Recently I came out from my dental appointment in Brisbane city and 20 metres down the street on the footpath outside an office building was a group of women and men, standing beside a kerbside garbage bin enjoying their ‘morning smoko’.
This is a common site in any Australian city or town during working hours as smoking is banned inside of business premises.
I thought I would do some market research that morning.
Stopping at the ‘smoko’ circle, I said to the group… “Hi, I’m John Hinwood from the Stress Management Institute and I’m doing some research on smoking and stress. Would you all be happy to answer a few questions for me please?”
One of the women said to her colleagues, “We’re all OK to answer John’s questions, aren’t we?” They all responded, “Yes”.
My questions and their answers were interesting.
- “How many ‘smoko’ breaks do you get each day?” … “Three, morning and afternoon tea and lunch”.
- “Do you find having a smoke is destressing and relaxing?” … “Oh yes, very relaxing and it really helps with reducing our stress.”
- “What about the health risks associated with smoking?” … “Oh, we don’t worry about that.”
- “What do you like best about your ‘smoko’ breaks?” … “We get to come outside in the fresh air and out of the airconditioning.”
- “I notice you are blowing smoke over each other as you stand here in your circle. Is that not unhealthy?” … “Oh, we don’t notice it.”
- “All these buses that are continually driving past here in the kerb lane and belching out, smoke and fumes, doesn’t that bother you all?” … “Oh, we don’t notice it!”
- “Is smoking an important way for you to manage stress in your lives.” … “It’s an important way to help us all feel less stressed.”
Australia has experienced a 50% drop in smoking in the past 20 years.
Physical health you might say was not high on the agenda of this group of smokers I surveyed.
However, mental and emotional health was very important to this group and they all believed smoking was a key for them in how they managed their daily stress levels.
They were a happy, chatty and connected group who enjoyed each other’s company and they shared a common positive solution to reducing and managing their stress. Their ‘Smoko’ breaks were their personal solution.
This Weeks Video…
Change One Thing – To Change Your Life – Dr Judy Hinwood
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