Our initiative’s sustainability is achieved through the interaction of two other types of sustainability: The first type is social sustainability. The I Quit Movement is a mobilisation effort where we empower our volunteers to become a continuous pillar of support to smokers throughout their journey to quit. It is through such continued efforts of Quit Buddies and I Quit Champions who create impactful results and prolong longevity for the initiative.
The second type is technological sustainability, where users continue to actively participate in the I Quit Club Facebook page after we have generated the content and momentum for users to carry onward their conversations and content creations on the virtual platform. In this way, a reinforcing feedback loop is created to sustain the virtual platform:
1. The I Quit Club Facebook page provides an accessible, “anytime, anywhere” platform for interaction and motivation, and a variety of resources, information and inspiring stories.
2. Smokers, volunteers, and partners participate actively (e.g., form support communities, post comments, etc.) and use resources on the platform.
3. Active participation adds prominence to the platform.
4. As the platform becomes more well-known, it generates interest and inspiration for more individuals and communities to join in the cause.
5. Subsequently as more people join and participate, more content is created on the platform, thus sustaining it as well as the initiative itself.
In addition, the generation of interest and recruitment leads to more people joining the I Quit Movement, and this leads to more participation on the page and subsequently strengthening the reinforcing feedback loop. Thus, both technological and social sustainability work in tandem to strengthen the initiative’s sustainability.
The I Quit Movement can easily be replicated in other countries. To replicate the initiative, the lead agency must establish a strong, persistent foundation, where smokers, volunteers and partners who can conveniently seek advice, resources and motivation from these frameworks.
The virtual framework is in the form of an anchor website for convenient access. Constructing a Facebook page is the most prudent option, given its popularity and its range of tools to track users’ opinions, create communities that link like-minded individuals together, and provide online applications that help smokers in their journey to quit smoking. Important information such as contact details of support groups, cessation programmes, etc., should be clearly available on the website to make it easy for smokers to progress in their journey.
As for the physical framework, the lead agency should strategically identify and collaborate with community organisations, VWOs, public agencies, workplaces and healthcare partners to create a comprehensive network of accessible and convenient touchpoints for smokers to seek support from and to participate in cessation programmes. Here as well, the recruitment and retention of ex-smokers as passionate advocates and role models who have successfully quit will drastically help to further strengthen the physical framework, as smokers can relate to them much better. Another convenient touchpoint that should be considered is implementing a QuitLine.