Is smoking contiguous ?

01 Jul
Megha Shah

In a group of people we are prone to have freinds who have certain habits that we may not enjoy as much as they do. Like smoking! So can a person who does smoke develop the habit of smoking, by just being around those who do? Is smoking contiguous? Also when dealing with people whith such habits, what is the best kind of intervention? Should we inform the family member or support our freind by doing nothing ? And when it comes freind it is often found difficult to even make them realise that they have a problem, so what are the best ways to deal with this?

Responses 3

  • Radhika Goel
    Radhika Goel   Jul 04, 2017 04:12 PM

    Hey, hope you are doing well. 

    Firstly, yes, there are al kinds of people in a group who may engage in different activities others do not approve off.That does not mean we would love them less or respect them less would it? It is important for us to be compassionate no matter hwat our friends go through.

    Secondly, smoking is not contagious but it is extremely harmful even when friends smoke near you and you end up smoking passively. I however do not feel telling their family is the right step unless you have tried everything else and the situation is completey out of hand. Telling parents will make your friend lose their trust in you which will have very negative consequences for your relationship with them. I recommend you make them understand the harm they are causing themselves and the one's they love. Hold interventions and present to them examples of the  consequences of their habit. You must understand one thing, habits are hard to let go off especially those that give you pleasure so what you are asking to them to do is very hard for them and they are bound to have withdrawl symptoms. You must be there for them and support them in your capacity every step of the way.

    Thirdly, people usually smoke when they are stressed and have acquired the habit after they went through a bad experience. You will be able to help them better if you are able to identify the problem and help them conswequently.

  • Sayantani Dey
    Sayantani Dey   Jul 03, 2017 01:54 PM

    Hi, hope you are doing well. Look, all fingers in our hand is not similar in size, but we need all of them to make a grip. In such way, all friends in a group may not be of same habits, and they can be distracted by some unhealthy practices,we shouldn't be worried, because it is not a big deal now a days.

    A person,who has a strong mental set, and who has believe in himself/herself that anyhow he/she will follow the rules of his/her life, nobody can influence him/her to do what he/she doesn't want to do.

    Yes, there has some factors like group influence and peer pressure which can lead them to do those unhealthy things, but not every time it happens. If the person is weak from inside, and allow others to influnce him/her self, only that time it happents. Sometimes, people do those things because they don't want to be rejected by the group, and don't want to loose their friends, so accept their behaviour and do those things with them. Sometimes they think that they will pretend that they are doing this, and will not follow these things further in their life, but it not happens, and hthey become addicted to it.

    The reasons why they don't ask their friends to stop or to quit those habits may be that they have a fear that their friends will laugh at them,or they will simply ignore them, or simply throw him out of the group etc. So they choose to be quite. Potesting is not an option when you choose your group after knowing their habits. You can leave that group if you ask them to chamge their habits, but they don't understand your problems.

    I hope my answer is helpful. Stay happy and healthy!

  • Rashmi Kalra
    Rashmi Kalra   Jul 01, 2017 11:25 PM

    Smoking is contagious, passive or not. It definitely is harmful.

    Secondly, it's really difficult to deal with people who enjoy doing it. Like for example, I cannot stand people who smoke. I am allergic to the cigarettes and anything that produces smoke; not physiologically but there's a bug in my mind that starts to yell whenever someone around smokes. So all my friends have been smoking for years and years and it was always a problem for me. I would get uncomfortable around them, I started avoiding them since they would try to persuade me to do it as well and i didn't like it. To fit in, I one day even decided to take a drag or two but the moment they passed me a cigarette, I backed off.

    In that moment, I just thought that if they know I don't like it then why do they do it in front of me? But I realised that since I hadn't ever called them out in it, they had no idea if I did/didn't like smoking. So this one time when I did ask them to stop smoking because of all the reasons we have been taught since kindergarten, everyone laughed at me saying, "Yar, cigarette is cool and it's so relaxing! You should try it instead of lecturing us about it" 

    So yeah, this is what happens when you tell people to stop doing it and trust me, it's futile when you try to make them understand your opinion or why you think it's not good. It doesn't matter. 

    I eventually talked them out of it though, initially I used to compel them as hard as I could and taunt them on their habits but nothing happened; so I took a different route and in bits and pieces would tell them the major repurcussions of smoking regularly. I would tell them how uncomfortable it made me and how I didn't want to hang out with them, which by the way hit them hard. I was close to them and they valued me more than they valued their habit of smoking. So smoking in front of me became a no-no thing, then gradually they reduced it to a cigarette occasionally.

    So it's more about how close you are to these people.

    Also, I don't think you can get into a habit of smoking when someone pressurises you do it. Of course peer pressure is a big thing but it's about your self restraint as well. 

    You say no if you don't like it. It doesn't matter how the other person feels about you not smoking.

    It's your choice to not smoke, so you don't.

    It definitely doesn't make you a 'Cool person' as most of the people think these days.



    Hope it Helped!



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