Mar 25, 2013

Social Smoking? Even One Cig a Day Elevates Your Risk

Social Smoking is Still Smoking And It's Still Bad For You.

Social smoking may be social and it may be infrequent, but it’s still smoking.

Studies have shown that women who are social smokers or light smokers – even if they just smoke one cigarette a day – double their chances of sudden death.

That was the finding of a study tracking the health of over 100,000 U.S. nurses over three decades. In fact, during the study, 315 nurses died suddenly when their hearts stopped working.

Another reason to quit: Women who smoke just one cigarette a day double their risks of sudden death 

Of the women who died, 75 were smokers and 148 had smoked in the past. After factoring in other risk factors such as family history, high blood pressure and cholesterol, researchers found that women who had ever smoked were twice as likely to die as non-smokers, even if they had smoked as little as one cigarette a day.

Age, of course, was a factor. Smoking exacerbated congenital heart conditions in women under age 35, while with older nurses, smoking compounded the early stages of coronary heart disease, where fatty deposits block the heart’s arteries.

For every five years they smoked, their risks grew by another 8 percent.

But there's good news, too. Women who quit smoking reduced their risks almost to the level of women who had never smoked.

It kills me when women say, “I’m just a social smoker,” and I want to scream, “Yes, but you’re still a smoker. You're taking the same chances with your life as any woman who smokes.”

My daughter Emma was a "social smoker" but now she enjoys vaping when she's drinking

That included my daughter, Emma, up until a couple of years ago, when I gave her an e-cigarette.

The good news is that women who quit smoking reduced their risk of sudden death dramatically, according to the journal of the American Heart Association.

“What this study really tells women is how important it is to stop smoking,” said Dr. Roopinder Sandhu of the University of Alberta, Canada, who authored the study. “The benefits in terms of sudden cardiac death reduction are there for all women – not just those with established heart disease.”

Another study of 1.2 million women found that women who gave up smoking by age 30 could avoid the risks of dying early from tobacco-related diseases almost entirely.

We need to help women understand that “social smoking” is NOT harmless fun. It’s a little like intercourse without using proper protection and precautions. When you engage in risky behaviors, you take serious risks with your health.

You’re literally screwing with your health (pun intended).

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