Can E-Cigarettes Help You Quit?

If you’re on the Atkin’s diet, one of the reasons you probably chose it was that it offers a way to lose weight without having to go hungry…in other words, no “cold turkey” effect.   If you happen to also be a smoker, it’s no secret that it’s probably worse for you than any weight problem you might have.  E-Cigarettes fill a similar space in the smoking world…a way to quit without having to give everything up all at once.   They work by allowing you to have nicotine, by vaporizing it, rather than burning it, which reduces the health threat immensely.  The best vapor cigarette, of course, doesn’t taste exactly the same as a normal cigarette, but it is a stand-in that works for many…enough so that they can quit with just a little effort.

E-Cigarettes, also commonly referred to as electronic cigarettes, are battery powered devices with a similar appearance to a regular cigarette, though they aren’t lit like a regular cigarette, and don’t produce smoke. Instead, they produce water vapor that is inhaled and exhaled. This vapor generally contains nicotine, though non-nicotine versions are widely available. Tobacco users attempting to quit often choose to use e-cigarettes, since they can taper their nicotine use by switching cartridges housed within an e-cigarette. While some claim that e-cigarettes are helpful for tobacco users that want to quit smoking, others aren’t so sure.

Tapering

Nicotine is an addictive substance, and for many smokers, nicotine dependence makes it very difficult or nearly impossible to quit “cold-turkey”. For those smokers, using an e-cigarette to reduce the amount of nicotine they ingest may be beneficial. Most e-cigarette companies also make non-nicotine cartridges for their electronic cigarette, which many uses find beneficial to continue using for a short period of time after they are no longer nicotine dependent.

Oral Fixation

The habit of smoking is addictive in and of itself for many people, with both stressful and pleasurable events triggering the desire to smoke. While many people can benefit from doing something else when they want to smoke – chewing gum or eating something crunchy like baby carrots or celery sticks is common – others may find that using an electronic cigarette, even one without nicotine, can make it easier to get over the actual act and routine of smoking cigarettes. Many smokers that have been smoking for extended periods of time find that quitting without a substitute for the habit is exceptionally difficult because they have been repeating the act of smoking for so long.

Potential Problems

While many smokers trying to quit claim that electronic cigarettes are helpful, there are some potential problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, e-cigarettes have the potential to help smokers quit, and while they may be a healthier option to cigarettes, they need to be tested more extensively before potential health risks can be ruled out. In an FDA-funded study, scientists tested different brands, and despite claims of a certain nicotine level, the e-cigarettes sometimes produced variable amounts of nicotine. The Mayo Clinic advises you purchase e-cigarettes from a reputable source if you do choose to use them.

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