Health, Zoomer Report

Celebrity Cancer

Here’s a new take on a very important new year’s resolution: quitting smoking! Researchers in Brazil have found that a cancer diagnosis in a high-profile person sharply increases efforts to kick the habit in the general public.

In October of 2011 Lula da Silva, Brazil’s former president and a smoker, was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. In the weeks that followed, researchers monitored Google News and Search trends. The results, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, found that queries for quitting smoking spiked 163 percent in the first week following the announcement. There were a total of 1.1. million searches made in the entire month that followed… and these numbers were significantly higher than the typical upturns that follow major public education events like Brazil’s National No Smoking Day and World No Tobacco Day. The study’s lead author says Lula’s diagnosis was more significant than graphic warning labels or raising taxes.

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