salon.com – 9 de marzo de 2015 – EEUU
The quote above from this college freshman echoes prevalent ideas on college campuses about smoking. Tobacco, like alcohol, is a substance that “everyone” seemed to use, especially at parties. Few students on the campuses where I worked saw themselves as “real” smokers. They were party smokers, that is, people who mostly smoked socially. That’s why so many students referred to their occasional smoking almost as an afterthought, and talked about it as “no big deal.”
Social smoking is common among young adults, particularly those who are in college. Social smokers tend to be lighter smokers who do not smoke on a daily basis. Their smoking is more related to the context in which they find themselves. In fact, it’s an umbrella term that can refer to different patterns. On the college campus, the term “social smoker” most commonly refers to a person who smokes with friends at parties when consuming alcohol. I resist assigning a number of cigarettes to define social smoking at parties, as it really depends on how much drinking is going on and who the individual is hanging out with on a particular night. Other patterns of social smoking also exist. A person on a break from work may smoke because his or her coworkers do, or a person who rarely smokes may have a cigarette with a troubled friend who is smoking as a way of bonding. Social smoking can also describe people who smoke a majority of their cigarettes in social contexts, but may also smoke alone when under stress. Indeed, some research has shown that more than half of college students who smoke fit this broad characterization of social smoker.
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