June 25th, 2009
01:34 PM ET

Is an occasional cigarette that bad for you?

As a regular feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors answers readers' questions. Here's a question for Dr. Gupta.

From Troy in Silver Spring, Maryland:

“I heard President Obama recently admit that he still smokes cigarettes occasionally. I know he is trying to quit but I’m curious what the health ramifications are for someone who just smokes once in a while?”


Great question, Troy. More than 46 million adults in America smoke cigarettes. But 70 percent say they would like to quit, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. There is no question that smoking is a hard habit to break. It's been suggested that nicotine could be as addictive as heroin. And like many Americans reading this right now, the president also struggles to break the habit. Obama admits that,  “as a former smoker, I constantly struggle with it. …Have I fallen off the wagon? Yes."

However, it’s a myth to believe that if you smoke only two cigarettes a week for example, or just on the weekends, that it won't affect your health. Even a few cigarettes can increase your blood pressure,and  put you at a slightly increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Some studies show that young smokers who light up only occasionally have signs of artery disease. And though their risk of developing cancer is nowhere near that of a regular smoker, compared with a non-smoker, the risk is elevated.

One group the new anti-tobacco bill targets are so-called "social smokers.’" The concern is that social smoking can turn into a full-time habit very quickly. Big tobacco companies spend millions of dollars researching and marketing to this demographic.

What’s constitutes a social smoker? If you were to ask them, they’d tell you they don’t consider themselves smokers because they don’t do it every day. Studies show social smokers are younger, often  smoke only with friends at social functions and typically don’t typically purchase their own cigarettes in packs. Because of this, tobacco companies often market to social smokers in bars and clubs. The FDA will now regulate tobacco industry marketing in an effort to reduce social smoking in America.

Bottom line, Troy, is that no quantity of cigarettes is safe or healthy for our body. But for the millions of people struggling to quit right, don’t be discouraged if you slip up and smoke. Smoking one cigarette is much better than an entire pack. And by no means does it mean you’re a smoker again. Start fresh tomorrow. And check out www.smokefree.gov for great information on cessation and support programs.

soundoff (1,427 Responses)
  1. RV AC Riverside

    Good post. I'm facing some of these issues as well..


    May 24, 2021 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. slot

    Hi My first time here. This blog look great and a lot of a good content. I really love it so much and Thanks for sharing a good content like this.Cheer!. Feel free to visit my home page – https://www.slotcat777.com


    May 24, 2021 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. surplinthe

    I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It's a very
    easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more
    often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?

    Superb work!

    May 24, 2021 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. trailer service near me


    May 24, 2021 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. cyclomune

    buy cyclomune uk cyclosporine medication

    May 24, 2021 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Shower Los Angeles


    May 24, 2021 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Local Marketing Business

    May I simply say what a comfort to uncover someone who really understands what they're talking about online. You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people should check this out and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you are not more popular since you definitely possess the gift.


    May 24, 2021 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Unitmerienepeft

    https://tadagatadalafil.com/ tadalafil generic https://tadalafilww.com/ – where to buy generic cialis online safely cheap cialis pills for sale

    May 24, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. best university in indonesia

    Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and
    reporting! Keep up the terrific works guys I've incorporated you
    guys to my own blogroll.

    May 24, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. cyclomune

    buy cyclosporine usa cyclomune 0.1% eye drops cost

    May 24, 2021 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil cialis cialis at canadian pharmacy tadalafil brands generic cialis tadalafil https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – lowest price cialis

    May 24, 2021 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Social Media Marketing Specialist Near Me


    May 24, 2021 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Mechanics Los Angeles


    May 24, 2021 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. bucket truck california

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be helpful to read content from other authors and practice something from their web sites.


    May 24, 2021 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. the truck shop orange county


    May 24, 2021 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Forklift Maintenance Orange County


    May 24, 2021 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Used Forklift Dealer California

    May I just say what a relief to uncover somebody that truly knows what they're discussing on the web. You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people need to check this out and understand this side of your story. It's surprising you are not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.


    May 25, 2021 at 03:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Internet Marketing Firm Near Me

    May I simply say what a relief to uncover someone that really knows what they are talking about on the net. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people have to look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you are not more popular given that you surely have the gift.


    May 25, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Video Marketing Agencies

    I was able to find good information from your content.


    May 25, 2021 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. brimonidine

    combigan eye drops 2% generic brimonidine

    May 25, 2021 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Forklift Rental Los Angeles


    May 25, 2021 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. New Forklift Repair Shop California


    May 25, 2021 at 06:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Social Media Marketing Agencies


    May 25, 2021 at 07:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Content Marketing Specialist

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be interesting to read through articles from other writers and practice something from their web sites.


    May 25, 2021 at 07:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Forklift Service

    You're so interesting! I don't suppose I have read through a single thing like this before. So wonderful to find somebody with unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that's needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    May 25, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Social Media Marketing Agencies Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Local Marketing Agencies Near Me

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be useful to read articles from other authors and practice a little something from their web sites.


    May 25, 2021 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Content Marketing Boutique


    May 25, 2021 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. SEO Marketing Company


    May 25, 2021 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. combigan

    buy generic brimonidine brimonidine generic

    May 25, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Soosteemocush

    https://tadagatadalafil.com/ tadalafil online https://tadalafilww.com/ – cialis at canadian pharmacy tadalafil goodrx

    May 25, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Local Marketing Experts


    May 25, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Content Marketing Company


    May 25, 2021 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Google Marketing Agency


    May 25, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Digital Marketing Agencies Near Me

    I blog often and I genuinely thank you for your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to book mark your website and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.


    May 25, 2021 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Internet Marketing Agency


    May 25, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Internet Marketing Services Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Tembepteriope

    side effects for tadalafil https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – tadalafil price walmart cialis without a prescription best price usa tadalafil tadalafil order online no prescription

    May 25, 2021 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Social Media Marketing Firms Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Google Marketing Agency

    An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to publish more on this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but generally folks don't talk about these topics. To the next! All the best!!


    May 25, 2021 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Digital Marketing Agencies


    May 25, 2021 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Video Marketing Consultant


    May 25, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Local Marketing Agencies Near Me

    Hello, I think your site could possibly be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, fantastic site!


    May 25, 2021 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. interstate collision center

    You've made some really good points there. I checked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.


    May 26, 2021 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. ac shop near me


    May 26, 2021 at 03:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. car headliner repair near me

    Hello there! I simply would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you've got here on this post. I am returning to your site for more soon.


    May 26, 2021 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. darbas londone

    Hey very nice site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..
    I'll bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally?
    I'm satisfied to find numerous useful information here in the put up, we need develop extra strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.

    . . . . .

    May 26, 2021 at 03:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. headlight repair near me

    Very good information. Lucky me I ran across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!


    May 26, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. tausAffessy

    where to order tadalafil tablets https://tadalafilol.com/ – tadalafil online tadalafil order online no prescription tadalafil online https://cttadalafil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 05:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. avana

    avana tabs avanafil

    May 26, 2021 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Leave a Reply to Google Marketing Agency


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.