestyles--kids, demanding job, and a health issue, made their support that much more helpful," notes a 30 year old male user from Texas.

Stomp it Out 2008 can be found at http://www.stompitout2008.com
Experience Project can be found at http://www.experienceproject.com

Stomp it Out is a free set of online smoking cessation tools designed to provide emotional support through the quitting process. Uniquely, Stomp it Out tailors its support to the individual by taking into account the other factors in life that contribute to an individual's smoking in the first place, such as peer pressure and stress, as well as the specific reasons to quit, such as family, financial, or health, with the goal of connecting smokers with others who can best understand them.

Stomp it Out is a part of the Experience Project, a community designed around shared life experiences. Members can meaningfully and anonymously connect with others who share their experiences for support and understanding, as well as explore first-person stories on nearly 1 million life experiences.

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Sarah Silverman
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