It is not uncommon to hear smokers and even the occasional ex smoker; talk about their wishful thoughts of being able to remain a social smoker and not be so vulnerable to addiction.
Often, they will also make reference to someone they know who only smokes on “special occasions,” such as hanging out at the pub for a few drinks with friends.
For the sake of clarity, I am not referring to people who have the occasional “bum puff,” on a cigarette. I am referring to smokers who have a regular pattern of lighting up under certain circumstances, such as social events.
A person who smokes is a smoker and a social smoker smokes.
Social smokers tend to claim they are not addicted and have complete control over their habit. Often attracting the envy of heavy smokers who suffer a more advanced level of addiction.
The fact is, a person who smokes is a smoker and a social smoker smokes. The only thing that differs is how often and how many. So from here on in, I am going to refer to social smokers as light smokers.
The light smoker is less chemically dependent than the heavy smoker, as the process known as up regulation is simply not as advanced in light smokers. Both light and heavy smokers suffer habitual craves that have been caused by nicotine hijacking the brain’s reward center.
Both light and heavy smokers have a regular pattern of needing to light up and smoke under very specific circumstances.
Something else worth noting is that no one ever starts out as a heavy smoker. The addiction always starts as a smoke “now and then,” before gradually increasing as up regulation kicks in. The overwhelming majority of light smokers almost always end up becoming heavy smokers.
There also exists light smokers who claim they can go without smoking for months. While this might be true for some light smokers, it is important to note that the moment they do stop smoking they actually become a non smoker.
They heal from their addiction with relative ease because quitting smoking for a light smoker is simply not as difficult as it is for a heavy smoker. The thing to look for is whether or not the light smoker has a regular pattern of quitting, only to relapse after several months.
The only people who are ever truly in control of their cigarette consumption, are those who don’t smoke.
If you are envious of the social smoker, don’t be. At the end of the day, all that matters is how smoking affects you. If you want to be envious of someone, be envious of non smokers. After all, the only people who are ever truly in control of their cigarette consumption, are those who don’t smoke.