The medical field is aware of several ways in which tobacco products can inflict grievous harm on human health. As knowledge of these health risks has grown, so have efforts to convince people to stop smoking. However, success in this effort is complicated by the need that smokers develop for nicotine.
However, success in this effort is complicated by the need that smokers develop for nicotine.
Proponents of nicotine abstinence claim that the best way to quit smoking is to stop suddenly and never smoke again. Others have criticized this methodology for making it too difficult to quit and causing many people to relapse into smoking. They suggest tobacco harm reduction as a viable alternative to the traditional tobacco abstinence technique. The rise of electronic cigarettes in recent years has altered the viability of these options.
Why Do People Quit Smoking Tobacco?
People take up a smoking habit for a variety of reasons. Often, it is not long before they feel that they cannot quit the habit. They become addicted to the nicotine found in most tobacco cigarettes. As with any addiction, they crave larger and larger quantities in shorter and shorter periods of time. This is how chain smokers are born.
The major problem with this addiction is not so much in the nicotine as it is in the other products contained in tobacco products such as cigarettes. Studies have discovered literally hundreds of toxins in cigarettes, including tar. Many of these toxins are carcinogens and appear to play a strong role in causing lung cancer. The inhalation of smoke itself is related to emphysema, another deadly lung disease.
Alternatives to Tobacco Smoking
Since tobacco abstinence seems to be so often compromised by smokers’ needs for nicotine, some manufacturers have been producing light cigarettes for decades now. The idea behind their production is to allow people to enjoy cigarette smoking without inhaling so much nicotine. A 1976 study by the American Cancer Society confirmed that light cigarettes and smoking cigarettes with filters did result in marginally lower cancer rates.
Supporters of tobacco harm reduction also include smokeless tobacco products in their list of alternatives. These products, such as snuff or chew, are controversial to some extent. However, they pose much lesser risks for cancer than cigarette smoking.
The Alternative in Electronic Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes appeared on the market only a short time ago but they have already succeeded in changing the nature of the conversation about tobacco. These battery-powered devices vaporize small quantities of liquid containing nicotine and allow users to inhale them just as they would inhale cigarette smoke.
While they have been advertised to the public at large as a way to enjoy the flavor and fun associated with smoking, they have mostly served as an alternate form of tobacco harm reduction for smokers who have not been able to kick their habits.
Smoking electronic cigarettes presents itself as a manageable way to avoid the long-term damage that smoking can cause. The liquid nicotine in these products does not contain tar or any of the other toxins commonly found in traditional tobacco cigarettes. Liquid nicotine itself is not without potential health complications but those effects are minimal compared to the effects of cigarette smoking.
The key to the potential health benefits in e-cigs is derived from the lack of smoke. Using these devices appears like smoking but the plumes that users exhale are actually vapor and not smoke. This vapor does not carry any of the carcinogens normally found in tobacco and it does not pose a threat like secondhand smoke.
The best e-liquid also makes quitting easier for smokers in other ways. They can enjoy all the flavors that remind them of tobacco smoking without actually inhaling smoke. Exotic flavors, such as cherry or even pina colada, are manufactured as well by producers of the best e-liquid devices.
Knowledge about the possibilities of electronic-cigarette smoking and other forms of tobacco harm reduction has grown rapidly in the last few years. Not long ago, there was a lot of ignorance about the potential health risks in various products.
An increasing number of people are coming to understand that they can still enjoy some of the pleasures associated with tobacco smoking without ingesting the multiple toxins present in most tobacco cigarettes. Liquid nicotine is probably the safest of all these alternatives.