Calling all so-called 'social smokers' - yes that's you, 'only' smoking one or two a day.
Someone once said to me they weren't a smoker, except for an occasional cigarette every other day. So that makes them a smoker, no? They argued themselves breathless that they weren't addicted, and then snuck out of the pub for a stealth smoke.
I'd say an occasional smoke means you're a smoker just like vegetarians that eat fish and chicken are meat eaters. Don't try to dress it up.
It might seem like a good compromise if you like cigarettes but are worried about the obvious health issues that a regular habit brings, but how safe are you with your 'light' smoking?
In 2011, a US study of 9,800 women all aged 18 to 25 found that 60 per cent of smokers were described as 'very light smokers'. This light smoking was defined as five or fewer cigarettes a day. Light smokers may also describe themselves as social smokers, though I can't think of anything more anti-social than giving your friends asthma and lung cancer.
Well that's an easy question to answer. Yes it is. The British Heart Foundation's study shows that smoking just one a day triples your risk of heart disease. The lung cancer rate went up in women too. Just how bad does it need to be?
Of course it's better to smoke 5 cigarettes a day than 40, but you shouldn't compare yourself to a heavy smoker, instead compare yourself to a non-smoker if you want to face the truth.
Research shows that smoking 4-5 cigarettes a day produces addiction. After 24 hours your body will want that nicotine hit again. You have a low level dependence if you're a light smoker. Quitting altogether is the only way to go.
Any tar and nicotine filled smoke will affect your body; even if it's just one after you've had a few drinks. It impossible to say how bad an effect those occasional ciggies will have on you, but it's not going to be good news is it, because there are no health benefits from tobacco.
Besides, it's a slippery slope to be perched on. Your 5 smokes a day can easily become 6 or 7, especially if you're in the company of other smokers or if you're stressed. Before you know it you may have a very unhealthy and highly expensive habit on your hands that will potentially give you cancer.
I don't mean to go on and on like your mum, preaching to you about the awful affects of cigarettes, but there's enough out there that can kill you, don't add to the list through choice. Someone out there will miss you if you die from cigarette use.
There are loads of products out here to help you stop smoking. You don't even need to admit that you are an addicted smoker, just go and get the treatment to help you stop.