Winning the Smoking War and Having a Happier, Healthier Family
Many families have a smoker among them — usually either mum or dad — and family members often are desperate for them to quit but never seem to get anywhere. The battle to kick this extremely unhealthy, and expensive habit can be incredibly difficult and many just do not win it at all, but continue to smoke and put their lives — and those of their loved ones — in peril.
The risks of exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke are all too real: each year around the world, more than a million people lose their lives because of it. These are people who never smoked but happened to inhale the cigarette smoke of those around them — perhaps in the home or out in some social setting — and went on to develop a tobacco-related disease and die from it. The death toll from actual cigarette smoking is over 7 million people globally around the world each year — a shocking figure and one that's entirely preventable.
So what can families do if a loved one is a smoker and unable to quit? Perhaps they've tried popular smoking-cessation methods like nicotine patches, gums or lozenges, but weren't satisfied and started lighting up again. Maybe they tried a more aggressive solution, like hypnotherapy or attempted to make themselves ill by smoking nonstop in the hope they'd become so sick of cigarettes they'd never go near them again. While some smokers have found success with these and other cessation methods, many do not. Now, however, a highly effective way of quitting cigarettes has emerged, in the form of the e-cigarette.
The Word from Scientists
Vaping, as the use of e-cigarettes is known, hasn't been around all that long and has only really taken off in the last few years. So public health researchers want to know its effects on the human body, and if it's a way to get people off tobacco and keep them off it. Many people start with vape kits, which have everything they need to get vaping easily and that are readily available from a good online vape store. Much of the research into their use is being conducted in the United Kingdom, and one of the nation's top health institutions, Public Health England, has been leading the charge in support of e-cigs as a leading way to stop smoking.
Public Health England says that "vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits," and that, "e-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more."
But, the public health body also advises that there remains a great deal of misinformation about vaping, as many people wrongly think it's as bad as smoking cigarettes, and there also exists a high level of confusion over the harms caused by nicotine. "It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about their safety," said Public Health England’s director for health improvement, John Newton.
Nicotine: Not the Real Enemy
Nicotine is what every smoker wants, as it gives them the buzz they desire, but while it's highly addictive, nicotine is not known to be especially harmful. The problem with smoking combustible cigarettes is not the nicotine content, but the thousands of toxic chemicals generated in the burning process, around 70 of which are known to cause various cancers. So with e-cigarettes, smokers get their nicotine while avoiding all the bad stuff.
And now, medics are advising those pregnant women who smoke — and many do — to turn to e-cigarettes as an effective stop-smoking treatment, to protect the health of their developing child as well as their own. This, they say, should continue after the child is born and the mother is breastfeeding.