“Oh no, I don’t smoke! I only smoke socially!” How many times have you heard these sentences uttered or have you actually spoken them yourself? If you’ve been finding yourself having just a few cigarettes per day, these potential effects might change your mind.
Developing an Addiction
Despite the fact that you are only smoking a few cigarettes, you could develop an addiction to them. One or two cigarettes now could quickly develop into a pack per day, and then you are going to be susceptible to all of the same problems as regular smokers.
Wasting Your Money
No matter how many cigarettes you smoke per day, you are still spending money on them. Let’s say that you spend just $10 per week on your habit. At the end of the year, you could have saved an additional $520 instead. This could go to healthy snacks, tuition, daycare or even entertainment (really, $500 might be the difference between having any extra cash to have fun or not).
In a study entitled “Health Effects of Light and Intermittent Smoking” by Rebecca E. Schane, MD, Pamela M. Ling, MD, MPH and Stanton A. Glantz, PhD it is stated that a person who smokes lightly has pretty much the same risk for heart disease as an individual who smokes on a regular basis.
When we look at the effects of cigarette smoking, it’s impossible to avoid the topic of lung cancer. This is especially important, considering that the same study does report that individuals who smoke regularly have a much higher risk of the disease than those who smoke lightly; however, the latter group is still at higher risk than the rest of the population.
In addition to spending unnecessary money, going outside for a few cigarette breaks each day is a waste of your time. Imagine that you smoke four cigarettes per day, and you take ten minute breaks each time. That is 40 minutes of every day you can never get back!
No one wants to become that person who is constantly making excuses about how much or how little he or she smokes. When you do just a little, you are becoming that individual. Furthermore, you will need to explain yourself to the children in your life, and you can absolutely come across as a poor role model for them. They will see you smoking and might believe that it is completely okay to do. Furthermore, never forget that making unhealthy choices now also makes your future offspring (and theirs) more likely to develop bad health.
The aforementioned study also discusses rates of death in individuals who choose to smoke lightly. The authors write, “The risk of all-cause mortality in intermittent male smokers is significantly increased (OR=1.6, 95% CI 1.3–2.1) when compared to nonsmoking men (31). Among women, light smoking resulted in a 4–6 year median loss of life when compared to nonsmoking women.” Even when you choose to smoke lightly, you can increase your chance of an early death.
Many people assume that if they partake in a harmful activity only sometimes, they are not really causing any serious damage to themselves. From reading the above information, you now know that’s not true, especially when it comes to smoking.
Ben Graham writes about health, education and more. His most recent work explores the top online msn programs.