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Monday, September 1, 2014
Smoking and Tobacco
<1/4 Cigarette Per Day
Hi. I finally quit a 32 year, pack a day smoking habit 12 weeks ago. Was miserable because I have been smoking since I was a kid and it was the only way I knew how to deal with stress (or anything). Anyway, for the past few days, after my husband asked for a divorce, I have been having just 2 drags (really) at the end of the day. I think just that little bit will bring back a sense of security. I understand about all of the pitfalls - higher and higher doses, but if that did not happen and I stayed only at 2 drags per night, would the risks be minimal? If I quit totally (again) would I go through the chemical withdrawal all over again? Thanks
First, let me congratulate you for "almost" quitting, and may I express my sympathies for your marriage challenges -- no fun.
Now, about two drags a day. I've been a doctor for over thirty years. I am sure it's possible, but in my experience, I've never met a formerly addicted smoker who cut down and then held his or her habit to one or two cigarettes a day. Inevitably the habit creeps back up to former levels. 100% of former smokers who relapse tell themselves this little white lie: "I'm just going to have a puff or two to settle my nerves." And then, a month or so later, the drug sucks them back in. This is the chief reason that statistically 97% of everyone who quits smoking on their own are back smoking again at the end of one year.
So I'm not even going to address the risks of 1/4 cigarette per day. That first five feet of a hundred foot fall doesn't really hurt at all. It's the likelihood of the ground coming at you fast that should pull you back from the edge of the cliff.
Rob Crane, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University