An estimated 1.1 Billion people around the globe smoke tobacco and knowing the risks involved.
Most of smokers must have heard about e-cigarettes / vaping but forever reason has never tried it.
We know from research over 30% of smokers think e-cigarettes are more harmful. It’s no surprise when the media pump out disinformation about e-cigarettes, even Dr Tedros of the World Health Forum does it.
Many people see smoking as a necessary vice and everyone needs a vice but there is a safer alternative to quit cigarettes but carry on smoking.
Many smokers have what I call their favourite cigarette times, these include;
- Coffee and breakfast
- After dinner
- Lunch breaks
- While consuming alcohol
Some people are known to wake up in the night and light up a cigarette.
What if I told you, you can still keep your favourite cigarette time but with something 95% safer?
I’m talking about safer nicotine.
What is safer nicotine?
Safer nicotine is a way to still smoke without the risks of cancer, COPD and heart diseases associated with tobacco smoke.
What is Tobacco Harm Reduction?
Tobacco harm reduction is a public health strategy to lower the health risks to individuals and wider society associated with using tobacco products. It is an example of the concept of harm reduction, a strategy for dealing with the use of drugs.
A recent Lancet Editorial about the slow pace of tobacco control around the world singled out the UK as a leader in reducing the number of smokers. It has accomplished this feat, the Editorial stated, through measures such as increased tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws in public spaces, and health warnings on product packages.
Yet, there was no mention of alternative nicotine delivery devices, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, even though strong evidence shows that smokers who used e-cigarettes in combination with in-person counselling were twice as likely to quit as those who used other nicotine replacement products. And this, despite a series of seven reports on vaping published by Public Health England that noted such devices might play a “crucial role in reducing the enormous health burden caused by cigarette smoking”.
Maybe you have tried e-cigarettes / disposable vapes and not got on with them. Many people myself included coughed for the first few days and then it settled down. Others report a dry mouth. What is better, a dry mouth or death!
You may have also tried a e-cigarette and found it inferior to tobacco smoke, it doesn’t mean vaping is not for you, it just means you haven’t found the right device and flavour.
In recent years tobacco smokers have become like outcasts, long gone of the days of smoking in restaurants or on public transport or even in hospital.
It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you quit smoking now amazing things happen to your body. The sooner you stop, the quicker your body will start healing.
I’ve read that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking. Is this true?
Vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking. Switching completely from smoking to vaping is likely to have substantial health benefits over continued smoking.
Yorkshire Cancer Research supports the use of vaping products as a tool to quit smoking and this position is supported by Public Health England (now named the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities) who, in August 2015, published an independent review which estimated that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking.
Since then, a number of other independent e-cigarette reports have been published by Public Health England and other national bodies. All of them have consistently reinforced the finding from previous reports that vaping is significantly less harmful compared to smoking.
You can see the full report here;
So what are e-cigarettes / disposable vapes?
An e-cigarette is a plastic electric cigarette with a heating element. It holds a nicotine cartridge containing liquid nicotine which, when heated, changes the nicotine into a vapour. The nicotine and other ingredients are inhaled into the body.
E-cigarettes are a comparatively new and rapidly evolving product. Many people are using e-cigarettes (also known as vaping) as an alternative to smoking tobacco. Research into the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes is still relatively new.
Because they’re similar in shape and appearance to cigarettes, e-cigarettes can be helpful for people used to holding a cigarette.
Source: NHS Inform
I must stress I am not promoting vaping for non-smokers but pushing for smokers to quit using a safer nicotine delivery device.
Myths versus Facts:
Nicotine is dangerous – false (in fact, recent studies have found nicotine no more harmful than caffeine in a cup of coffee)
Nicotine causes cancer – false – Nicotine is the chemical that makes cigarettes addictive. But it is not responsible for the harmful effects of smoking.
Nicotine is the dangerous substance in a cigarette – you guessed it, false again.
Nicotine however is highly addictive just like most drugs and people enjoy it or they wouldn’t smoke.
This is where tobacco harm reduction comes into play.
Reasons you may have tried an e-cigarette and failed.
Because we have one of the strictest laws regarding vaping e-cigarettes / disposable vapes can only contain 2mg of nicotine whereas a normal cigarette contains around 8mg so to begin with you may find yourself vaping more.
Do not let this put you off.
What are the benefits of quitting smoking?
- Improves health status and enhances quality of life.
- Reduces the risk of premature death and can add as much as 10 years to life expectancy.
- Reduces the risk for many adverse health effects, including poor reproductive health outcomes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancer.
- Benefits people already diagnosed with coronary heart disease or COPD.
- Benefits the health of pregnant women and their foetuses and babies.
- Reduces the financial burden that smoking places on people who smoke, healthcare systems, and society.
While quitting earlier in life yields greater health benefits, quitting smoking is beneficial to health at any age. Even people who have smoked for many years or have smoked heavily will benefit from quitting.
Quitting smoking is the single best way to protect family members, co-workers, friends, and others from the health risks associated with breathing second-hand smoke.