WARNING ON BINGE SMOKING DANGER
PART-TIME smokers are being warned their habit is as dangerous as puffing away every day.
Binge smokers have been identified by experts as people who overdose on nicotine once or twice a week but do not otherwise smoke.
Many aren't concerned about their habit and don't even see themselves as smokers.
But health experts say bingesmoking is just as addictive as lighting up every day.
Some believe it could even bemore of a health risk than a daily smoking habit.
Professor Stephen Spiro, of the British Lung Foundation, said: ''People go out and smoke socially on a Friday or Saturday night and get through 20 or 30 cigarettes.
''It seems to be a cultural thing people are becoming careful about smoking during theworkingdayandweekday evenings but then go out and smoke a lot at weekends.''
He added: ''It is much more dangerous to smoke 20 cigarettes in four hours than to smoke the same amount over the course of a day.
''The amount of nicotine getting into the bloodstream is much higher. It's an incredible hit on the lungs and heart.''
Dr Amanda Amos, of Edinburgh University, has conducted two major studies into smoking among young adults.
She said: ''Some binge smokers don't even see themselves as smokers.
''The idea is, 'How can you be addicted if you're only doing it at weekends?' ''But research has shown even a small amount of smoking can build up an addiction to nicotine.''