Smoking Alternatives

Knowing you have to quit smoking is one thing. Everyone knows smoking is bad for their health, for other people’s health, and for the environment.

Mainstream science has proven these facts. Meanwhile, a smoker’s associates show them in no uncertain terms that their smoking habit is unwelcome in their homes, cars, and places of employment by ushering them outside to smoke.

Friends, colleagues, and bystanders make faces when they smell the chemicals that seem to surround a smoker like some unholy aura even after they have stubbed out their latest cig.

As for the money: people who buy cigarettes realize only too well how much their habit eats into a pay cheque each month, gobbling up money that could be spent on adventures and enjoyable extras.

Why Not Quit?

More difficult is figuring out how to quit smoking. Non-smokers tell their smoking counterparts they should just give up, but they have no idea what they are saying.

Having never had to give up cigarettes themselves, they imagine this is an easy step: stop buying cigarettes; simple. Smoking is an addiction, not just a habit, and even habits not involving a change in one’s brain chemistry are hard to break.

Smokers know that giving up nicotine is going to put them through the discomfort of withdrawal. Common complaints are nausea, headaches, pain elsewhere in the body, dizziness, and feeling irritable.

For a lot of smokers, a fear is that they will pick up a different habit like overeating which will cause them to lose weight. Being slender is more important to many people than avoiding cancer or heart disease.

How to Quit

What a smoker needs is a good idea. For him, only one of the many alternatives available will be the successful answer. It probably will not be quitting cold turkey: more than three quarters of people who try that method return to cigarettes relatively quickly.

Most smokers will choose another method, one that is more practical and realistic. It will address the two things a smoker is addicted to: smoking motions and nicotine.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Several methods of nicotine replacement therapy can be purchased over the counter from a pharmacy. Instead of inhaling nicotine, consumers are urged to try nicotine patches on their skin, sucking nicotine candies, or chewing nicotine gum.

These are all tools used to reduce nicotine consumption slowly but do not help with the related, relaxing ritual of lighting, inhaling, and holding a cigarette.

Packages of nicotine replacement products contain items with decreasing amounts of nicotine or one is encouraged to use fewer of them every day.

Within a few weeks to around 6 months, users of nicotine replacement gums, candies, or patches have effectively withdrawn from nicotine, enduring withdrawal symptoms in manageable doses rather than being hit by the full spectrum of symptoms at their highest levels.

Doctors will sometimes prescribe other methods of nicotine therapy like aerosols. Hypnosis is a nicotine-free means of quitting for a very few people. This can be used to plant a subconscious idea in the mind of a smoker which makes even holding cigarettes revolting.

Mainly, however, over-the-counter remedies and all other methods work very well if a person has the will to quit and adequate support around him or her.

What about Electronic Cigarettes?

These are becoming some of the hottest nicotine replacement options on the market, quickly overtaking gum, patches, and candy because they provide a double-barreled smoking alternative. One has something to hold and puff on plus a level of nicotine which can be reduced and eventually omitted completely.

Smokers can still “light up” as a way to relax, except they are just pressing a button; maybe just inhaling without having to press anything. Users find that e cigs cost less than cigarettes, although they can be addictive in their own right.

But electronic cigarettes contain no tobacco and a fraction of the chemicals, if any at all. The science is incomplete on the question of whether the heat of an e cig causes materials to release toxic fumes at potentially harmful levels. Nicotine is an optional ingredient in e liquid.

Forms of electronic cigarettes include disposable and rechargeable items. Rechargeable ones last for up to 300 charges and each battery will operate for between 90 minutes and 4 hours on a charge.

Refill cartridges are available, but many consumers purchase blank cartridges and fill them with something called e liquid. This is a tobacco-free product containing vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, possibly nicotine, and flavoring (natural or artificial).

E cigs (a.k.a. cigalikes, mini cigs, or smokeless cigarettes) resemble cigarettes. They are about the same length and width. In place of glowing tobacco embers, an LED light glows when a person puffs on this item and doubles as a charge-level indicator. Some are white and tan but black is also popular.

The next option is an eGo cig which offers a higher level of battery power and a bigger-capacity clearomizer or tank to fill with e liquid. As consumers become more interested in this method of replacing nicotine and tobacco, they upgrade to bigger and more complicated machinery. Instead of using tobacco or menthol-flavored e juice, they experiment with flavors like custard, chocolate, and fruit.

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