Are there "social smokers?"

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Apr 2007, 20:55 #21


Does that drive you nuts?
Let's say there is a group of cocaine addicts who use every day.
Your friend visits them so now and then and she also takes some cocaine so now and then.
Does that make you jealous? That's what your friend is doing.
It won't take that long before she gets addicted. Have a good look at her, she is the same as us before we got addicted. It starts with bumming some cigarettes here and there and it ends with buying and smoking 20/40/60/80 per day. You are looking in the mirror Debbie. Congratulations with your quit!

Frits (4 months+)

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Apr 2007, 23:01 #22

Debbie wrote:
"I have a friend like that. It drives me nuts."
Frits wrote
"It won't take that long before she gets addicted. "
Actually, Debbie's friend may not get addicted. Maybe she is one of those true exceptions to the rule. To tell Debbie now that it won't take long for her to be addicted is going to possibly cause Debbie to lose a certain degree of respect for the credibility of things written on this board. Debbie's friend may have been doing this for decades now and to make a blanket statement that she will be addicted and smoking 20, 40, 60 or more a day before long is going to give Debbie and others who read here the idea that we either don't know what we are talking about here at Freedom or that we are exaggerating the risks of addiction by applying it to ALL people who use.

As this article clearly states, there are truly some people who are social or controlled smokers. It is a small minority of people, but they do exist. Again though, they are not people who are likely members or readers at our board. A true social smoker would likely never see our board even once for they would not likely ever look for any information about help for quitting smoking.

As the original post in this string says:
Are there social smokers--yes there are. First thing to note though, no one here at Freedom was a social smoker--at least not when they finally quit smoking. We KNOW that because they showed up here at Freedom in the first place. A social smoker would not likely ever type the word "quitting" or "help on quitting" into a search engine. If a social smoker did by chance come upon our site, they would have read for a few minutes, realized none of this applies to them, and never have gone through our application process.

Now that we have established that the people here are not social smokers, who are the social smokers? Well it is not all the people who you think are social smokers. Although before I even address this, the term is almost wrong to start with. Social smoker makes about as much sense in some circles as social leper. There are some people who seem as if they can take it or leave it. I think the term that is used in some scientific communities for these kind of smokers is "chipper," I think used to describe people who smoke under 5 per day.

But not all of the people who can smoke that way are actually in control of their addiction per se. Some of these people NEED those one to four cigarettes. They don't think they do but they do. I meet them all the time in clinics. They are spouses of heavy smokers, who basically never bought cigarettes a day in their life. They "only" smoked them because they were around and to be with the spouse. But when the heavy smoking spouse all of a sudden gets sick and has to quit, the light smoking spouse enthusiastically volunteers to quit to for support. After all, they figured they never really need these cigarettes anyway, quitting will be no big deal.

These people are OFTEN in for a real surprise. They will find themselves buying their first pack in their lives, and going through a worse time than the heavy smoking spouse. Often these people have full blown withdrawals and often, they don't make it ending up being the sole smoker left in the family. They were not "social smokers" after all, they were full blown addicts who were just at a lower tolerance level than most others. But there is no guarantee that over time their tolerance would not have increased and resulted in them turning into heavy smokers who would be viewed as full-fledged smokers by all around them.

The only way for these people to quit and stay off is the same for people who smoke 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or even one hundred cigarettes a day. It is still by understanding to take and keep control over the nicotine addiction entails always knowing to never take another puff!

Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

07 Jan 2008, 07:03 #23

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 07 Mar 2009, 16:33, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Jun 2008, 22:26 #24

Related video:
Video Title
MP3 Audio
"I don't need to smoke" 3.86mb 11.54mb 4.75mb 10:29 11/09/06

Joined: 04 Mar 2010, 14:55

09 Mar 2010, 17:29 #25

For anyone who has been a regular smoker, I would venture to say that it is not possible to be a "social smoker."  Anyone reading this should forget that concept right now, because addiction does not work that way.  I know I have tried to do this countless times throughout my addiction to cigarrettes--just smoke when I'm around my smoking friends, smoke occasionally, etc.  It most certainly does not work for me!!  I was usually able to pull it off for a little while, sometimes even a month or two, but it always led to me buying my own pack and smoking regularly.  I am glad I am not trying to fool myself anymore and have realized that one puff=countless more.  Addicts are addicts for life, and should never test their addiction.       

Joined: 12 Aug 2010, 03:51

16 Aug 2010, 18:30 #26

Along this thread - I have also known some cigar smoking friends of mine who will smoke a cigar occasionally while playing golf.  The thing is - they never smoked cigarettes and never became addicted.  Truly a social smoker. The risk comes in thinking that an addict, such as I, can change delivery methods of nicotine in order to achieve non-addicted smoking status.  This will never work for me - I know because I've tried!  I make a rule like - "I'll only smoke cigars, and only on special occasions".  Then it becomes - "I'll only smoke cigars when I get home from work" - then "I'll only smoke at night - 2 Maximum".  I eventually found myself needing to smoke a cigarette becuase it was less abrasive on my throat than the cigars I was smoking!!!

Imagining a world where a nicotine addict can be a social smoker is a deception that we must never succomb to.

I think I need to box up my cigars and send them to my social smoking friend - at least then I know I'm not feeding someone's addiction!

Jason Prior - Free and Healing for Seven Days, 13 Hours and 29 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 151 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $41.60.

Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

29 Oct 2011, 18:34 #27


Joined: 03 Nov 2011, 14:50

17 Nov 2011, 19:55 #28

I guess there will always be a handful of people in the world who can use an addictive substance whenever and however they choose. I almost wish there weren't.

We addicts tend to hold those rarities up as a shining example of the kind of smoker we could be too. Of course, if I could have controlled how and when I smoked, I sure as heck would have been doing it all along.

It's nice to learn the secret truly being in control of smoking. (Hint: It's what Joel said, NTAP)

17 days, 15 hours and 34 minutes into being a social ex-smoker

Joined: 03 Jul 2013, 14:10

30 Aug 2013, 00:31 #29

I just watched Joel (one of my heros) in two videos ( went looking for the social smokers one) - "Are there social smokers?" video and (right up next to it) "I don't need to smoke" great for me to see right now, 2 months and 6 days on my road to freedom. I smoked for 18 years, quit for 20 years and smoked again for 13 years. When I quit the first time I was basically chain smoking, 3+ packs a day, non filtered cigarettes. When I started again, thinking I could be a social smoker, I smoked a filter cigarette,  I got up to 1 - 1 1/2 pack a day, "controlling"  my smoking never reaching even 2 packs. This was a challenge for me and I considered it a success but also a failure in the "social smoker" department.

Right now I feel calm, I am "armed and dangerous" as they say, the knowledge I have found here, and the support of those who are totally free (as I once was, though unaware that I was an addict waiting to begin again) has been invaluable in my last and final quit. Over the last 13 years I have attempted to quit many times, never getting to far.

I am committed to NTAP.
A happy ex-smoker, working at it and making progress.