How Harmful is Occasional or Social Smoking?

social smoking-79071856 “I am not really a smoker because I only smoke on occasion or socially.” These words are frequently spoken by those who consider themselves light or social smokers.  It is quite common to find that people within this group are usually in denial of the frequency of their use of cigarettes and believe that they are not at risk of developing tobacco-related illnesses.

The truth is contrary as research has found that one third of people who classify themselves as social smokers actually smoke more than six times per day.   Additionally, whether someone smokes a lot or a little, they are at risk for developing diseases caused by tobacco.  The damage that one puff of nicotine causes is instant.  It takes 10 seconds for nicotine to be transported throughout the body and to the brain.  It slows down circulation and increases blood pressure and heart rate.

Furthermore in a study conducted by the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education it was found that light smoking may result in several health complications such as:

  • Stroke
  • COPD
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Weakened immune systems

Smoking occasionally or socially does not exclude you from developing the health complications associated with tobacco use. Over time smoking will take its toll on your body. The best thing you can do for your health is quit smoking.

If you or someone you know needs help in quitting smoking please contact Jamaica Hospital’s Freedom From Smoking program at 718 206 8494 or visit for more information.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.