Social networks help smokers quit: new research
New Scientist reports on new research at the Harvard Medical School which suggests that targeting anti-smoking campaigns at social networks, rather than individuals, is a more effective way to reduce smoking rates.
This research re-inforces the surprising power of social networks to strongly influence individual behaviour and suggests that:
"Whole groups of smokers are quitting at once, it's not just isolated individuals blinking out, it's whole interconnected groups simultaneously dropping out……..social pressures could drive deeper cuts in smoking rates, as smokers find they know fewer and fewer people who smoke and eventually quit”.
To read the New Scientist article
To read the original research paper:
The Collective Dynamics of Smoking in a Large Social Network
by Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and James H. Fowler, Ph.D.
Bioteams Books Reviews
Just because we might have selfish genes it does not mean we have to behave selfishly; nature knows when to be nice as well as nasty and nepotism occurs in the biological world too with equal destructiveness as our world. This is according to Richard Conniff author of The Ape in the Corner Office and reviewed in the UK Guardian Newspaper (27 May).