Smoking Tobacco: Why Would you Miss it?
To someone who’s never tried smoking, the arguments for quitting the habit seem so obvious they shouldn’t even need to be spelt out. Then again, for non-smokers, the notion of starting to smoke at all seems absurd. Why would anyone in their right mind even think about smoking tobacco? Knowing all that we do about the risks to health, who would light up and draw a poisonous cocktail of gas and tar deep into their lungs, once - never mind over and over again!
People start smoking for all sorts of reasons, even when they do know they’re putting their health at risk. It’s only a couple of generations ago that smoking was allowed in hospitals and if you went to see your GP, you’d probably have been offered a cigarette while you complained about the hacking cough that had been bothering you for the past few months! The first public health campaign against smoking in Europe started in Germany in the 1920s, but the message was drowned out by more pressing matters, once the Third Reich was established. The link between smoking and lung cancer was first publicised in the UK in the 1950s, and efforts to persuade people to quit have been going on ever since. Of course, back then there was no viable alternative such as the electronic cigarette industry that we take for granted today.
Learning to Smoke!
On the face of it, there’s not a lot of good to be said about lighting up one of those little white tubes of tobacco. As anyone who’s ever tried smoking knows, cigarettes don’t actually taste very good when you first light up, and they leave a pretty bad taste in the mouth once you’ve finished. Most smokers who get the habit usually have to persist before they build up a tolerance to the taste of cigarettes. Not like the huge range of e-liquid flavours available to get away from that grim tobacco flavour!
When asked why they still smoke, very few smokers say it’s because of the taste. A lot of people who have been smoking for a while say they still find that the first cigarette of the day tastes horrible, even after many years. The one cigarette that most smokers agree tastes the best of all, is the one right after a meal, which is weird when you think about it. You’ve just enjoyed a delicious meal and your taste buds are still savouring the moment when what do you do? You flood your palate with a cloud of bitter smoke!
That Smoking Cough & Chemical Input
A lot of smokers greet the new day with a fit of coughing (those overnight tar deposits don’t shift themselves), which is when they promise themselves that they really will quit – but first that coffee and a cigarette before anything else. No one coughs like a smoker and no one coughs like a smoker with a cold, which they tend to get more frequently because of the strain they’re putting on their respiratory system.
It’s amazing that lungs actually cope with smoke in the first place when you consider that there are around 4,000 chemicals released every time you light up and inhale. Chemicals in cigarettes include arsenic, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide (used in pesticides) to name just a few, as well as tar, the sticky residue left behind in your lungs by the chemical cocktail you inhale. No wonder smokers tend to cough a lot.
Passive Smoking and Expenses
Apart from the adverse effects on your own health, passive smoking also harms those around you and increases their chances of developing lung cancer by a whopping 25%, according to Cancer Research UK. Their studies also show that every year, some 11,000 people die from lung cancer, heart disease and strokes because of passive smoking.
Add the expense of smoking (thousands of pound a year) to the cost to health, and it’s easy to see why 70% of smokers when asked say they’d like to quit. But, as anyone who’s ever tried it knows, quitting isn’t easy. In fact, giving up the nicotine habit is one of the hardest addictions of all to quit and many smokers have to try several times before they manage to stop.
Quitting the Habit
Experts say smokers should expect to fail at the first attempt and that only 3.5% of smokers will manage to quit on willpower alone. So what does work, if you want to give up tobacco? Some people find that nicotine replacement therapies, such as gums, tablets, patches, sprays and inhalers help, as do more powerful drugs. Vaping, or e-cigarettes, have a lot to commend them, as a recent survey by University College London (UCL) discovered, when it found that people were 60% more likely to succeed in quitting cigarettes if they switched to e-cigarettes, compared to patches, gum or willpower alone.
Praise be for Vaping and E-Cigs!
If there’s nothing very positive to say about smoking, vaping, by comparison, can be enjoyed without the same harmful risks. For a start, e-cigarettes don’t contain any tar, so no nasty deposits ending up in your respiratory system. With vaping, you inhale a vapour, flavoured with a range of essences that when heated produce a mist that you can enjoy anywhere. So not only can you vape with friends, over a drink or after a meal, you won’t be sharing any nasty chemicals with them, as you would with passive smoking.