American Lung Association says the occasional smoker is addicted - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/10/10

American Lung Association says the occasional smoker is addicted

By Kristin Beerman | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – If you don't consider yourself a smoker because you just light up every now and then, a new study indicates part-time smokers are still putting their health at a full time risk.  All of this has been brought to light by a certain high profile part time smoker. 

"Am I a daily smoker or constant smoker? No," said President Obama.

Serena Chen, with the American Lung Association said "Being a part time smoker allows some people to be able to kind of deny that they're using tobacco."

The Lung Association says since chain smoking is viewed today as socially unacceptable, there is an increase in what's called part time smoking.  They say people need to know that part time smoking can be just as dangerous.

"Social smoking is like playing with fire in the sense that every time you smoke, you increase the likelihood of your brain creating addictive tendencies toward that nicotine," said Chen.  "And before you know it without even recognizing that's even happening, you're smoking more and more and then you are addicted to nicotine."

The ALA warns an occasional cigarette can also become a psychological addiction, for instance, smoking to cope with stress, depression and weight loss.  The ALA says the biggest risk for part time smokers is most likely they never quit, due to the fact they don't believe they need to, because they do not think they are addicted.

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