Have you been thinking of taking up e cigarettes to stop smoking tobacco? For starters, e-smoking may seem attractive; you’re giving up tobacco, you’re still smoking, you look fabulous, and yet you’re safeguarding your health from the hazards of smoking conventional cigarettes. So what else do you need?
But hold on for a moment because the jury is still not out on the safety of smoking e-cigarettes. Let’s check out this trend’s news and determine if you should avoid e-smoking.
The rising popularity of electronic cigarettes is causing a storm in medical circles worldwide. E-cigarettes (also known as “vapes”) were initially conceived and created by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik to help people trying to stop smoking. The technology behind e-cigarettes focuses on supplying quitters with the nicotine they crave, thereby helping them give up the toxicity of tobacco cigarettes.
Ironically, “vaping” is becoming a monster, attracting smokers and non-smokers alike. E-cigarettes are acquiring incredible popularity among the younger generations and even attracting high school students. We won’t be surprised if we look at the factors behind this growing popularity. First, e-cigarettes cost less than half the price of regular cigarettes.
Their aesthetics are more pleasing: colourful smoke and close to 7,000 flavours. But, most importantly, e-cigarettes are not shackled by warning announcements screaming lung cancer and death.
But the million-dollar question is whether electronic cigarettes are harmless or not. First, e-cigarettes contain nicotine which is a primary cause of concern. Secondly, nobody is sure as to what exactly are the ingredients that make up the e-liquid’s distinct flavours and colours.
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Current research, which is still in the preliminary stages, indicates that e-cigarettes are less risky when compared to regular tobacco-based cigarettes, which come with the known threat of heart disease, lung cancer and multiple other health concerns.
At the conceptual level, e-smoking appears to be faring better in the scientific community on the safety quotient. However, warning bells have already started ringing if the USFDA warnings against e-cigarettes are any indication. The USFDA recommends that e-smoking is not for people looking to stop smoking.
While there is still no clarity on the exact chemical composition of e-chemicals, nicotine is public knowledge. Nicotine, by nature, is highly addictive and is even proven to be paving the way for youngsters to graduate from tobacco smoking. This directly contrasts the original motives of steering people away from smoking tobacco by getting them to e-smoke.
Researchers have not been able to establish links between e-cigarettes and dreaded cancer. A study shows that the carbon monoxide and cancer-causing chemicals residues found in the body after smoking e-cigarettes are negligible compared to those found in people smoking regular cigarettes.
On the flip side, the discovery of the use of diacetyl to flavour some e-cigarettes has raised concerns as exposure to the chemical is known to induce a medical condition known in doctor’s jargon as ‘popcorn lung.’’ The situation was noticed among workers at microwavable popcorn manufacturing units. Diacetyl was used to flavour microwave popcorn.
Although not a form of cancer, popcorn lung induces damage to the lungs by scarring the lungs’ airwaves, resulting in loss of breath and a constant cough. The condition is severe enough and, in extreme cases, warrants lung transplantation. But we still don’t see warning messages printed on e-cigarette packaging.
Fortunately, since 2016, measures have been steadily introduced to highlight the potential harm that can accrue to health from e-cigarettes.
As per international oncology journals, there is currently little evidence that vaping is safe for cigarette smokers. Although e-cigarettes are yet to be formally accused of causing cancer, we should remember that the medical and scientific community needs more time to establish the potential health risks conclusively.
It certainly looks like electronic cigarettes are the lesser of two evils if you choose between e-cigarettes and smoking tobacco. But, the addictive effects of nicotine are a real threat, and non-smokers are advised to stay well away from vaping or e-smoking.
For smokers like you, who aim to quit the habit, the sensible thing would be to explore alternative options for smoking cessation. In combination with cognitive-behavioural therapy, nicotine-replacement therapy can be a practical approach to help people stop smoking.
Quitting smoking and shunning cigarettes requires great willpower and the physical ability to cope with withdrawal. Fortunately, alternatives like laser treatment for smoking are available for those less endowed with these abilities.
Anne Penman Laser Therapy is a well-established smoking cessation laser therapist with over 25 years of experience. Anne Penman Laser Therapy is in Richmond Hill, Ontario, serving the greater Toronto area.
Laser therapy to stop smoking involves cold low-level laser where acupuncture points on the face, hands, wrist, and ears are targeted with non-invasive cold laser beams, which help balance and increase endorphin levels.
Endorphins are the body’s natural defence against pain, depression and stress. It’s the chemical that’s released when you smoke a cigarette, giving you a calm relaxing feeling.
The problem for smokers is that the nicotine has hijacked these endorphins, and when you stop smoking, the nicotine leaves, and so do the drop in endorphin levels. As a result, many smokers have used laser stop-smoking therapy to quit smoking and have remained non-smokers ever since successfully.
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