Cigarette smoking poses many risks to our health, leading to some of the most life-threatening diseases. The American Lung Association reports cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly 90% of lung cancer cases and around 85% to 90% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cases. These high numbers emphasize how we should address the imminent threats posed by cigarette smoking to human health, and doubly support the need to search for alternatives to traditional tobacco products.
The many risks of cigarette smoking
Due to its extensive range of diseases and cases of death, cigarette smoking is a burden on public health. These diseases harm nearly every organ of the body, from heart and lung diseases to strokes and problems with the immune system.
The presence of carcinogens in traditional tobacco products largely contributes to the threat. As a reference, carcinogens with the highest potency include PAH, N-nitrosamines, aromatic amines, 1,3-butadiene, benzene, aldehydes, and ethylene oxide. In a study on the risk assessments of tobacco smoke components, Peter Bos explains high carcinogenic doses can heighten the risk of lung cancer. Exposure to cigarette smoke is also a determinant for tumor development. Notably, the presence of benzene— an important tobacco smoke component— can be more dangerous than constant exposure since it contributes to the carcinogen’s cumulative dose in the human body.
The accumulation of these chemical compounds found in tobacco smoke can exacerbate your chances of disease. This is especially reinforced by frequent use of tobacco products and a recurring exposure to cigarette smoke.
A new category of nicotine products
As we understand the increased number of carcinogens found in tobacco smoke, it proves beneficial to avoid the harm these pose to health. However, we understand it may not be easy to completely steer clear of smoking especially when confronted with triggers and cravings, which can be caused by several things, including stress. For instance, unemployment can lead to an increase in the number of cigarette users by 6%.
Fortunately, some alternatives give off the same sensation as smoking cigarettes. With that, we introduce a new category of nicotine products that don’t require combustion.
Nicotine lozenges are a useful cessation aid and are easily available over the counter. For instance, Equate nicotine lozenges contain nicotine polacrilex, which is a stop-smoking aid. These mimic chewing tobacco in the sense that it gives off a slight tingling sensation, so you can still meet your cravings as you also manage your withdrawal symptoms. Note that the use of nicotine lozenges usually stops by the twelfth week of cessation programs. If you still feel the need to continue your use, you may consult a doctor.
Nicotine pouches are essentially small bags that contain nicotine, flavorings, and plant-based fibers. As R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company’s VELO nicotine pouches demonstrate, these products are completely free of any tobacco, even if the nicotine in them is sourced directly from tobacco plants. The nicotine is distilled carefully so no trace of tobacco remains, which is a good thing since tobacco carries most carcinogens. They also show how pouches are helping people to quit smoking by offering packaging similar to chewing tobacco products. This means that the nicotine release is almost instant. Moreover, as users require less and less nicotine, they can even lower their dose as these pouches come in 2mg and 3mg variants.
Vapes contain nicotine which is heated into liquid, instead of burned. This creates an aerosol smokers can inhale. Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigarette aerosol doesn’t include the carcinogens present in tobacco smoke. Vape pods typically contain 0.5 to 15.4 mg of nicotine depending on the brand. For example, Relx vape pods come in 2 ml doses with either 3% or 5% of nicotine. They also are made from high-quality nicotine salts, vegetable glycerine, and propylene glycol. As such, you’re ensured that these vape pods are made responsibly and are standard-compliant.
These new nicotine products are doing a lot to reduce the harm of tobacco products. If you are looking to quit, do consider using one of the above alternatives.