Social smoking is when people can pick and choose when to smoke. Social smokers might smoke one or two a day, one or two a week or only in certain situations like when they’re out with friends.Though it may seem like this is better than being a full-time smoker, any smoking is bad for you.
There are health risks attached to being a social smoker, including:
- Light and intermittent smokers have nearly the same risk of cardiovascular disease as people who smoke daily.
- Smoking just 1–4 cigarettes a day almost triples your risk of dying from heart disease or lung cancer.
- Social smokers typically lose 4–6 years of their life compared to non-smokers.
- Social smokers who still smoke over roughly 60 cigarettes a month are just as likely to still be smoking after 14 years as daily smokers.
It can be just as hard for people to stop social smoking, as it is to stop for a regular smoker but there are strategies and support that can help. The HSE QUIT service is free and available to anyone who smokes - no matter how often or how much you smoke.
Here Are Our Top Five Tips To Quit Social Smoking
1 - Prepare yourself to quit smoking
Some people do not have a strong physical addiction to smoking but smoke to socialise or feel comfortable in social situations.
If this applies to you, you might want to make a plan for how you will manage your next social occasion and not smoke. You could cut down or avoid alcohol altogether for the first couple of social occasions, as it might make it easier to stick with your plan. Tell your friends you are not smoking before you go out and ask them not to offer cigarettes to you. Try to make sure you have at least one non-smoker in the group with you for moral support.
2 - Attempt to stop smoking for 28 days this October
If you can quit smoking for 28 days, you are five times more likely to quit for good. Use the free support available from QUIT.ie to guide you through those 28 days. You can get daily messages, phone calls, an online quit plan, face-to-face support and a QUIT kit. So, why not join people all over Ireland who are going to quit smoking for 28 days this October.
3 - Staying motivated during your quit journey
When you are quitting smoking, it can sometimes seem like a difficult road but reminding yourself that you don’t need to let a slip up turn into a full return to smoking is crucial in order to stay the course of the process.
If you do slip up, it is important that it remains a slip up, that you don't need to give up your journey. Learning from your slip up and staying positive are vital in ensuring that you permanently stop smoking.
It’s worth reminding yourself of the upsides to quitting whenever you feel temptation.
4 - Nicotine Replacement Therapy to stop smoking
Sometimes, nicotine replacement therapies are the best tools to help people to stop smoking. NRT such as nicotine gum or an inhalator will double or triple your chances of quitting social smoking for good.
For more information on NRT, visit here.
5 - Sign up for your Quit Plan
Head over to QUIT.ie and sign up for your own personalised Quit Plan.
Your Quit Plan will give you free help and support in your journey. Plans include daily email and text support, a personalised web page to track your progress, one-to-one support from a trained stop smoking advisor, as well as tips from people who have stopped smoking.
You can also freephone 1800 201 203 or freetext 'QUIT' to 50100.