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‘Social Smoking Among Young Adults’ by Song & Ling


In the article, Social smoking among young adults: Investigation of Intentions and Attempts to Quit, Song and Ling (2011) discuss social smoking among young adults. According to the article, social smoking, which is common among young people, is mostly confined to social events such as parties when teenagers who are not regular smokers or addicted smokers engage in smoking activities. They use the catchphrase, ‘those who smoke with others’ to make their definition even more clear. However, it is worth noting that daily smokers often smoke with other people and hence the need to be clear on the target group that this article seeks to discuss. Social smokers often do not think that their smoking is harmful and that they can quit anytime. Above all, they do not perceive themselves as having a smoking problem since their smoking is confined to social events. While identifying the difference between social smokers and regular smokers, Song and Ling (2011) ask important questions on whether it is easier for social smokers to quit smoking than regular smokers. Further, the article seeks to investigate the intentions and behaviors that influence the cessation of smoking among social smokers. In answering the research questions, the study involved an internet-based survey of 1528 young adults. Further, the research required current smokers to reveal their intentions to quit smoking in the next 6 months. In addition, the research focused on quitting behaviors where participants were questioned on whether they had made deliberate efforts to quit smoking for a month or longer in the past year. The research revealed important findings that related to the intentions and behaviors of quitting smoking among social and regular smokers in the sample of the population that was investigated. For instance, the research found that those who smoke only with others had higher intentions of quitting. They exhibited higher smoking-quitting behaviors relative to those who smoked individually.

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The article’s main strength is the focus on primary research, which is complemented by the existing research that has majored in studying smoking behaviors among youths. Further, the sample population of more than 15000 people is adequate. It ensures that the findings of the research can be generalized to a wider population. However, despite these strengths, the article has one shortcoming. It focuses on college-going young adults, which definitely leaves a lot to be discussed about the smoking behaviors of young adults who are not confined to the college environment, which changes the social circles of that population.

Key Elements

One of the key issues that can be identified in the article is the influence of social groups on certain behaviors among young adults. In this case, it is evident that while most young adult social smokers do not wish to contain smoking in the end, being in their social groups influences them to smoke or engage in smoking behaviors. They would otherwise not engage in smoking if there were alone. Indeed, this notion is well supported by the fact that most of them are willing to quit or have tried quitting in the past.


From the above research, the findings of the research clearly indicate the role of social networks and their influence on smoking among the youths. The authors have presented their hypothesis and answered it satisfactorily and hence the reason why this study should be used as a platform to launch future other studies that seek to understand the linkages between social smoking and young adults, as well as the key factors that determine the quitting behaviors that this group exhibits.

Reference List

Song, V., & Ling, M. (2011). Social Smoking among Young Adults: Investigations of Intentions and Attempts to Quit. American Journal Public Health, 101(7), 1291-1296.

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