Every year millions of Americans come together on one day to put down their Marlboros and pick each other up in an effort to stop smoking.

For more than 40 years, people across the United States have been participating in the Great American Smokeout, a national effortto get people who smoke regularlyto stop.

This year, however, the event targeted another group of smokers as well: social smokers.

Social smokers don't smoke every day. They light up once in a while – at Happy Hour, at a concert or apoker party.

Social smokers aren't necessarily hooked on nicotine, they're hooked on the social ritual of bumming a cigarette off of a friend, lighting it up, partaking in the conversation and bonding that occurs when a group of people step outside to smoke together.

The downsides to being a social smoker, however, can be very similar to those experienced by someone who smokes on a regular basis:

  • A spike in blood pressure
  • Exposure to a toxic mix of 4,000 chemicals
  • Heart damage
  • The constant pining for the next cigarette.

In other words, there's nothing friendly about being a social smoker. This is why this year’s Great American Smokeout put a large amount of focus on the folks who only light up once in a while.

So, did you join the millions of people who put their pack down – even if you only have the urge to smoke socially?

About the Author

Mike Wilson is the Owner of New Horizon Recovery, a leading alcohol and drug rehab center in Southern California. New Horizon Recovery is a peaceful sanctuary for healing and provides both inpatient and outpatient drug rehab treatment. Mike makes it his priority to make his patients as safe as comfortable as possible, establishing relationships with everyone to create a tightknit community for successful rehabilitation and making New Horizon Recovery one of the leading drug and alcohol rehabs in the area.

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