If you are a smoker, you may know that the urge to smoke is contagious, but did you know that quitting the puff is, too? Well, a team of researchers, recently, has found that contagious pattern with smoking cessation. They observed that a smoker is more likely to kick the habit of smoking if a spouse, friend, co-worker or sibling does so.
Moreover, the research showed that smokers tend to quit smoking in groups as those who don't stop puffing, increasingly find themselves pushed to the edge of their social circles.
"Your smoking behavior depends upon not just the smoking behavior of the people you know, but also the people who they know" and so on, said Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a medical sociologist at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the new report.
This latest study, by Christakis and his colleague
The findings back up previous studies showing that peer influence plays a key role in smoker's decision to stop smoking and provide evidence that the "buddy system" used by smoking cessation, weight loss and alcoholism programs to change addictive behavior, works.
The researchers examined the social lives of 12,067 people in the Framingham Heart Study, which has been tracking the health of residents of that
Not surprisingly, the greatest influence was seen in close relationships. When a spouse stops smoking, the other partner is 67 percent less likely to smoke. Similarly, when a friend quits smoking, the chance of the other, continuing to smoke, drops by 36 percent. The odds are similar among co-workers and siblings, also.
People who were connected to others by up to three degrees of separation were also influenced. If one person quits smoking, the chance of a person two degrees apart, stopping the smoking habit is 29 percent. In a three-degree separation, the chances are 11 percent.
"One person in the group gets the motivation to quit and it starts to cascade and ripple through the group," said Fowler.
The researchers found, by analyzing random samples of smoking clusters, that whole groups became nonsmokers over time because people who remained smokers found themselves moving to the fringe of their social circles.
So, that says it all, why smokers quit smoking? –They are actually forced to!
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