Are Social Smokers “Real Smokers?”

Today, May 31, 2017, is World No Tobacco Day. On this day, the World Health Organization (WHO) asks that healthcare providers highlight the negative effects that smoking can have on a person’s health. This year’s theme is “Tobacco – a threat to development.”

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center would like to participate in World No Tobacco Day by addressing the myth that “social smoking” is not hazardous to your health.

Myth: People who are light or occasional smokers have less of a risk for developing diseases.

Truth: 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.

  • Research has found that one third of people who classify themselves as social smokers actually smoke more than six times per day
  • Smoking a lot or a little, increases the risk for developing diseases caused by tobacco
  • The damage of one puff of nicotine 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
  • A study conducted by the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, 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.