These days, a lot of people smoke e-cigarettes, or “vape” as it’s more commonly known. They’re touted as a safer alternative to smoking, and a lot of people have caught on to the trend. However, a recent study shows that it’s much more harmful than was previously thought.
It only takes 10 puffs to “start the disease ball rolling”
Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have found that it only takes 10 puffs from an e-cig to “start the disease ball rolling.” Their study supports other studies that say e-cigs, just like real cigarettes, raise blood pressure and cause arteries to harden.
Other studies have found that the food additives used in e-cigarettes can be very dangerous when they are heated and then inhaled. Another study has also suggested that people who use e-cigs are 28% less likely to quit tobacco compared to those that don’t vape, which strikes a blow to the claim that smokers can use vapes as a healthier option to quit cigarettes.
A number of medical organizations still recommend vaping as an alternative to smoking
In spite of the numerous studies that show the risks that vaping can have, a number of medical organizations still recommend vaping as a safer alternative to smoking, and they have even encouraged smokers to switch to e-cigarettes in order to quit smoking completely.
Regardless, a number of critics still oppose vaping as a healthier alternative.
Dr Filippos Filippidis, lecturer in public health at Imperial College, London, shares: ‘We don’t know whether we may start to see diseases emerge in ten or 20 years’ time associated with some of the ingredients. We urgently need more research into the devices.” Notably, it took decades before a connection between smoking and lung cancer was made.
He adds, “Only time will tell who is right, but my personal opinion is that some more caution would be prudent until the evidence is more clear.”
How can I or a loved one get motivated to quit smoking?
Smoking is very hard to quit, chances are, you know someone who’s tried to quit smoking but has failed. While some people find it better to do it cold turkey and just quit, others can’t handle the withdrawals as well as the stress that they feel if they haven’t smoked.
Here are some tips that we compiled if you or a loved one is trying to quit smoking:
- Give yourself a compelling reason to quit. Even if the dangers of smoking are well known, a lot of people still smoke, mostly because they don’t find a compelling reason to quit. That’s why it’s important to give yourself a reason to quit, so that you’ll be motivated and focused towards your goal.
- Prepare for it mentally. Going “cold turkey” might not be for everyone, as quitting smoking can make you feel stressed, cranky, and generally in a bad mood. That’s why it’s important to prepare for it mentally before you quit, that way you can better control your emotions.
- Consider other methods aside from going “cold turkey.” Going “cold turkey” isn’t for everyone, that’s why it’s important to look for other options that are available. You can consult a doctor to find out which method is the best for you; some people find it better to quit if they have nicotine gum or patches, while others are given prescription medicine to help them. Look for what works best for you.
- Have a support group. Quitting smoking isn’t a one-person job. It’s important to have people supporting your decision and making sure that you stick to your goal of finally quitting smoking.
- Look for alternatives. There are a lot of things to do aside from smoking. You can start taking up a new hobby, you can start exercising, or you can get back to reading books. Do anything to keep your mind off smoking, get yourself distracted.
- Know your triggers and avoid them. If your friends are all smokers, then it’s best to try and meet up with them only during situations where no one can smoke. It’s important to know your triggers for smoking and avoid them so you won’t regress back to smoking.
- Keep trying. Chances are, you won’t successfully quit smoking the first time you try. It takes persistence and dedication to quit, so don’t get discouraged if you get back to smoking. The important thing is to learn why you started smoking again, and avoid any triggers the next time you decide to quit.
Sources: Daily Mail, The Sun, WebMD
Main photo: Flickr (https://vaping360.com/)
READ: Secondhand smoke causes antisocial and aggressive behavior in kids