Only Smoke When You’ve Been Drinking? This Doctor Has a Warning For You

OK OK, I admit it. When it comes to the occasional cigarette, I feel more than guilty – on a normal day I don’t mind it, but once I’ve had a pint or glass of wine, I can go from zero to Dot Cotton in a matter of seconds.

“That’s why you have two hands – one for pints and one for cigarettes,” I often joke while getting excited in the beer garden.

But on Monday, the ‘secret’ pack of cigarettes goes back into the drawer and will be kept until the following weekend.

I’m not alone – although statistics on social smoking are hard to come by, according to ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), one in eight adults in the UK smoke ‘correctly’, so there’s no doubt many social smokers do. I myself do not categorize them in this regard.

But what actually happened to my insides? One of the reasons I never gave up the occasional cigarette (or ten) is because my sneaky habit wasn’t as bad as being a full-time smoker. Correct? CORRECT?

No, according to Dr Karan Rajan. Talk News Uk recently caught up with TikTok’s favorite doctor to find out more – and sorry social smokers, we’ve got news you’re not going to like.

“Sorry, but the number of cigarettes smoked, whether one puff, one cigarette, or one pack, or ten packs, has no bad impact,” he explained.

“Yes, it is on a sliding scale, where one or two cigarettes are less likely to cause harm than consuming 20 cigarettes a day, but it still causes harm.”

And the mindset of ‘oh, this only happens at the weekend or after drinking’ can actually make it harder to quit smoking for good, warns Dr Rajan.

“When it’s just one or two, you think ‘oh, that’s just one or two or three or four,’ and you actually make it a habit in the long run,” he said.

“And paradoxically, you might quit if you’re a heavy smoker and think ‘I really need to change my life’. If it’s only once or twice a day, and everything is going well, you’ll likely keep the habit for life and not feel the need to stop because it only happens once in a while.”

Argh, okay, Dr Rajan, I understand. But if you need one final kick to make you start thinking about not smoking after drinking, this can be done:

“I don’t think at the end of the day, cancer thinks ‘oh that person only smokes once or twice a day, we’re not going to cause cancer in that person.’

“No one is immune from lung cancer. And if you smoke, you have an increased risk of developing lung cancer and other types of cancer. End.”

The book May Save Your Life by Dr Karan Rajan is out now. Follow him on TikTok here.

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