On call: "Low-dose" smoking

On call

"Low-dose" smoking

Q. I know that smoking is very bad for me. I've cut down to one cigarette after lunch and another after dinner each day, with two or three more on most Friday and Saturday nights when I socialize. I really enjoy smoking, but I want to know if I'm harming myself.

A. Sorry to say, you are.

The more you smoke, the greater your risk of lung cancer, emphysema, heart attacks, and many, many other medical problems ranging from mouth and throat cancer to bladder cancer and from premature skin aging to erectile dysfunction. But even at the low end of the scale, smoking is dangerous. That's why secondhand smoke is such a huge problem in the United States as well as around the world.

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