Many people only smoke during social occasions. These people don’t consider themselves smokers or nicotine addicts. For them, smoking is just for fun – to add extra pleasure in a recreational activity. Most “social smokers” only light up when after having a few drinks. But because they don’t smoke often, does this mean they shouldn’t be called “smokers”? And does it mean they are free from the harmful effects of smoking?
Not really. Remember that every cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals that are not safe for human beings. Here are the top health risks of social smoking:
- It may lead to nicotine addiction. One big problem with social smoking is that most regular smokers started out as ‘social smokers’. They think they are not ‘addicts’ because they only smoke when they want to. But little they know, their tolerance to nicotine is starting to rise that they had to smoke even though there’s no occasion calling for it. Unless you have strong control over yourself, being a social smoker might just pave the way to your becoming of a serious, regular smoker.
- More exposure to second hand smoke. Social smokers are usually in situations where they are gathered together with other social smokers plus regular smokers. These places include bars, nightclubs, sporting and music events, and more. If you think you are smoking only two or three cigarettes, you are actually inhaling more because of the second hand smoke that all those other people are puffing out. Research has shown that second hand smoke is very hazardous because new toxic compounds are formed once cigarette smoke is mixed with the air and carbon monoxide released by the smoker.
- Serious illnesses. Studies reveal that social smokers could not escape the potential diseases that affect regular smokers. These are heart disease, cancer (lung, stomach, esophageal, etc), clogged arteries, high blood pressure, weakened aorta, and so on. Social smokers are also at risk of fertility issues and mental health problems.
- Environmental pollution. Aside from the fact that second hand smoking is responsible for the growing health concerns in the society, it is also one of the major environment pollutants. Cigarette smoke destroys plants, air and water, while cigarette butts poison the ground, animals that eat it (including fishes and other marine organisms).
- Financial cost. Now that towering taxes are levied on tobacco products, even social smoking has become expensive. A lot of social smokers don’t realize the cost of their cigarette consumption because they don’t smoke regularly. But try to calculate how much you’ve spent for cigarettes all this time and you will be surprised!
No research has recommended a safe number of cigarettes to smoke. Therefore, we can assume that just by lighting one cigarette can already bring harmful effects on your health. If you don’t want to experience any of the smoking perils mentioned here, you should make the decision to QUIT TODAY.