OSU Researchers Surveys Under Studied Group: Social Smokers

Social smokers’ risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol is identical to those who light up every day, new research has found. Social smokers were defined as those who do not smoke cigarettes daily, but who smoke in certain social situations regularly.

Social smokers in the study were more likely to be younger (between 21 and 40 years old), male and Hispanic. After the researchers took into account demographic and biometric differences between the smokers and social smokers in the study, they found no difference in the risk of hypertension or high cholesterol.

This large, nationally representative study is the first to look at blood pressure and cholesterol in social smokers. More than 10 percent of 39,555 people surveyed said they were social smokers, meaning they didn’t smoke every day. That’s on top of the 17 percent who called themselves current smokers.

Among current and social smokers (after researchers adjusted for differences in factors including demographics and obesity), about 75 percent had high blood pressure and roughly 54 percent had high cholesterol.

The good news about this study is there’s plenty of room for intervention and prevention of future death and disease, the researchers said.