Smokers Stick Together and Quit Together
For smokers, kicking the habit is a hard thing to do. Though odds are smokers are not alone in making the move.
Akinso: For smokers, kicking the habit is a hard thing to do. Though odds are smokers are not alone in making the move.
Suzman: The clusters of people who were friends, siblings, spouses, co-workers tended to quit together when they quit.
Akinso: Dr. Richard Suzman is the Director of the Social and Behavioral Research Program at the National Institute on Aging.
Suzman: It looked at the impacted of social relationships on smoking and specifically on quitting smoking.
Akinso: The decision to quit smoking often tunnels through social networks, with entire clusters of spouses, friends, siblings and co-workers giving up the habit roughly in tandem according to a NIA study. Researchers analyzing changes in smoking behavior over the past three decades within a large social network found smokers quit in groups and not as isolated individuals. Dr. Suzman talks about some of the interesting findings amongst the various social networks.
Suzman: When a husband and wife quits it reduces the chance of the other spouse smoking by 67 percent, for a sibling 25 percent. A friend quitting decreases the chance of smoking by 36 percent among their friends. And in small firms co-worker quitting could cut smoking amongst his or her peers by 34 percent but not in larger firms. Neighbors didn't seem to be influenced by each others smoking habits.
Akinso: Dr. Suzman delivers an important message dealing with the social context of kicking the habit.
Suzman: What any one person does, really effects people other than themselves.
Akinso: Dr. Suzman says that the public health message of the study is that no one is an island-one's health is partially determined by their social networks and those around them. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Richard Suzman