2018 Volume vol.12 Issue 12 Pages 1-11
Background: As an example of using “sociability” for departing from addiction, one can point to self-help group meetings among alcoholics. The Zen-Nihon-Danshu-Renmei (All Japan Quit-Drinking Federation) has stated that the two driving forces of complete abstinence from alcohol are “an awareness of one's own addiction” and “a sense of unity among one's own group members” when participating in such meetings. As for quitting smoking, we could find no bellwether programs driven by “sociability” in the workplace; however, the authors of this study thought the same “sociability” factors, such as “a sense of unity among his/her co-challengers”, could be a driving force toward complete abstinence from smoking. Therefore, we hypothesized that combining “sociability”-based measures in the workplace with smoking cessation clinic visits would result in a higher success rate in smoking cessation than clinic visits only, and we tried to verify that in this study.
Method: In 2014 and 2015, we recruited a total of 11 people who wished to quit smoking, and carried out a team-based, 3-month smoking cessation program. 1) First, a challenger recruited 3 people in the workplace to become his/her supporters. 2) The challenger visited a smoking cessation clinic five times. 3) As a completion bonus, the challenger received 5,000 yen and his/her supporters got 2,000 yen each. 4) The challenger then told us about his/her experience to help others quit smoking in the future. 5) A group of 5 to 6 challengers started the program each year. We compared their cessation success rate to the success rate of clients who had only visited cessation clinics. We also evaluated whether “sociability” had affected the result by analyzing participants' comments from 4) above.
Results: All 11 challengers achieved smoking cessation for 3 months. This achievement rate (100%) was significantly higher (p＜0.05) than the success rates of clients who had only visited smoking cessation clinics (63.7%). Participants listed the following factors as the main reasons for their smoking cessation. i) 6 out of 11 of them commented on participants who began smoking cessation simultaneously. Quotes: “My colleagues and I started to quit smoking at the same time, so we encouraged each other every day.” “I could not allow myself to smoke again while my colleagues quit smoking.” ii) 5 out of 11 participants mentioned the presence of supporters as a factor of success, for example: “Since I have requested colleagues to support my quitting smoking, I could never give up.” “My supporters were looking forward to receiving completion bonuses.” The results indicated that various aspects of “sociability”, which differed from person to person, had helped challengers to quit smoking.
Conclusion: In addition to smoking cessation clinic visits, various “sociability” measures led to an increase in the smoking cessation success rate of participants during the study period of 3 months. The aspects of “sociability” that stood out in this program include a sense of unity, a competitive spirit within the group, and a strong sense of one's duty to one's supporters.