If plain cigarette packaging, health-warning signs, graphic images of malignant throat tumours and public smoking bans weren’t enough to put you off your smoking habit, it’s probably going to take something more than government legislation to help you quit.
Over the years pharmaceutical companies have developed a number of ‘alternatives’ to smoking, including patches, gum, nasal spray, lozenges and vaporisers. But for many smokers, it takes more than a shot of nicotine to cure the craving. Smokers want the familiar feeling of a cigarette in their hand, they want the sensation of inhaling, and the taste of tobacco in their mouths. A sticky plaster just isn’t going to cut it.
In 2003, one answer came in the form of the e-cigarette, designed by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik. It was a slick, cigarette shaped device that allowed users to inhale tobacco flavoured nicotine without filling their lungs with toxic smoke.
This electronic alternative to smoking has, over the years, grown hugely in popularity. Even celebs like Kate Moss and Ronnie Wood have been spotted with e-cigarettes between their fingers. Figures suggest one million smokers could be converted to ‘e-smokers’ in Britain by the end of this year.
E-cigarettes release water-vapour into the air but it does not smell, so smokers can enjoy them on trains, in restaurants and in any other public area without breaking the law or putting anyone else at risk from passive inhalation.
Of course, there is a catch when it comes to the e-cigarette. Research shows that those who try to quit smoking with an aid are twice as likely to relapse.
Despite the glamour appeal of e-cigarettes, the most effective way to quit smoking is still to go ‘cold turkey’.
To tackle your smoking addiction from its roots with support and guidance along the way, you could try counselling. To find out more, please visit our Smoking page.
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