Yes, Quit Smoking is Necessary
We all know that smoking is bad for you. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work that one out these days, particularly when in many countries the cigarette packets themselves actually show images of the different types of cancers and other illness smoking can cause.
The problem is, despite knowing that, there are still millions upon millions of people who do it. In the US alone, there are more than 40 million smokers! And every day when you step outside your door, no doubt you are going to see someone light up nearby – and often they are only just old enough to be buying them (or they are stealing from their parents).
We also know it is a hard habit to quit. It’s an addiction and it isn’t easy to beat. Around 70% of people who smoke actually DO want to quit, but their either put it in the “too hard” basket or they don’t know where to start.
One of the biggest fads to come onto the market in recent years is the e-cigarette and around 1/5th of smokers have tried these in their attempt to quit. I don’t particularly like the idea of e-cigs myself, and to be honest, I don’t think they have been around long enough to truly understand the impact they can have on the body, long-term, to be able to make a science-based decision.
But I did want to provide you with some of the facts I’ve found through research, studies that have been completed and experiences I have heard from friends who have tried them – so that you know what you’re considering and from there, the final decision is really up to you.
There have been a number of studies completed around the world that highlight the positives of e-cigs: University College London found they boosted a smoker’s chances of quitting by 50%. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology found “electronic cigarette use improves respiratory physiology and subjective asthma outcomes in asthmatic smokers.” (Dr. Cristina Russo) And there have been studies found by the Public Heath England, Royal Society For Public Health, Australian Catholic University (ACU), the University of Melbourne and numerous others that have found e-cigs DO help people quit. Even Derek Yach, who was one head of tobacco control at the World Health Organization said the evidence is clear, “ecigarettes are saving lives”.
On the other hand, studies by Californian health officials have found that e-cigs pose a public health risk by making smoking behavior seem normal again. They also found a threat with not only the toxic chemicals inhaled by users of e-cigs, but also the increased number of teens who are taking up “vamping” and those who are being poisoned by e-liquids is on the increase. E-liquids have been found to contain at least 10 chemicals that are listed on California’s carcinogens list; and they are filled with nicotine, which is addictive. Not to mention the bottles and cartridges that hold the liquid aren’t exactly childproof and have even been known to leak.
And although e-cigs don’t contain tobacco or many of the harmful chemicals that real cigarettes have, they haven’t been disproven when it comes to cancer and similar. So far, research has actually found the contrary and e-cigs can still contribute to incurable diseases.
Facts of E-cigarettes You May Not Know
1. E-cigs were first developed in China and while they look like real smokes – they are tobacco free and rather than using tobacco, they actually use heat to vaporize a liquid, which you then inhale.
2. They are battery operated, with a cartridge inside that holds flavors, nicotine and other chemicals. So they are far from being chemical free – they’re just tobacco free.
3. When you buy them, they will look like a normal cigarette, so people won’t look at you any different when you start smoking one. Or if you want to look more inconspicuous (or get away with smoking in an area where smoking is generally banned), you can get them in the shape of a pen.
4. You can also buy e-pipes that are ideal for tobacco pipe smokers. Some say these are great, others say they are horrible tasting; the jury is out on whether they do the trick.
5. E-cigs cost a fair bit from the outset, but obviously you’ll save money over time, particularly if you were a heavy smoker. And with the major increases in the cost of smokes in recent years, you want to be saving as much as you can on your habit.
6. Although you’ll find hundreds of different styles of e-cigs, there are really only two main types: full size and compact. Compact is basically the same size as what you would smoke if you were smoking a traditional cigarette.
7. Teens who smoke e-cigs are 6 times more likely to try actual cigarettes. A study in 2015 was undertaken by the Journal of the American Medical Association of 2,500 high school students also found that those who used e-cigs had a higher chance of taking up smoking within 12 months of trying the e-cig. Scary.
8. The good news is they are regulated in many countries, including the US. That means, no one under the age of 18 can buy them, they can’t be sold in vending machines and free samples are banned. By regulating them, it’s believed this helps to prevent children becoming addicted to e-cigs, and in turn, addicted to smoking in general.
9. There are more dangers than just your health with e-cigs. In fact, they have been known to explode. One man broke his neck, lost teeth and had burns when his e-cig exploded; and that’s just one of the reported cases.
10. Finally, the jury is still out on whether they will actually help you to quit smoking. Despite the studies we mentioned earlier, on the contrary, some studies have found that quitting on your own is more successful.
Quit Smoking with or without E-cigs
The reality is, if you’re going to quit smoking, regardless of if you are going to try e-cigs or not, you have to be doing it for the right reasons – and you have to really want to quit. Quitting smoking because someone else wants you to, is never going to work.
Smoking is an addiction, sure, but it’s also a habit for most people. You wake up and have a cigarette with your morning coffee; finish your dinner and top it off with a cigarette before heading to bed. It becomes part of your life and I think that’s what makes it so hard to give up.
And the problem with e-cigs is that more often than not, switching to e-cigs might stop you from getting tobacco in your system, but it’s not going to stop the habit itself. You’re still smoking (even if it isn’t real), you’re still getting toxins in your system, and you’re still keeping up the routines.
If you need to get further advice, make sure you contact some local professionals in your area who can give you top rated advice on quitting and e-cigarettes.