It’s that time again: the end of the year is almost upon us, and 2018 will begin before you know it. If you’re a cigarette smoker, there’s a good chance that you will make a New Year’s Resolution to quit tobacco for good.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70% of smokers want to quit, so most of them will make a resolution to quit smoking.
But quitting smoking can be tough, despite what we know about the dangers of smoking. Smoking cigarettes are linked with heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and plenty of other life-threatening conditions. On average, smokers live 13 fewer years than non-smokers do. And that figure alone says nothing about the quality of life for those who smoke, especially if their health has suffered as a result.
The good news is that quitting smoking can help add those years back to your life, and with more Americans than ever before quitting, the process is becoming easier through the support of others. Today, nearly 50 million people in the United States are former smokers, and they make up more of the population than current smokers do. Whereas quitting smoking may have posed a challenge years ago for some, especially if they primarily hung around others who light up, today those same individuals are more likely to have at least one former smoker in their immediate circle.
Health is just one of the many reasons to quit, but it probably factors in as the number one cause for quitting. In fact, quitting smoking can have immediate benefits for even the heaviest of smokers, and over time the functions of the former smoker’s body are on par with those of someone who has never smoked.
Once you quit smoking:
- Your heart rate and blood pressure drop after 20 minutes
- Your circulation and lung function can improve within three months
- Your risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half within a year
- Your risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer are all cut in half after five years, and
- Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as the risk for a non-smoker after 15 tobacco-free years.
Yet many people have trouble going “cold turkey” when it comes to quitting tobacco. Nicotine gums and patches work for some, but others crave the experience of smoking without all of the dangers. And that’s where electronic cigarettes
Also known as disposable e-cigs or vapor cigarettes, electronic cigarettes do not use the same ingredients as traditional cigarettes. These devices heat a liquid mixture commonly known as e-liquid in order to produce a vapor when the device is in use. In several independent studies, e-cigarette use has been cited as one of the most successful nicotine-replacement therapies to help people quit smoking.
The FDA also recently backed e-cigarettes as a helpful tool for smokers.
In Italy, 300 smokers who were not intending to quit smoking took part in a 12-month study where the participants were randomly split into three groups and given e-cigarettes with varying amounts of nicotine. By the end of the study, 11% of participants had given up smoking entirely -- an amount comparable to other nicotine-replacement therapies. Those individuals hadn’t set out with a plan to quit smoking, but their use of e-cigs wound up contributing to their decision.
However, a study out of England indicated that use of electronic cigarettes is an even more successful method for smoking cessation. The study, published in the journal Addiction
, reported that smokers who were trying to quit succeeded 60% more by using e-cigarettes over other over-the-counter therapies (e.g. patches and gums).
As more people make a resolution to quit smoking, electronic cigarettes help pave the way for a tobacco-free future. One survey of e-cig users revealed that more than anything else, they use these products in order to reduce the amount of tobacco they smoke. If you’re planning on making the New Year’s Resolution to quit smoking, you could have an easier time now than ever before thanks to the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes and the support of 50 million other former smokers, many of whom are also in the vaping community.