Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: Cancer | Heart Disease | smoking | social | occasional | danger

Is Occasional Smoking Risky?

By    |   Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:44 AM

Question: I quit smoking 25 years ago (I'm 63) and in good health. Occasionally (maybe once a month), I smoke a cigarette when I’m out socially with a friend who still smokes. Is there any harm in that? 

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
So you started at 16 and stopped at 38? That is one pack per day for 22 years: a significant risk! You are very fortunate to be in good health now.  But the risk of cancer as well as lung damage increases with your accumulated use of tobacco, so you ARE playing with fire indeed.
Knowing the devastation that smoking causes, why do you tempt fate? Cigarettes are known to contain carcinogens. Your risk is elevated by prior exposure, so why add to it? Is it really worth it. I think not. Also, remember that passive exposure to the smoke from your friend's use will only further add to your risk.

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The risk of cancer and lung damage increases with the accumulated use of tobacco, so even occasional smoking is risky.
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:44 AM
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