The study, carried out by researchers from Stockholm University in Sweden, based their findings on a huge database of 15,000 people who were followed by scientists from birth to middle age.
Using the data, the researchers isolated 2,329 people who were interviewed as children about their peer status in school, and interviewed again as adults about their smoking habits.
The results showed a direct link between low popularity and smoking addiction.
When the participants were 13 years old, they were asked to secretly nominate the classmates they ‘best like to work with at school’. Using this information, the researchers gained an unbiased view of which children were well-liked in their peer group, and which children were marginalised.
When these same individuals were interviewed again at the age of 32, researchers found that the children who were less respected and accepted in school were more likely to have become heavy smokers in adulthood.
There are a number of possible reasons for this result. One is that children who are bullied or ignored in school are more likely to develop low self-esteem, making them less health-conscious and therefore more likely to pick up bad habits.
Smoking could also be a way for those individuals to gain attention from other people.
The researchers believe these results should encourage anti-smoking programmes in school to foster acceptance and help marginalised students integrate in other ways.
Hypnotherapy can be used to stop smoking. By altering thought patterns and tackling the addiction from its core, hypnotherapists can help smokers kick the habit and lead a healthier, happier life. To find out more, please visit our Quit Smoking page.
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