Q: What is a nondaily smoker?
A: A nondaily smoker is someone who smokes less than 30 days in a 30-day period of time. You may think of it as your friend who only smokes on the weekends or at parties, or during high periods of stress.
While Benton County has one of the lowest rates of smoking in Oregon (10.8 percent), students at Oregon State exceed county rates at 14 percent1 for daily and nondaily smoking.
Approximately 10 percent of OSU students report nondaily cigarette smoking, and 12 percent report nondaily hookah use.1
While college students may view nondaily smoking as low or no-risk for becoming addicted to nicotine, 68 percent of first-time smokers become nicotine dependent.2
Use of substances like marijuana or alcohol increases your chances of smoking.
College-age students can experience negative health effects from smoking even at a young age. The lungs do not reach their full size until late teens for females and after the age of 20 years for males. Smoking hampers the development of your lungs, and therefore young smokers experience poor lung function and decreased development of their lungs.3 Consequently, even young smokers are less physically fit and more susceptible to respiratory diseases than nonsmokers.
Respiratory symptoms of young smokers include: wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and increased phlegm production.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, people who smoke die an average of 13 years sooner than nonsmokers and also experience early heart disease and DNA damage that can cause cancer anywhere in the body. Fortunately people who smoke but quit before the age of 30 years will reverse much of the damage caused by tobacco use.4 And the sooner the better!
1. Spring 2012 ACHA-NCHA II Survey
2. Lopez-Quintero, et. al., 2011
3. CASA Columbia, 2007
4. Centers for Disease Control, 2012