Image Source: Healthline

This article is originally submitted by Abdun Nafay

To many, smoking is considered a fashion, especially for the young. But the dangers smokers face, whether a young or an adult, cannot be denied. A habit started as a way to look cool can soon turn into a permanent addiction. Much effort is being carried out to keep smokers away, but some of the measures might not be the right solution for the existing smokers to quit smoking.

It’s well-known that any form of smoking like cigars, cigarettes, pipes is highly injurious to health. It causes around 480,000 deaths per year in the USA, whereas, in Pakistan, nearly 108,800 people lose their lives due to smoking. The big question is whether there are any alternatives to reduce the harms caused by conventional smoking short of advocating a cold turkey approach, especially for people who are unable to or unwilling to quit.

For existing smokers who wish to quit or reduce the harm caused by smoking, vaping can be a healthier alternative. In fact, many people are now switching from conventional smoking to vaping, and according to numbers of the global market, vaping was estimated to be worth $19.3 billion in 2019.

The first vape came into the market in 2003 in China as a disposable that mimicked a cigarette, but then Hon Lik’s Ruyan introduced the modern face of vape. The three-piece setup had a flavour cartridge with a battery and atomizer. These “cigalikes” evolved into vape-pens, which were rechargeable, gaining them instant popularity. They also equipped clear e-liquid tanks known as clearomizers in which liquid levels could be monitored manually, letting users know when they had to replace their cartridges. Vapes now hold more liquid and have better coils that offer users a better experience.

Is Vaping the Best Alternative?

The aim of the e-cigarette was never to give smokers a new form of cigarette, cigar or a pipe. Its goal was rather to substitute smoking with a similar experience that meshed perfectly into their routines. For some people, smoking is not just a source of nicotine but is a part of their lifestyle.

Many people who want to quit smoking turn to nicotine in different forms known as nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), however they lack the experience smokers are used to. This is where vaping plays its role as it provides a comparable experience to smoking conventional tobacco. Prof Caitlin Notley, an Associate Editor for the journals Addiction and Nicotine and Tobacco Research, says, “Modern electronic cigarette products have better nicotine delivery than the early devices.” Therefore, they are better able to substitute the experience of smoking combustible cigarettes.

Research conducted by the University of East Anglia (UEA) states, “If six people in 100 quit by using nicotine replacement therapy, 10-people in 100 would quit by using electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. This means an additional four people in 100 could potentially quit smoking with nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes.” Given that Public Health England states vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes, this means that 4 more people in 100 would be making a life-changing decision in choosing e-cigarettes.

The World Without Cigarette, Why Not Do it The E-Way

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco kills over 8 million people a year globally and affects around 1.2 million indirectly through second-hand smoke. Smoking remains a significant global health threat, and it remains difficult to quit the habit permanently.

E-cigarettes are now positively impacting the lives of smokers in countries like the United Kingdom, where e-cigarettes have been acclaimed as a robust tool for smokers to get rid of the habit.

Looking forward, more countries going the way of the United Kingdom may in fact help more adult smokers change their lives.