Smoking is harmful to your health. It harms almost all organs in your body. It also increases your risks of developing cancer, lung injuries, heart diseases, and many other chronic conditions. Quitting smoking is the best thing that you can do for your health. It is also one of the best ways of preventing cancer.
Quitting smoking is not an easy journey. Nearly 7 to 10 smokers say they want to stop smoking, but very few are successful. You can be successful. All that you need is to be determined. Your doctor can prescribe some safe products and medications that you can use to help you resist the urge to smoke when a craving strikes.
Many smokers are tempted to turn to electronic cigarettes (vaping). The biggest question is whether smoking e-cigarettes or vaping is safe and whether it can help you quit tobacco smoking. Here are five vaping facts that you need to know before you start vaping:
1. Vaping is less harmful than smoking, but it is still not safe
Tobacco cigarettes have more than 7,000 chemicals, most of which are harmful. E-cigarette heat nicotine is extracted from tobacco. Few flavorings and chemicals are added to the extract to create an aerosol that people inhale. We still don’t know exactly what chemicals are present in e-cigarettes, but there is no doubt that vaping exposes you to fewer toxins than traditional cigarettes.
Having fewer toxins does not mean that e-cigarettes are safe. There has been an outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping in the US. As of February 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 2,807 hospitalized and 68 deaths in patients with an e-cigarette or vaping product use associated with lung injury (EVALI). Although these cases are high in people who modify their vaping devices and those that use Blackmarket e-liquids, that is enough sign that vaping is not safe.
There is no good reason for vaping if you are not trying to quit smoking. Vaping is also not the only thing that you can do to help you quit smoking. Some medications can help reduce the craving for tobacco smoking. Talk with your doctor about your goals to stop smoking. He might prescribe some products that are safer and more effective than vaping.
2. Vaping is addictive
Many people who turn to e-cigarettes when trying to quit smoking don’t know that vaping is also addictive. Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine. Many people are unable to quit smoking because they are addicted to nicotine.
Extra strength cartridges have a high concentration of nicotine than traditional cigarettes. Some people increase the voltage of their e-cigarettes to get a greater hit of the substance. If you vape for some months, you will get addicted to nicotine. Switching to vaping from smoking is like creating a problem to solve another problem.
People who have been vaping for years can’t be able to quit vaping easily. If you don’t smoke, vaping can increase your chances of starting to smoke later in life.
3. Youths are getting hooked on nicotine
The marketing style for e-cigarettes is not good. Almost all e-cigarette advertisements are targeting young people. They show pictures of cool and hip young adults vaping to show that it is pretty much safe. They are also creating them in different flavors to attract the young mind. That is why we are now seeing a generation of young people starting to get addicted to vaping.
Nicotine is the reason why vaping is so addicting. When nicotine gets to the brain, it affects the frontal cortex. This is part of your brain that is responsible for decision-making. When you are a teen, the frontal cortex is not yet fully formed. You are very susceptible to outside influences in that area, which means you are more likely to develop an addiction.
If you are a teen, you might be wondering why it is illegal for you to smoke, drink alcohol, and play gambling games. It is for your own good. In fact, the primary reason is that the government is trying to protect you. It doesn’t want the frontal cortex of your brain to be affected by these products.
4. E-cigarettes are not the best smoking cessation tools
You may have seen advertisements saying that vaping can help you quit smoking, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved e-cigarettes as smoking cessation devices. Very few people who turn to e-cigarettes quit smoking successfully. Most of them end up becoming addicted to both smoking and vaping. Before using e-cigarettes for smoking cessation, you should weigh all the possible risks and benefits.
Approved smoking cessation options
Vaping is not the go-to for everyone who is trying to quit smoking. It can worsen the problem. If you are planning to quit smoking, you should talk to your healthcare provider. Your doctor can prescribe some medications to reduce cigarette cravings and withdrawal effects. These medications have the potential to double your chances of quitting for good.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is the most common smoking cessation option. It gives you a controlled amount of nicotine to reduce withdrawal effects. Unlike e-cigarettes, NRTs don’t have dangerous chemicals.
Many healthcare experts think that nicotine replacement therapy is the most effective tool that smokers can use to quit. Research shows that NRT is safe and effective, but some users experience mild to moderate side effects.
Over the counter Nicotine Replacement Products
You can find NRP gums over the counter. These gums release nicotine as you chew them. Chew the gum until you can feel the taste of nicotine, and then place the gum between the gum and cheek.
NPR patches are easy to use and available over-the-counter. The patch will release a small and steady amount of nicotine to your body. All that you need is to place it on your skin (stomach or upper arm). Don’t put the patch on a cut, burnt, or sore skin.
3. Nicorette Lozenge
Place the Nicorette Lozenge in your mouth and occasionally move it from side to side. Use one at a time and don’t chew or swallow it. Use at least nine and not more than 20 Lozenge per day. Remember to wait for about 15 minutes before placing it in your mouth.
When to see a doctor
If you have tried the above over-the-counter tobacco smoking cessation products but have still not been able to quit smoking, you should talk to healthcare providers. Your doctor will help you develop a quitting plan and prescribe nasal spray, inhaler, or Chantix (Varenicline). You should also talk to your doctor if you experience adverse side effects when using any over-the-counter nicotine replacement products.