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As the Christmas party season begins, you might find yourself going outside to smoke more often than usual if you’re a social smoker. It’s important to remember that each cigarette harms your health and a habit that you may think is harm-free could be taking its toll. In such a social time of year – how can you stop? Newcastle Stop Smoking + Service is here to present you with the facts and some top tips on how to stop social smoking over the next few months.

The dangers of smoking occasionally

Social smokers may think that their risk of smoking-related health issues is non-existent because they don’t smoke a lot of cigarettes daily. However, there is no safe level of smoking. Just one drag of a cigarette can trigger the following changes in your body:

  • Elevated blood pressure and heart rate
  • Decreased blood flow to capillaries
  • Release of carbon monoxide into the bloodstream which causes less oxygen to reach the brain, muscles and other organs
  • Cilia unable to do their job of clearing phlegm and debris from airways

There is long term damage to consider as well. Further studies have revealed that light and intermittent smokers have the same risk of heart disease as people who smoke daily. As just one to four cigarettes a day can triple the risk of lung cancer, social smoking can knock years off your life. For low-level female smokers, 4-6 years of their life can be lost compared to non-smoking females. And, for men, occasional male smokers are 60% more likely to die earlier than non-smoking males!

Assessing the statistics above, it’s clear to see that social smoking does have a negative impact on the body that can’t be ignored.

Top tips to quit social smoking

Although you may feel as though you’re not addicted, smoking when you’re out with friends can still be a habit that’s hard to break. Follow our top tips to help you quit:

  1. Stick to the smoke-free areas

Unlike a 12 years ago, smoking is not permitted in all areas and you’re no longer able to smoke inside pubs, restaurants or clubs. Use these regulations to help you break the habit. By staying inside when some of your friends have gone out to smoke, you will be much less likely to smoke.

  1. Keep an eye on your drinking habits

For many social smokers, alcohol is a trigger. By monitoring how much you’re drinking you can try to curb your smoking habit. Try drinking a cup of water between alcoholic drinks to prevent binge drinking which might make you want to smoke. By cutting down on alcohol and smoking, you’ll be feeling healthier in no time!

  1. Set a quit date

Giving yourself a date to work towards helps you stick to your goal. In the run-up to this date, you can cut back and fully prepare yourself to quit. After the date, keep a record of how long you have been smoke-free to motivate yourself to keep it up.

  1. Try smoking aids

There are many smoking aids and treatments out there to help support your quit journey. While patches are more suited to long-term smokers, you could try e-cigarettes or nasal sprays which give you an instant hit of nicotine which is what you could be craving. Over time you can slowly cut back on your nicotine intake to become completely smoke-free.

  1. Keep track of your spending

If you’re used to buying a pack of cigarettes here and there, the pennies can add up. Use our stop smoking calculator on the website to monitor how much you could save by quitting. With parties to attend and Christmas gifts to buy, the money saved could come in handy elsewhere!

 

Newcastle Stop Smoking + Service is on hand with support as well. You can contact us for a face-to-face stop smoking appointment or a telephone call, alternatively use the range of information available to you on our website.

How much money could you save by stopping smoking?

Answer the two questions below and then click “Calculate” to see how much money you could save!

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Your savings

Please note that the figures above are simply an indication of how much you could save based on the cost of a packet of cigarettes and your daily intake.