Resources from the 2010 campaign.
The theme for NNSW 2010 is “Quitting is contagious, pass it on!.”
Is quitting smoking contagious? Recent research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests it could be.
Nicholas A. Christakis, of Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts, and James Fowler, of the University of California, San Diego examined the social lives of 12,067 people who were part of a large interconnected social network and had been assessed several times between 1971 and 2003 as participants of the Framingham Heart Study.
The researchers found that it was easier for people to quit smoking when others in their social circle also kicked the habit. People followed the quitting habits of their spouses, friends, brothers and sisters, and in small firms, behaviour of co-workers was also influential.
The greatest influence was seen in close relationships. When a husband or wife quit, the chance that their spouse would smoke, fell by 67%. When a brother or sister quit, the chance a sibling smoked decreased by 25%. Smoking cessation by a friend decreased the chances by 36% and among people working in small firms, smoking cessation by a co-worker decreased the chances by 34%.
Decisions to quit smoking were not made solely by isolated persons, but rather they reflected choices made by groups connected to each other both directly and indirectly at up to three degrees of separation. If one person quit, the odds of a person two degrees apart quitting was 29%. In a three-degree separation, the chances were 11%.
Those who continued to smoke, meanwhile, formed their own social circles that, over time, shifted from the centre of the social network to the periphery.
This research highlights the powerful role that social networks play in smoking behaviours and decisions. It suggests that cessation programs may work better if aimed at groups rather than individuals and indicates that one person quitting may lead to others quitting too.
Christakis, Nicholas A. and Fowler, James H. "The collective dynamics of smoking in a large social network." New England journal of medicine. 358(21): May 22, 2008. 2249-2258.
Due to extremely high demand, there are no more copies of the 2010 NNSW poster available.
Click on the image below to download a high resolution PDF. If you don't have Adobe Reader installed on your computer, you can download a copy for free from the Adobe website.
You will need Adobe Reader to access these factsheets. If you don't have it installed on your computer, you can download a copy for free from the Adobe website.
CCTC has developed 4 factsheets related to smoking cessation:
- How Tobacco Use Can Shorten Your Life
- Quit Smoking Tips
- Ten Good Reasons to Quit Smoking
- The Truth About the Health Effects of Tobacco
Executive Director, Canadian Council for Tobacco Control
(613) 567-3050 x107