Monday, May 6, 2013

Social Smoking

I used to be a smoker. For a long time I tried to fool myself into thinking I was just a ‘social smoker.’ It would give me something to do with my hands when I get nervous. I talk a lot with my hands too. Clearly, this monkey has it all figured out because he’s doing something with his hands and… a friend’s mouth.
Then I became a mom and I always thought I was doing alright because I always quit smoking while pregnant and I never smoked in the house or in my vehicles. Little did I know how detrimental cigarette smoke transference is on your clothes. My husband and I quit together but I didn't really quit at first. I would sneak the occasional cigarette when I was stressed or socially because somehow that made it ok. It made it acceptable and reasonable because I wasn't doing it all the time.

Except here is how it works or rather why it doesn't work. Social smokers congregate in settings like clubs or bars and this encourages smoking and drinking together. As alcohol aids the absorption of carcinogens, smoking and drinking together increases the risk of cancer of the throat, mouth and larynx.

Social smokers face serious health problems. Along with the occasional smoke, the level of exposure to secondhand smoke is high, since any level of tobacco consumption will still increase chances of cancer, heart disease, and premature death. Social smoking increases the risk of becoming addicted to nicotine because one cigarette leads to another, quickly forming a smoking habit. A long-term smoker will start out as a social smoker but will find quitting very difficult after a certain period of time.

I’m not going to sit here and lecture you about all the lethal additives in cigarettes or bother telling you about the unnecessary expense. If you buy them you know all this. Believe me I've been there right along with you rolling my American Spirit tobacco instead of buying a pack, thinking at the time I was doing something spectacular. What I will share is this study that links exposure to second-hand smoke with increased dementia risk in addition to the well-known host of health issues (cancer and heart disease).

For me I had two big motivators. One is my kids. Two… I got sick of my husband complaining every time I cheated. Visit WebMD and find out more about how you can quit smoking today. You might just save your life.

Here’s a video from the Canada Ministry of Health. I just love their take on it. Too funny.

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