A new stage, a new life: individual success in quitting smoking

Soc Sci Med. 1991;33(12):1365-71. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(91)90280-p.


This paper posits an anthropological perspective on smoking cessation that considers both the social context for cigarette use and disuse, and the construction of meanings for the quitting process. With reference to the dialectic of person and individual propounded by Burridge (1979), four case studies of cigarette smokers are presented to elucidate the quitting process in the context of achieving a 'new stage, a new life'. At certain times, events-that-happen may cause persons to act as individuals; by seizing the moment in this way, they achieve a moment of individuality in which roles, desires, and objectives for living are recreated and transformed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuation
  • Life Change Events*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Sociology