Many people choose to get away from smoking through vaping with e-cigarettes. Quitting smoking is incredibly difficult, and the vast majority of people return to the habit after trying to stop. An Australian doctor explains why he thinks the UK is right to embrace ecigs as a cessation strategy.
- Celebrating No Tobacco with Noncombustible Ecigs
- What it Feels Like to Quit Smoking & High Rate of Recidivism
- Why E-Cigarettes are Used to Quit Smoking
- How to Make the Switch
Celebrating No Tobacco with Noncombustible Ecigs
Getting away from cigarettes for even 24 hours can seem incredibly daunting for those who are addicted to nicotine. That’s the basic concept behind World No Tobacco Day – taking a day off smoking. However, it’s a little difficult to think that a brief shift into abstinence, even if it’s successful, will have any long-term implications. One might reasonably assume that most people who set aside their cigarettes for this annual holiday on May 31st will pick them up again on June 1st. What’s a little frightening about nicotine addiction is that it does seem almost impossible to smokers to go without cigarettes even for just one day. The habit gets so integrated into one’s daily life and biochemistry that going without them seems almost unfathomable and could cause a sense of panic. Plus, people who smoke start to need it to achieve a sense of calm. Without them, a person feels raw and insatiable, like something is perpetually missing. Those who don’t use cigarettes may think that smoking is disgusting, and we all know the health hazards. However, the smoker’s brain almost can’t make sense of a world in which nicotine is not a central component. There are plenty of pressures to quit, of course. One example is taxes on cigarettes, which are often introduced as a public-health effort to make it financially unfeasible for people to smoke. For a plethora of reasons, many smokers try to quit, and unfortunately, most fail. The good news is that there’s now a reliable smoking-cessation method that is more cost-effective than alternatives such as nicotine gum or patches, notes Matt Young of news.com.au. Plus, “it rids the world of that dirty cigarette smoke and prevents butts being littered across the ground,” he argues. “[I]t’s a win-win for smokers and nonsmokers alike.” You guessed it: Young is talking about the electronic cigarette. Before we discuss the ecig option in a little more detail, let’s first look at the experience of quitting and how many people are unsuccessful.
What it Feels Like to Quit Smoking & High Rate of Recidivism
Quitting cigarettes really is incredibly difficult. There is no doubt that the process causes acute anxiety. There is even a physical process, withdrawal. While you smoke for weeks and months and years, the body becomes unhealthily dependent on the substance; a positive mood becomes interlaced with the habit of smoking and the nicotine it delivers. There is also an intense physical reaction to stopping cold-turkey. Even though nicotine should generally make you feel wired, getting away from cigarettes suddenly can actually lead to insomnia, at least for the first few days. Quitting can cause a short temper. You may feel a sense of vertigo, abdominal pain, or (again, somewhat counterintuitively) a sore throat. These withdrawal symptoms, according to the National Cancer Institute, are part of the reason it’s so challenging to quit and that the rate of recidivism (returning to the habit) is so high. Unfortunately, almost all smokers relapse when they try to quit, according to Matt Sailor of HowStuffWorks. According to the University of South Florida, “[a]bout 90 percent ultimately begin smoking again at some point down the line,” says Sailor. “Most of those smokers relapse in the first three months after the decision to quit, when cravings are particularly strong and withdrawal symptoms are still occurring, or are fresh in the smoker’s mind.”
Why E-Cigarettes are Used to Quit Smoking
Smoking is harmful because it isn’t just tobacco that is being set alight but any of a laundry list of chemicals. The extensive range of chemicals totals 599 substances, according to the infamous “master list” of additives submitted by the five largest tobacco companies to the US Department of Health and Human Services in April 1994. It’s the burning of those chemicals and the toxins that are produced that does almost all of the physical damage, according to experts. Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, an Australian specialist who helps people quit smoking, says that electronic cigarettes are substantially safer from the outset because they don’t create carbon monoxide. Any chemicals that cigarette smoke and e-cigarette vapor have in common are only present in the latter in trace quantities, according to Mendelsohn. When people vape, they “are still getting nicotine but not the smoke which causes all the health problems,” says Mendelsohn. “There are small amounts of toxic chemicals but the overall risk is 95 percent less than smoking.” He adds that e-cigarettes are also highly preferable to cigarettes because they are noncombustible, since the vapor is not produced through burning. Mendelsohn notes that there are many powerful forces that want to get people off off cigarettes, and the notion that smokers could continue to get nicotine is viewed with skepticism regardless of these major and critical differences. The doctor believes that Public Health England has the right strategy on vaping by embracing them as a strategy to quit. “The UK has followed smoking behavior for many years now in e-cigarettes,” he says. “Smoking rates are falling very sharply, and e-cigarette rates are creating huge benefits to public health.”
How to Make the Switch
Are you considering stopping smoking by switching to electronic cigarettes? At eCIG.com, our mission is to provide the vaping community with the highest quality products and best customer service in the industry. View our starter kits.