Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm only a social smoker, what's the big deal?

Melanie considered herself a social smoker. Her husband smoked and she would bum a couple of his cigarettes when she was drinking, usually at a party or out to dinner, She considered herself healthy because she ate a low-fat diet and exercised daily; yet she had a high risk for heart disease. She had a family history of heart disease, her father had died from a heart attack in his fifties. She was 65 and had high cholesterol. She complained that her throat hurt after a night of smoking, which turned out that it wasn't one or two cigarettes but often five or six over just a few hours.

Her doctor explained that there is no safe level of smoking. Anyone with any risks for heart disease should not smoke or even be around secondhand smoke because of the damage smoke does to the cardiovascular system.

There are 7,000 chemical in smoke. Many of these chemicals damage both the function of your heart and your blood vessels. Any amount of smoking even light smoking causes damage.

One of the main components is carbon monoxide, the same gas that comes out of the tailpipe of your car. Once in your blood stream, it binds to red blood cells faster than oxygen and the body is oxygen deprived for a few minutes which can lead to either a heart attack or stroke.

Smoking just one cigarette will:
·        Increase your blood pressure
·        Increase your heart rate
·        Constrict your bronchial tubes which makes your lungs work harder
·        Doubles the amount of carbon monoxide in your system and prevents oxygen from reaching your vital organs
·        Decreased the temperature of your hands and feet by constricting small blood vessels

Social smokers believe that smoking enhances their pleasure in social situations. Some social activities such as parties, golfing, playing cards become a trigger to smoke. For some individuals what starts as just a social activity can become an addiction due to the highly addictive nature of nicotine. Smokers don't start out smoking a pack a day but will start out only smoking now and then. Nicotine changes the structure of the brain reinforcing the desire for a cigarette. It can take as few as 100 cigarettes for the brain to become addicted to nicotine and now the social smoker is a full time smoker.

To quit successfully a social smoker needs to realize they can have fun without smoking. They may need to avoid social situations where they have always smoked until smoking is no longer a temptation. Abstaining from alcohol will make it easier.

There is a reason why firefighters wear masks when approaching any fire; our bodies are not made to inhale smoke and there is no safe level of smoke. So my advice to any social smoker is to stop now before any more damage is done to your body and to prevent becoming addicted.

2 comments:

maggie.danhakl@healthline.com said...

Hi,

I hope all is well with you. Healthline just published an infographic detailing the effects of tobacco smoke on the body. This is an interactive chart allowing the reader to pick the side effect they want to learn more about.

You can see the overview of the report here: http://www.healthline.com/health/smoking/effects-on-body

Our users have found our guide very useful and I thought it would be a great resource for your page: http://stopsmokingstayquit.blogspot.com/

I would appreciate it if you could review our request and consider adding this visual representation of the effects of smoking to your site or sharing it on your social media feeds.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

All the best,
Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager

Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
www.healthline.com | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

About Us: corp.healthline.com

Sir Wyndsor said...

Very nice article. This is really helpful. You might also wanna know why you should quit:
10 Reasons To Quit Smoking