As of the time of me writing this article, I quit smoking cigarettes close to a month ago, and I have never felt better. However, I had serious issues with the physical and mental withdrawals from the many years of addiction, and I made the switch to electronic-cigarettes.
I have been smoking approximately a half a pack to a full pack of cigarettes a day since I was around 15-16 years old (I am 23 now). Sometimes I wish I can go back in time and punch my 15-year-old self and tell him to not start smoking because it is a stupid and extremely unhealthy habit. Obviously, I knew that information at 15, but I was just a stupid kid without a care in the world, so I started the terrible habit.
I wasn’t even really planning on quitting in the first place. I always told myself I would quit one day, but I would never actually do it. One day I woke up and I just thought to myself “maybe I should try and try immediately.” I tired to quit cold turkey at first, but I soon bought myself an e-cigarette because of all the withdrawals. Since then, I have only used the e-cigarette with one minor slip up a few days after making the switch.
E-cigarettes, vape mods, hookah pens and etc. are a fairly new alternative for smokers. There has been controversy on the validity of the alternative; concerning health effects and the effectiveness of quitting. Juul Labs has recently done a case study where nearly 8,000 smokers were provided the Juul “Starter Kit”; then they would fill a survey 3 months later with their personal results. According to the results, smoking tobacco decreased significantly over those next three months, but there are some factors to consider.
According to Business Insider, there is no way of knowing if every single person honestly answered these questions about the case study, and there could be a conflict of interest from Juul. Neil McKeganey, the lead author and sociologist who founded the Scotland-based research consulting firm CSUR, told the Business Insider that based on his past research on tobacco and electronic cigarette companies, there is a bias or conflict of interest from Juul.
“…designed to assist those companies with their applications for regulatory approval for their reduced- risk products,” he told Business Insider.
There is research available on the health effects of this new alternative as well. However, there is an issue with the research because of how new the alternative is, and researchers have yet to see the long-term effects of it. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some research states that e-cigarettes could be less harmful than tobacco. Also, the body does get exposed to the additives in vape liquid, and one study states that the liquid does contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals. While e-cigarettes are by no means a safe alternative, studies show that it is less dangerous than tobacco.
Quitting smoking with e-cigarettes can be considered trading one habit for another one, but in the end, it is commonly agreed to be a better alternative compared to tobacco. I know I am not going to smoke e-cigarettes for the rest of my life, but for now it helps tremendously. I feel better in the morning, food tastes better and I do not smell like a cigarette everywhere I go. Everyone is different, but from my experience, making the switch will help with quitting tobacco.
Jordan Boyer is a senior history major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]