Peer pressure may help smokers quit

May 21, 2008 2:02:31 PM PDT
If you're hoping to kick the habit your chances at success may depend on what your family and friends are doing.

A new report shows a smoker is more likely to quit if a spouse, friend, co-worker or sibling also gives up cigarettes. Also, smokers tend to quit in groups and those who don't stop puffing may find themselves pushed out of their social circle.

But the study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine raises a concern. Experts worry that this reverse peer pressure has created islands of smoker outcasts who are not being helped. They say that may explain why smoking rates have stalled in the last few years.