Another reason to finally give them up.
Quitting the habit has a huge number of benefits, the more obvious ones being that it reduces your risk of life-threatening illness, being fitter and healthier and saving loads of money.
But a recent study has found that it could also do wonders for your social life.
While some people who want to quit fear that they may lose their smoker friends, the study found that giving cigarettes up could actually gain you more friends.
Co-author of the study, Megan E. Piper from the Center for Tobacco Research told Reuters:
Smoking is less common now than it’s been for many years, so if you’re in the market for friends, the nonsmoking community is much bigger.
Piper and her coauthors researched the social networks of 691 smokers over a period of three years.
People who had quit by year one and two had also experienced significant social shifts. The results being that most of the quitters now had less contact with smokers but larger social groups over all.
“Perhaps you haven’t gone and joined a group or team or done an activity because you’ve been worried about not being accepted because you’re a smoker,” but when you quit those activities are more attractive, Piper said.
So while it is a fear of many smokers that they will lose the social aspects of smoking if they give them up, they may well be right, but they will gain more friends by taking up new activities and socialising without taking smoke breaks.
Although this study was carried out in the US, the same principle applies in Ireland.
According to the Irish Cancer Society, only 19% percent of the population currently smoke. The government are aiming to reduce this to 5% by 2025.
Considering that the number of smokers in Ireland is continuing to decrease, the majority of people you socialise with will more than likely be non-smokers, so you may as well join their team.