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Friends Motivate Peers to Start Smoking

Date: 12th June 2014

Researchers undertook a study and found out that friends can exert a lot of influence on the behavior of their peers and can motivate them to both start smoking and give up the habit. However, during the study, the researchers have discovered that the pressure to start smoking is stronger than the influence to quit smoking. The study and its findings were published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Steven Haas, associate professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University, states that he and other researchers have found out that group influence is significant. It encourages nonsmoking friends to take up smoking and nonsmoking peers can also motivate and transform their smoking friends into complete nonsmokers. However, Steven Haas also adds that the inclination of youngsters to start smoking by emulating their smoking addicted friends is stronger.

According to Mai Frandsen, Northern Tasmania had one of the maximum rates of pregnant women smoking in the country. She also added that prevention of smoking at the time of pregnancy is likely to have extensive benefits for the community and healthcare system of Tasmania.

Steven Haas reveals that to be a smoker, kids have to learn how to smoke, they should know where to purchase cigarettes and also how to enjoy smoking on the sly. He adds that these are certain things that they can easily learn from their peers who are addicted to smoking. But friends who are nonsmokers will find it difficult to get hold of cessation programmes or nicotine replacement products to help their friends trigger off smoking cessation.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com


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