Jekyll and Hyde? Social Smokers’ Conflicted Identities
Janet Hoek. University of Otago. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ninya Maubach*. University of Otago. email@example.com
Rachel Stevenson. University of Otago. firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Edwards. University of Otago. email@example.com
Philip Gendall. Massey University. firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: Social smoking, young adults, qualitative research, thematic analysis
Social smoking has increased, particularly among young adults, yet remains poorly understood. Because social smokers define themselves as non-smokers, cessation messages fail to reach or resonate with them, leaving them vulnerable to harms they do not believe they face. To explore how social smokers reconcile their behaviour with their self-perception, we conducted depth interviews with twelve young adult social smokers. Findings highlight the demarcation strategies used to differentiate themselves from smokers, the pivotal role alcohol plays in facilitating smoking, and the deep internal conflicts they face as non-smokers who smoke. A simple policy intervention – extending the smokefree areas outside bars – elicited strong support and would help decouple social smokers? Hyde-like behaviours from the identity to which they aspire.
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