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Quitting Smoking

History of Tobacco

Since Native Americans discovered tobacco long times ago, it has been chewed, sniffed and smoked. The tobacco plant has a very long and interesting history, which is absolutely worth a read. It’s a plant, that it’s from the same family as potato and pepper – but is much more dangerous than the other two. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about tobacco – its origins, realization, and risks.

Back in time

Native Americans were the first who discovered tobacco. Legends say that it began growing about 6000 BC. American Indians started using tobacco for medical practices, as it was believed it cures everything – from relieving pain to dressing wounds. It became popular for such purposes around 1 BC. Back then, chewing tobacco was more common than smoking it. Besides the medical purposes, people used tobacco for religious practices as well.

It slowly spread across the continent, including the regions of Peru, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. The complex medical and religious rites it was known for has got even to the Mississipi area. There is written evidence left by some of the specific groups of Native America, saying that they truly believe that the rising smoke of tobacco revealed important religious and spiritual figures.

Tobacco Goes Global

The use of tobacco spread all over America. But how did it became known in Europe and other parts of the globe? During the times when Christopher Columbus discovered America, in 1492, he got dried tobacco leaves from the American Indians. It’s the first known contact, and the foundation of spreading and adopting tobacco in Europe. Even though he discarded it, this gift started a lavina that took tobacco all the way to Europe.

Columbus and two of his crew were the first non-American who sew and experienced smoking tobacco. The definition of smoking didn’t exist back then, so they described the phenomenon as “drinking smoke”. Rodrigo de Jerez, who arrived to the Bahamas with Columbo in 1492, was the first Europen who smoked tobacco.

As America wasn’t unreachable anymore, sailors had contact with Natives and they brought some tobacco plants to Europe. So Europe was next: people started planting and growing the plant as they believed it has extreme healing propoerties.

After it appeared in Europe, it rapidly went global. Using the trading routes, people rapidly took it to different spots on the world, such as Turkey, Russia and China. Later it got to Japan by Portugal traders and it reached Africa too. Within a few decades tobacco had reached the whole world.

New Tobacco Discoveries

During the 1600’s, tobacco was so popular that it was frequently used as money. It was not only used for medical purposes anymore, but enjoyment got in the highlight. People exchanged tobacco leaves for other products and it can be said that tobacco was considered “as good as gold”. This was also a time when some of the dangerous health effects of smoking were being discovered and realized. They also noted that not only the bad effects make it dangerous, trying to quit the bad habit of smoking is also extremely hard.

Shortly thereafter, in 1826, nicotine has been discovered. Scientist analyzed and tested the pure form of it and they came to the conclusion that it’s a dangerous poison. As it’s one of the elements of tobacco, it became even more clear that smoking tobacco is dangerous.

Cigarettes

Even though it became clear that tobacco has bad health effects, it’s popularity continouslly grew. The first companies and brands popped up and started selling cigarettes.

In 1760, Pierre Lorillard establishes his company in New York City to manufacture cigars. His cigarette brand P. Lorillard is the oldest tobacco company in the U.S. But Pierre was not the only one who realised that selling cigarettes and tobacco is a profitable business. Philip Morris launched his business, the well-known Marlboro and many other cigarette and tobacco brands started back then.

Until the roaring twenties, it was not common to smoke cigarettes for women. Cigars and cigarettes were in the spotlight for soldiers during World War I and II, and as the society and perspectives changed in regards of the role of women, the tendency of smoking increased. Companies such as Camel, Lucky Strike and Chesterfield spent millions on advertising to encourage smoking. In a relatively short period of time, women smoking on the streets and in any public places became the symbol of their new roles. It was a trend, and it became the new normal.

It was discovered in the ’50s that smoking cigarettes is related and linked to lung cancer. It became a well-known fact. The tobacco industry denied such health hazards, but they came up with new products to react to the whole situation. They offered “safer”, more “health-friendly” cigarettes, which had lower tar and they also dropped filtered cigarettes.

How Are Cigarettes Made Nowadays?

Since the first filtered cigarettes, many things have changed. Tobacco companies developed new techniques and processes for producing cigars and cigarettes. Today, it’s not just tobacco wrapped in paper. It contains different chemicals and additives, that are all taken in when inhaling the smoke.

Risks and Dangers of Tobacco

It’s known that smoking is extremely dangerous and has terrible health effects. It increases the risk of developing more than 50 serious health problems. Some of them are fatal, while others can cause damage that is not reversible.

Lungs are put in an extreme risk when smoking, as everything a cigarette contains is taken straight to the lungs. The probability of developing asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia are unfortunately high. It causes cancer, that attacks the lung primarily, but mouth, throat, kidney, liver, and stomach cancers are also common. Smoking damages the blood circulations, increasing the risk to develop serious health problems such as heart attack an stroke.

It can be said, that it fastens up aging, discolours the skin and the teeth. It’s not only dangerous for the one who smokes, but his atmosphere is also in risk. Passive smoking has bad effects on the health.

Want to discover ways of making tobacco history? See our guides below:

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Quitting Smoking

Using Nicotine Patches

One very common method for quitting smoking is using nicotine patches. We wanted to cover some of the simple questions you may have about them and talk side effects, benefits and just simple user tips.

Using Nicotine Patches to Quit Smoking

What are nicotine patches?

Nicotine Patches are one of the many forms of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products, which are designed with a certain amount of nicotine to feed your need for nicotine, to some extent. 

The nicotine patch is a sticky transdermal object with a small appearance; you need to apply it on a hairless area of your skin so that the patch can slowly and steadily release nicotine into your body. 

Who should be using nicotine patches?

NRT products like this, are designed for those people who are addicted to smoking and would prefer to break the bond with the hand to mouth fixation. Ie: they would prefer not to use vaping to quit smoking. Another option for inhalation free NRT is nicotine gum.

If you are attempting to quit smoking them using any NRT product is a measurably positive step. With nicotine patches the products won’t replace the physical aspect of the smoking habit, but they will ensure your nicotine levels are maintained.

Nicotine patches are more helpful for those who tend to suffer from withdrawal symptoms much more than others. They should start using the patches the very day they stopped smoking. 

How Do Nicotine Patches Work?

Generally, one is required to use one patch a day. This patch provides control and a steady dose of nicotine for the whole day; does it reduce the effects caused by nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine patches or any other NRT products release nicotine at a significantly slower and lower rate than cigarettes.

As the day passes, the strength of the patch reduces, and the user can gradually destruct them from the nicotine. 

What are the benefits of using nicotine patches?

According to some studies, the main benefit of using nicotine patches is, people use this one much more correctly than any other NRT products. So eventually, nicotine patches are more effective than the other products. 

But as they say, when overdosed, things are no longer useful; they become harmful. You can wear the patch as long as you want it, but even if you are awake. Wearing these while sleeping at night can cause discomfort if your sleep can be disrupted, and you may suffer from vivid dreams. 

Nicotine replacement therapy products are not designed as a long term solution. Sometimes using this for a long time can cause skin problems like itching, tingling, or burning. This happens because the nicotine is contacting your skin directly. So you see, no matter how harmless a product is, you always need to take appropriate measures. 

Unlike any other NRT products, using a nicotine patch is much easier and comfortable. The people who do not feel like chewing gums all the time can gracefully wear a nicotine patch beneath their clothes. Other than that, there is no hassle in using a nicotine patch. All you need to do is apply one patch to the hairless area of your skin and done! You don’t have to worry about carrying them around, or any other things. 

Thus the usage becomes more regular, and eventually, it can work faster. 

Side effects of the nicotine patch

Nicotine patches are certainly harmless products, but you must remember that they are not entirely nicotine free. So there is always some risk. 

As mentioned before, nicotine patch users may suffer from specific skin problems, but if you wear the patch on your chest, then probably you will suffer from heart diseases, chest pains, or sometimes heart attack. 

Other than people with weak hearts, people with diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid diseases, kidney or liver diseases should stay away from patches. 

If you are breastfeeding right now or pregnant, think twice before using patches or any other NRTs.

So ask your doctor and use a nicotine patch as per your doctor’s prescription. The following are some side effects observed among patch users:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Thyroid Diseases 
  • Skin Rashes 
  • Difficulty Breathing 
  • Irregular Heartbeats

Generally, the above symptoms are usually mild; severe reaction cases are almost none. Still, if you feel that the situation is worsening from the day, you have started, immediately seek medical advice. 

The nicotine patch can also react with your existing medication. So don’t forget about your medical history while choosing a nicotine patch.

Conclusion

Suppose you are confident about your decision about quitting smoking. In that case, this is the best time to choose nicotine replacement therapy so that your suffering can somehow be reduced, and your journey can be easy to tackle. Nicotine patches may not be able to tackle your “quit smoking” phase thoroughly, but it can play a significant role in the transaction between “nicotine addiction” and “nicotine-free life.” 

But still and no NRT products are entirely risk-free. So what type of quit smoking aid you will choose, entirely e dependent on your preferences and health requirements. Do not take your food away from your decision, take your time, do as much research as you need, and then decide.

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Quitting Smoking

Nicotine Gum vs Smoking

Nicotine Gums To Quit Smoking

If you are suffering from nicotine addiction and trying hard to quit smoking or, in other words, stop inhaling harmful elements to your body, then nicotine gum could help you. 

Chewing gum is quite old human behaviour. So the idea of using nicotine replacement therapy through a gum is genuinely smart! 

What is Nicotine Gum?

Nicotine gum is one type of nicotine replacement therapy, which is designed with certain products along with a small amount of nicotine in order to fulfill your craving for nicotine. 

Nicotine gum belongs in a class of medications which is called smoking sensation aids. 

You must not mix the nicotine you consume from the tobacco with the medicated nicotine gum. The game may provide a specific dose of nicotine orally, but it is not combined with any other harmful elements. The addiction you got from smoking is the result of the toxic chemicals that burn while smoking. The nicotine gum helps to reduce your craving for cigarettes or other nicotine products such as vaping.

Chewing gum itself can act as destruction from smoking because it keeps your mouth busy and satisfied some oral needs. In short, chewing nicotine gum is a substitute oral activity that reduces the urge to smoking. 

But still, for full benefits, nicotine gums should be used alongside a few therapies which focus on the psychological factor related to a person’s smoking habit. However, nicotine gum should not be taken who is about your pharmacist’s prescription. Some health conditions are can deteriorate using products like nicotine gum. 

For how long should one take nicotine gum?

The day you have decided to quit smoking, start taking nicotine gum on that very day. Always remember that nicotine gum can be a quit smoking aid but taking it for a more extended period has certain consequences. Because by taking these, you are still regularly supplying a certain amount of recording into your bloodstream. So it may help you to fight your addiction, but it is not the ultimate solution. 

That’s why, before we advised to add up psychological therapies along with nicotine gum. So that as you started taking nicotine gum in the first place, you can also so take yourself away from the gum when needed. 

Do not get addicted to nicotine gum

Nicotine gum is indeed a far safer option compared to cigarettes but doesn’t forget that the game still contains nicotine. And this nicotine is addictive. So it is possible that even after quitting smoking, you will get addicted to the gum. In order to avoid these circumstances, limit the use of nicotine gum when still it’s not late. 

  • In the first place, if you are taking 4mg nicotine gum, then gradually reduce it to 2mg as you continue your therapy sessions.
  • Similarly, the quantity of gum also reduces the amount of time you are chewing it. Don’t worry if you can’t reduce it immediately; the process will work gradually. 
  • As soon as you realize that you are successful in quitting smoking with the help of nicotine gum, swiftly replace that nicotine gum with our regular chewing gum. 

There are also some precautions you need to take before using nicotine gum;

  • Take your time and make a list of the medications, nutritional supplements, vitamins, or herbal products you were taking all will be taking during the nicotine gum session. If your medications include asthma medicines, insulin, drugs for anxiety and depression, medicines for high blood pressure, etc., you may have specific side effects of taking nicotine gum.
  • If you ever had heart disease, heart attack, or any other conditions related to your heart, then your doctor may need to give extra attention to your case.
  • If you are pregnant, you should not use nicotine gum.
  • If you smoke while taking nicotine gums, then a nicotine overdose can cause. 

Success to quit smoking with nicotine gum

Nicotine gums are undoubtedly designed to help you quit smoking, but keep it in mind that it’s a quit smoking aid, not any miracle drug. So if you want to be successful in this process, you should put extra effort into why not entirely depending on the gums. 

The realization of quitting smoking automatically takes you some steps ahead towards success. Now all you need is to invest time and be patient; in this case, the success lies within you. Just believe in yourself and don’t compare your situation with others. 

Conclusions

Before taking any kind of drugs, you always have to ensure that the drug is entirely secure for you. The same can be applied to any medication nicotine gum is not out of the list. You cannot just think about taking medication and start the next day. Consult your pharmacist and listen to him. Otherwise, your efforts in treating the smoking habit can cause even more problems. 

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Quitting Smoking

Vaping vs Smoking

Vaping vs smoking, which one is safer, is vaping a viable method to quit smoking?

Vaping vs Smoking | E-Cigarettes vs Real Cigarettes

Smoking habits are one of the hardest things to quit. Smokers get mysteriously obsessed with nicotine, and it becomes close to impossible to maintain a routine without cigarettes.

In fact, nicotine’s addictiveness has been likened to Heroin in the difficulty with which to give it up. This statement from Medical News Today.

For some, smoking is a social lubricant where for others; it’s an escape from stress. But besides these temporary satisfactions, smoking has many more harmful effects, some of which can haunt for the rest of your life.

That is the true danger of nicotine, the exposure to more harmful elements.

On the other hand, it’s impossible to make yourself quit smoking immediately, but if you are ready for a long run, then why don’t you start triggering the quitting journey. 

What is Vaping?

Vaping is the name of the process of inhaling nicotine through vapor instead of taking nicotine in with smoking using e-cigarettes. 

Note: We covered nicotine inhalers too such as Voke – Want to read?

E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid solution, which is also called e-liquid, which has elements like nicotine, glycol, propylene, and sometimes vegetable glycerine. The reason behind vaping is less harmful than smoking is; it doesn’t contain tobacco and cannot produce carbon monoxide or tar. 

You may discover a number of methods of quitting smoking, but you will see, only a few of them will be working. One of those methods is vaping. Yes, E-cigarettes can be helpful! 

While vaping, you inhale more than just nicotine or it can be less nicotine. You can build up a habit of vaping and use fewer toxins than burning tobacco. This way, gradually, you will be able to get rid of the obsession with tobacco and will be able to quit smoking. 

How vaping helps quit smoking?

According to a recent study, people who switched to vaping from smoking can stay without inhaling nicotine for a longer time.

Source: Public Health England and E-cigarettes | PubMed 

The study says that vaping replaces many psychological, physical, cultural, and social contents of smoking. Also, the less toxic ingredients of vaping bring a lot less harm to the human body. To be more precise, vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking. 

Eventually, it will take time to quit smoking with the vaping method. First, they will quit smoking because they will find vaping more enjoyable, and later, they will also be able to stop vaping. Because according to ex vaping users, quitting vaping is not at all any pressure like quitting smoking.

The latest e-cigarettes may help to reduce relapse

The latest reports show that the risk of relapse smoking is disappearing more significantly among recent vape users. According to Researchers, this is happening because of the improved technology of e-cigarettes. 

In recent years the e-cigarettes have gone through a few changes, which made them more enjoyable as well as helpful. From user-friendly techniques to using ever less nicotine, today’s vaping devices are genuinely reliable. 

Different types of E-cigarettes

  • Vape pens

This one is shaped like pain or more like a small tube. There is a tank built-in, which stores the e-liquid and the replaceable coils. 

  • Cigalikes

From the name, it’s easy to understand that these e-cigarettes look a lot like tobacco cigarettes. It contains smaller batteries than vape pens. 

  • Mods

This can be found in a range of shapes and sizes and mods are generally the largest e-cigarettes. These contain a refillable tank, variable power, and long-lasting and rechargeable batteries.

  • Pod Vapes

This e-cigarette device is a compact device shaped like a USB stick or sometimes a pebble. Like the other e-cigarette devices, this also has refillable e-liquid pods. They are user friendly and easy to maintain too. 

Now the question appears which one to choose? The answer entirely depends on your personal preference. You decide that if you want a long-lasting battery or a fancy look or, on the other hand, an expensive one or cheaper one. Just remember, containing nicotine does not always mean that it is harmful. Nicotine is the prime product that will help you to quit smoking. 

Want to read more on this type of kit?

You are going to use the device so that choice will be yours, but we can give you advice. If you are a chain smoker or heavy smoker, buy pod systems, vape pens, or mods. And if you are not a heavier smoker, then cigalike can be perfect for you. Don’t forget to make sure that you are getting only the right proportion of nicotine in your e-liquid.

Vaping vs Smoking Verdict

With the help of e-cigarettes, your cravings for a tobacco stick can be replaced. And that’s a good thing when we consider vaping vs smoking. Ie: we know cigarettes namely tobacco plant combustion leads to cancer and heart disease. Removing this from our lives is a win. What we don’t know if we are jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, but we can deduce (well, the scientists do) that the harm is likely reduced.

What we are trying to say therefore is e-cigarettes are potentially a great substitute for cigarettes. They are considered at this stage, mostly harmless and can certainly satiate your need for nicotine.

But you cannot entirely depend on vaping. Because you cannot observe the full benefit of e-cigarettes if you don’t quit smoking and vapes are never going to be entirely harmless. Every drug contains some adverse effect, from raised blood pressure to sleep impairment. Nicotine is no different.

Source: WebMD | Adverse Effects of Nicotine Inhalation

There might only be a few consequences if you use vapes for a longer time, but our suggestion is to always still be looking to move on from these too.

If you are wondering ‘Is smoking haram?‘ Click the link to read our guide on this.

Eventually, the stepping stone needs to be stepped off. Vaping vs Smoking – Vape win.