Are there "social smokers?"

Are there "social smokers?"

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Apr 2002, 04:38 #1

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!


Related string: The relapse of a "social smoker"

Last edited by Joel on 20 Jun 2013, 17:47, edited 2 times in total.

janetd (GOLD)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

21 Apr 2002, 08:48 #2

Hi Joel, one of my co-workers used to smoke a couple of cigs every day, became pregnant and stopped. I mentioned that it must not have been a terribly big deal beause she was just a "social smoker". No, she told me, it annoyed her no end to give up her few cigs a day. She liked to smoke at the end of the day with a glass of wine as a reward.

My boss in Manhattan was also a "social smoker". He liked to have one on the way to the train station in the morning, and when he was out drinking with his buddies or after a good meal. Well, his buddies all quit, and at the ripe old age of 50+, he found himself buying a pack of cigs at downtown Manhattan prices. He questioned the sanity of this, and so he has also quit.

A couple of nights ago, I was outside with my sister-in-law, and we were talking about our Quits. I asked her what do all smokers think they really want? She didn't guess so I told her, "To be Social Smokers." Had a big laugh at that. Realize now how absurd the notion is. Thanks for your insight.


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:02

06 Jun 2002, 01:52 #3

Hi Joel:

I hear about social smokers all the time....

There are no such thing as social smokers... They are addicts just like us...

I use to know this girl I went to college with. She would only smoke when she went out to bars on the weekends. She would smoke about a pack a night at least...Than she wouldn't smoke all week long because she was on the track team and ran. I don't think that she ever quit though and I wonder if she ever started to smoke full fledge... I was always jelous that she could do this but now I realize that she didn't have it any better than me.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

18 Jul 2002, 10:32 #4

Hi all...This was always an interesting concept to me...being able to quit any time I wanted...wouldn't that be great!

I know a guy who says his wife can quit anytime she wants to...yeah, right...tell me another one! Neither one of them realize the power of this addiction...Many people don't!!! I was once one of the many!

Thank you everyone at Freedom for your support!

De Image
Day 10!

Curmudgeon (SILVER)
Joined: 12 Jan 2009, 23:35

11 Aug 2002, 09:21 #5

<<There are no such thing as social smokers... They are addicts just like us...<<
Wishing doesn't make it true. There are social smokers just like there are social drinkers. Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, and not everyone who smokes is an addict. I know at least 6 people who smoke maybe a pack a year...if that. And I'm the same way with booze.
The point is, it may be politically correct to say there are no social smokers, and it may not make us addicts happy to hear it...but yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and there are social smokers. Image

janetd (GOLD)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

11 Aug 2002, 09:35 #6

Hi Gary, I think if you re-read the post, you will realize that noone here is denying the existence of "social smokers". The message is : 1) we at Freedom aren't social smokers, and 2) some of the people who claim to be social smokers are really addicts.

There are all different kinds of smokers, I suppose. Closet Smokers, Social Smokers, Ex-Smokers, Light Smokers, Heavy Smokers! Well, with the exception of the true "Social Smokers", we are all addicted smokers.

yqs, Janet Image

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

30 Sep 2002, 21:11 #7


I would like to just enter in a distinction between ex-Smokers and the other types of smokers.

An ex-smokers does not intake nicotine at all; all the others would intake nicotine in some degree.

Even though it is true that an ex-smoker can fall in the nico trap again, he is not in the trap like the other types of smokers.

The ex-smokers is at different level of awareness concerning its addiction and he's taken action against it.

Never Take Another Puff is the rule, and this will set you FREE.

Quit for: 1 Week 3 Days 23 Hours 39 Minutes 19 Seconds. NOT smoked 197 cigarettes, for a savings of €51.51. Life Saved: 16 Hours 25 Minutes.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Dec 2002, 00:01 #8

I suspect over the New Years you may encounter people who you are assuming are social smokers. These people may be or may not be in control of their smoking but just know that you are not these people. You are you--a person who searched out a website to help you quit because you felt that you were incapable of quitting on your own. The feeling that led you to us was caused by the simple fact that you were addicted to nicotine and didn't know what you needed to do to take control back.

While you may not be physiologically or even psychologically craving nicotine now, you must still realize that you are still addicted to this drug. The only way to insure that you are never trapped in the grip of active smoking or active nicotine withdrawal again stay focused on why you have committed to never take another puff!


Clare Silver
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

09 Feb 2003, 06:36 #9

Morning everyone. These postings have made me think of a friend who I have always regarded as a "social smoker" When I smoked, I actually envied them because they could go through the day with only one cigarette or a day without or we could have a huge night on the drink and ****, and then they wouldn't smoke smoke for 2-3 days. (my friend also has a 'habit' clearing of the throat) But not me, I would be lighting up the next day, regardless of raw throat and hangover.

Well it turns out that my friend is now smoking a lot more than before. Just from what I have read here at Freedom, I gather their addiction was no less than mine, and maybe that I was disillusioned into thinking they were a only an occasional "social smoker"

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:15

26 Feb 2003, 04:50 #10

I was pointed to this thread in response to a post of mine. Wow, this is so true. I guess I always considered myself a "social smoker". I would quit for a couple of months, then start for a couple, then quit, start, quit... Strange cycle. I only smoked a max of 7 a day. It was just about a year ago that I realized, hey you can't just quit for good, because you are truely addicted and it was that first 2 or 3 cigs after a quit that got me right back to the 7 a day.

This site has given me so much insite as to what is going on and how to finally beat this addiction once a for all. And it is true... even though I only smoked a few a day, I experienced the same withdrawal symptoms that many on this site described.

Free for 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours 19 min, 45 sec.