I normally wouldn’t post things like this but my Brother was round the other day and we talked about this for some time. He’s been a smoker now for over 20 years, I wrote this for him last year.
He has tried to give up smoking numerous times without success. He says he’s always skint but somehow he always seems to manage to buy a packet of cigarettes. I’ve wanted him to get involved in some of my running and weight training but it’s short lived. I was running out of ideas and then I came across electronic cigarettes. Could this be the answer my Brother and I have been searching for all these years?
Unattractive, unsociable and responsible for around 100,000 deaths in the UK each year, it has never been a worse time to be a smoker. Gone are the days when smoking was a past time of the upper classes or the ‘cool’ habit of a rebellious counter-culture.
Over the last 20 years the tobacco industry has taken a battering – in this country at least – as an accumulation of advertising bans, increased age restrictions and banning of cigarettes in public places has seen the number of British adults who smoke fall from a third in 1990 to about a fifth today.
For those smokers who are unable to just quit cold turkey there are a number of ways they can go about kicking the habit. Nicotine patches or gum have been around for some time, while simply cutting back gradually is another common method. All of them have drawbacks, but could e-cigarettes, a rapidly growing craze, be the perfect solution and signal the beginning of the end for traditional cigarettes?
Smoke them anywhere
Since July 2007 it has been illegal to smoke in enclosed, or substantially enclosed, public places, including manufactured and rolled cigarettes, pipes (including shisha and hookah water pipes), cigars and herbal cigarettes.
However, e-cigarettes are not covered by this ban, allowing their users (or ‘vapers’ as they are sometimes referred to) to enjoy them in pubs, clubs or even work places if their employers allow it.
Switch to e-cigarettes and you will no longer have to brave the elements just to get your nicotine fix.
It doesn’t create smoke
As there is no combustion involved with e-cigarettes there is no smoke produced, only water vapour, which means it doesn’t make your breath or clothes smell like tobacco smoking does. It also means that it doesn’t have the same problems with second hand smoking, so you don’t have to worry about having to feel apologetic or guilty for smoking around other people.
It feels like real smoking
As well as satisfying a smoker’s craving for nicotine, using an e-cigarette serves the habit in terms of the action of smoking. Some smokers are so used to holding a cigarette and carrying out the actions involved that it reinforces the addiction, but e-cigarettes are no different to tobacco products in this regard, unlike patches or gum.
Obstacles to overcome
Providing the nicotine fix that smokers crave without the thousands of harmful chemicals that traditional cigarettes contain? Why would anyone smoke anything else?
Many users of e-cigarettes swear by the products, however there are still some obstacles to overcome before they can be officially declared the ultimate cessation product.
Firstly e-cigarettes are unregulated currently, which means legislation could be enacted in the future that puts restrictions on their use or affects how they can be advertised.
Secondly, although the medical profession and scientists generally agree that e-cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco smoking, the question of whether they pose any health risks at all still needs to be answered.
However, given that a person dies every five minutes from a smoking related illness in this country, it is surely only a matter of time before this deadly habit is kicked for good – and you wouldn’t bet against e-cigarettes putting the final nail in its coffin.