60% of smokers will try to ‘kick the butt’ if helped by a buddy– ICICI Lombard Survey

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Kolkata, May 31, 2019: American Basketball player, Michael Jordon famously said, “Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” If one were to apply this to real life scenarios, can we turn a negative into a positive? 

Absolutely says, ICICI Lombard. A recent study commissioned by the general insurer, leaves one with the perception thatwhen applied to the habit of smoking, this is more than feasible.
On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day,ICICI Lombard commissioned a survey in Kolkataassessing the significance of peer pressure among smokers. The survey not only presents statistical data giving insights into the habits of smokers but also throws light on the effect of emulation. What stood out specifically was peer pressure is the prime cause of someone to take up smoking and the same source could also help one to quit the habit.
As per the findings of the survey, 85        % of the sample size (smokers) is likely to conform to peer and societal pressure in order to feel more accepted or ‘cool’. The data also observed that most of the chronic smokers are surrounded by co-smokers, which is one of the reasons why they retain the habit. 83% of the smokers claimed that most of their friends are smokers, while about 55% reported being around family members who smoke. The data highlights the significance of peer and societal pressure in an individual’s habit of smoking. When it comes to non-smokers, nearly 54 % of the sample all have friends as smokers.
As the survey delved deeper into the willingness of smokers to quit the habit,an interesting insight was that 57% of the respondents attempted or thought of quitting their habit. 72% claimed that family often tried to influence them to quit smoking.When asked what makes the habit so difficult to quit, 52% of respondents claimed that it was pressure from social friends and colleagues. However, surprisingly, 59% of the respondents agreed that it would become easier to hold on to the commitment if a friend or a loved one supported them. Furthermore, 64% agreed that quitting would become even easier if they had access to a ‘buddy’ for an alternative activity or companionship to help them in the process. Once supported by a buddy, 60% would try quitting to smoke, that may take year or more to achieve.

Even the majority of non-smokers agreed that if the smokers make a commitment to quit with their friend or loved one, the smokers would succeed in quitting.69% of non-smokerrespondents believe that their pact with a friend or a loved one to make them quit smoking, would work. Another solution that the non-smokers had for their counterpart is an ‘alternative social activity’. 46% of non-smokers thought 'alternative social activities’ would be the ideal way to make smokers kickthe habit. Providing emotional support and recognizing milestones in quitting smoking, are also evinced as important in making smokers quit.
On the survey, Mr.Sanjay Datta, Chief-Underwriting, Claims & Reinsurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd. said,“It is a known fact that smoking as a habit is harmful to health. Yet we see the younger generation picking up and sticking to this habit.That is majorly due to the pressure of social acceptance from peers and colleagues. The survey has helped us understand the dynamics between a smoker and his/ her peer group. This helped us turn peer pressure on its head and use itto aid smokers to give up the habit. We at ICCI Lombard believe that when accompanied by a partner, any challenge will be half as difficult and twice as easy, after all it takes two to #DoTheDifficult.”

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