How we all wish for a magic wand that will help us quit our ill habits such as smoking. For starters, here are some alternatives to smoking.
Vapes, also popularly called e-cigars, are a popular alternative to cigarettes. These are battery-powered and heat up the liquid (Nicotine, flavoring, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and water) into an aerosol vapor for inhalation. There is a huge range of e-cigarette devices available today such as pens, pods, and disposable vapes, and can sometimes be cheaper than smoking.
The good, bad, and ugly
E-cigars don’t produce tar or Carbon Monoxide, the two most harmful elements that tobacco smoking has. However, vapes are not risk-free either and the truth is we don’t know enough about the harmful effects of vaping. In a nutshell, inhaling anything into the lung may alter our DNA and cause a potential risk of developing a disease. There is no conclusive evidence that secondhand vaping is injurious to health, unlike its popular cousin, smoking.
The other alternatives available are smoking cessation products. They fall into two categories.
1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy includes patches, lozenges, and gum that can be found over the counter at any pharmacy or drugstore.
Skin patch – Sticks to your skin to slowly release nicotine into your bloodstream. These are easy to use, available in various doses, and control withdrawal symptoms throughout the day.
However, they might cause some skin itching, rashes, irritation, and sleep problems.
Lozenges and gum – They slowly release nicotine in your mouth and can provide extra help when used with a skin-patch. The downside is mouth irritation, jaw soreness, hiccups, and heartburn.
These include products such as pills, inhalers, and nasal sprays that can be taken only on a doctor’s prescription. To give you an idea of how some of these pills work and their side effects, let’s look at Zyban and Champix.
Zyban (Bupropion) is easy to use and might even reduce the weight gain some smokers experience after quitting cigarettes. However, it needs to be taken twice a day and can cause dry mouth, headaches, insomnia, or mood changes.
Champix (Varenicline) is considered to be one of the most successful medications. However, it might cause strange dreams and must be exercised with utmost caution by those who have a history of depression.
It is 200% important to take an informed decision by consulting your doctor when it comes to deciding what will work best for you. Here’s to making stronger healthy habits!