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Injunctive social norms about the habit encourage smokers to quit

10 Jul 2020

Female smokers who agree with non-smoking norms are more likely to quit or attempt to quit the habit, a recent study has shown.

Accessing a representative cross-sectional analysis, researchers assessed the perception of 1,521 adults (aged ≥16 years; 49.6 percent female) toward three types non-smoking norms. Descriptive norms were those conveyed through the behaviour of others, injunctive norms were conveyed through the perceived acceptability of the behaviours by others, and personal norms were based on the participant’s own beliefs and attitudes.

Of the participants, 275 were current smokers and 301 were past-year smokers. Most, however, were non-smokers (n=1,216). In terms of descriptive norms, most of the participants (39.8 percent) reported that none of their five closest friends were smokers.

While this was more pronounced in non-smokers, only 15.9 percent believed smoking to be uncommon or very uncommon, suggesting that descriptive non-smoking norms were less persistent in the study sample.

Injunctive norms, in contrast, were better held by the participants. Majority reported that they perceived smoking to be a habit that their partner (74.1 percent), family (76.6 percent), and close friends (60.2 percent) did or would disapprove of. Moreover, 68.4 percent of participants believed that people in general disapproved of smoking.

For past-year smokers who endorsed these injunctive non-smoking norms, the likelihood of having made a quit attempt in the last 12 months was significantly higher. This effect was much stronger in women than in men. However, no link between injunctive norms and actual cessation were detected.

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Most Read Articles
Elaine Soliven, 5 days ago

Switching from efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (EFV/FTC/TDF) to the new bictegravir/ emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (BIC/FTC/TAF) regimen maintained high rates of virological suppression in adults who are living with HIV*, according to a study presented at AIDS 2020.

3 days ago
Among individuals with abdominal obesity, drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners (ASBs) or no sugar (USBs) instead of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) helps lose body weight, a study has found. However, USBs have a more favourable effect on sweet taste preference compared with ASBs.
Stephen Padilla, 5 days ago
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) containing either long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB) or tenofovir/emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) is safe and effective for transgender women (TGW) and cisgender men who have sex with men (MSM), but CAB results in a much lower HIV incidence compared to TDF/FTC, results of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 083 have shown.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 4 days ago
Monthly prophylaxis with the fixed-dose combination of naphthoquine-azithromycin (NQAZ) is well tolerated and confers significant protection against infection with Plasmodium parasites among individuals residing in malaria-endemic areas in Southeast Asia, as shown in the results of a phase III trial.