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Social Smoking

Social smoking is a pattern of tobacco use based on the context of use (for example, smoking more in social settings like pubs, bars, nightclubs, and sporting or music events than when alone). These social situations act as social cues or triggers for tobacco use.

A daily smoker is a person who smokes cigarettes every day. An occasional smoker is a person who smokes cigarettes but not every day. Social smoking is often identified with occasional use, but even some daily smokers may smoke more in social situations. A social (or casual) smoker may only smoke a few cigarettes per night, then not smoke for days or weeks afterwards.




Who are social smokers?

People who smoke mainly or only in social settings, and in the presence of others (particularly other smokers), often call themselves social smokers. Social smokers may be called socially cued smokers. They may also be included in a larger group of smokers called occasional smokers. image of bar with cigarettes on it

Social smokers tend to drink more alcohol than non-smokers and they tend to smoke more when they are in social situations than when they are alone. They may not consider themselves smokers or regular tobacco users and do not appear to have developed an addiction to nicotine.

Social smokers tend to be more confident in their ability to quit. Like other smokers, social smokers are much more likely than those who have never smoked to have relatives or friends who smoke.


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Reasons why people smoke socially:

Social smokers are much more likely than people who have never smoked to go to bars and clubs at least occasionally. They may smoke because they want to join in the activities of drinking and smoking in such settings.

Many social smokers like to smoke when they are drinking alcohol. Although occasional smokers worry about the health consequences and the financial cost of smoking and want to avoid addiction, many also feel more adventurous and more daring when they smoke. They also feel more confident and more glamorous, and see tobacco use as a way to relax, pass time and have more fun.

Risks: Even if you are smoking every now and then you are still subject to physical consequences.

  • You are still exposed to the 4000 chemicals such as arsenic, lead, and mercury.
  • Even after a cigarette or two, smokers will experience a spike in blood pressure
  • 30 minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke can cause heart damage similar to that of an everyday smoker.
  • Addiction could happen within 10 seconds of taking a puff of a cigarette; nicotine reaches the brain and regulates the feeling of pleasure. The thing is within a few minutes the effects wear off, which makes the person crave another cigarette.

image of person smoking and drinking

Signs of Addiction:

  • You buy your own cigarettes and stop bumming them off friends
  • You start to smoke alone
  • You think about smoking when you re not
  • You crave cigarettes when you wake up
  • You don t feel the dizziness and headaches anymore.

What are the health risks of smoking?

Researchers say there is no safe level of tobacco consumption because of the cancer-causing properties of tobacco. The social smoker, like anyone who smokes, is vulnerable to the following harmful health consequences of using tobacco:

image of person smoking and drinking
  • Stained nails and teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Wrinkled, aged skin
  • Lung cancer
  • Emphysema
  • Heart disease
  • Earlier menopause in women
  • Death

Drinking alcohol while using tobacco increases the risks of cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus and liver; even more than drinking alcohol or using tobacco by itself. This may be because alcohol facilitates the absorption of the carcinogens found in tobacco.

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Why should I quit smoking?

Tobacco is the number one cause of deaths every year (over 400,000). If you don t quit now, you ll have to quit sometime in the near future avoiding serious health complications. image of clock with cigarettes as the hands

Sooner is certainly better than later, not just for your health, but also for your wallet. Fighting nicotine cravings may seem an insurmountable task, but just think about the health benefits your body receives from breathing continuous fresh air. Even after just two days of no smoking, nerve endings start regenerating and your sense of taste is enhanced, letting you enjoy food more. Do your reasons for smoking justify endangering your body? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three-fourths of young adults who smoke or chew tobacco daily do it because they can t quit.

help quitting logoBy quitting, you reduce your risk of cancer, emphysema, and heart disease; your blood pressure might be lowered; your immune system will become stronger; your lung capacity will increase; and you'll have greater physical strength and endurance. Everyone around you will see physical improvement as you enjoy whiter teeth, clearer skin, fresher breath, and brighter eyes.

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If you want to quit smoking, please visit our getting help section...

If you are a non-smoker, but would like to know more about your risks about first, second and third hand smoke, please follow this link...