Lady Gaga, Kate Winslet, and even Gwyneth Paltrow have all admitted to smoking cigarettes. Gwyneth goes for one a week on Saturday night; Winslet says she doesn’t do it around her kids (not good enough, as we’ll see); and Gaga opts for smoking with a glass of whisky while she works, because, she says, "it just frees my mind a little bit."
What they don't realize is that not only are they putting themselves at risk for everything from super-wrinkles to lung cancer, heart disease, decreased orgasm quality, and dementia, they are also putting those around them in peril too.
One study of 10,000 nonsmokers, average age 48, found that over six years, if they were exposed to enough second- and third-hand smoke so that their urine revealed smoking contaminants (living with or being around smokers can do it), their risk of premature heart failure increased by 30%.
Another recent study found that when a fetus or infant is exposed to secondhand smoke as a 6-year-old, he or she will have decreased lung function. Kids who were exposed both in utero and as young children had a 15% reduction in lung function at age 6.
Clearly, it's just not a good idea to smoke, even a little.
But if you still need help believing you should quit, one more study has found that for women, smoking is closely aligned with cognitive dysfunction, impaired verbal learning, and inability to memorize.