You don’t classify yourself as a smoker. You’re a healthy and educated person; you know better. Yet, there you are, drink in hand, unwinding after a busy week, feeling that urge for a cigarette. You tell yourself that having the occasional smoke, “just when you drink,” isn’t harmful, and that you aren’t addicted. You may be able to go the whole workweek without even the thought of a cigarette. But the moment you are in a social setting, inhibitions relaxed, you find yourself outside with that same smoking crew you normally scoff at as walk into the office each morning. You may have dodged nicotine addiction thus far, but what you have likely become is a slave to “situational cravings.” You may also think that a puff here and there isn’t affecting your health or reputation. It’s time to seriously think again. We don’t need to tell you why smoking is bad for you. What you may need, however, is some frank talk regarding your “non-habit.”
Are you a slave to situational cravings?
You’ll take a cigar with your scotch, a cigarette with your martini, or a chew with your beer. Such combos are classic, seen so often in both movies and real life. It’s no wonder we think alcohol and tobacco go so well together. The trouble with such scenarios, however, aside from the physical health issues, is that one can easily succumb to the need to have one with the other each and every time. A situational craving is just as it sounds: a craving for something each time you are in a specific situation. For young professionals, being out in social gatherings and having drinks is a common activity, occurring on a very regular basis for some. If you claim to smoke only when you drink, but meet clients for drinks every other day, you may actually be a full blown smoker.
Social smoking is one of the most common situational cravings, and can turn even the strongest-willed person into a weak, smoking mess. You consider yourself a savvy young professional, moving up in the world, in control of your present and your future, and yet situational cravings have made you their…well you know what. Don’t let the social scene dictate what you do. Take back control and rid your mind of that connection between social time and smoking.
The affects of just one
It’s a well-known statement: There is no safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke. It doesn’t actually take a pack-a-day habit or twenty years of smoking to severely damage your body. Just one cigarette immediately begins to wreak havoc on your lungs, heart, and even your DNA. With just one puff you immediately release hundreds of toxic chemicals, including carbon monoxide, to all the organs in your body. Your heart rate and pulse increase and you may experience anxiety and dizziness. If this isn’t enough to deter you, or if you just prefer to turn a blind eye to the gross chemical talk, think instead of your morning jog, weekend bike trip, or that long speech you have to make tomorrow. Good luck keeping your breath in check after a night of being “just a social smoker.”
In the end, having the occasional cigarette is obviously better than being a full-time smoker. But what you are really doing is playing with some serious fire. Experts don’t claim nicotine to be more addictive than heroine for no reason. Additionally, if you only smoke when out having drinks, you run the risk of making such outings more frequent than “socially” in order to have cigarettes, which can lead to a whole bunch of other trouble. Finally, don’t disappoint your coworkers, clients, or your boss by all of a sudden ducking out for a cigarette or coming back stinking of one. They hold you in high regard for being a healthy and educated YP, so don’t surprise them with the ugly fact that you’re a social smoker.