Let me preface this article by saying that there is no easy, sure-fire way to quit tobacco products – and it’s not for lack of trying. Collectively, consumers of tobacco products the world over have spent billions of dollars on products that have promised to rid them of their addictions. And yet, here we are in the year 2015 and tobacco use is arguably just as popular as it has ever been – which is surprising considering there’s not a day that goes by we aren’t reminded that smoking is responsible for putting more people in the ground before their time than any other product.
As much as we like to think that the place we call home is among the world’s most progressive nations, here in Canada, thousands of people still die every year from cancers and other diseases caused by smoking. Lobbying efforts dating back to the 1920’s have done little to curb our appetites, and even though the science was a little spotty in the early twentieth century, even school curriculums did their best to dissuade the younger generation from taking up smoking (they knew it was harmful, they just couldn’t qualify it). All efforts it seemed, were futile; instances of tobacco-related cancers rose, and so too did the cost of treating those afflicted.
And now, after all these years, there might actually be a product that is capable of changing the habits of smokers on a grand scale. E-cigarettes have been rapidly gaining traction over the last few years thanks to their flavored liquids and seemingly harmless, non-combustible nicotine delivery system all of which have been turning heads of the smoker and non-smoker alike.
The Side Effects of Smoking
In all honesty, you can go ahead and skip this paragraph. I mean this list of side effects is probably the most widely known list of conditions outside the medical establishment. Heck, you don’t even need to know them all, just work up enough courage to glance at a cigarette carton and you’ll be lucky enough to see a visual representation of one of the conditions listed below. But, in an effort to be thorough, I’ll list a few anyway. Side effects of smoking, in the event you didn’t know, include the following cancers:
- Lung cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Cancer of the mouth
- Cancer of the throat
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
…and many more. It also gives your skin a sallow, waxen appearance, yellows your teeth and fingers, and can make you look much older than you actually are.
To be fair, using electronic cigarettes also has a list of side effects, none more threatening than the potential side effects one could experience from using a cold medicine, or having an allergic reaction to a moisturizer (side effects include things like dry mouth, dry skin, itchiness). Much of what makes cigarettes lethal is the combustion process that releases carcinogens into the body. With e-cigarettes, there is no combustion, and therefore all those carcinogens never make their way into your body.
Smoking Alternatives are Receiving Special Treatment
When was the last time you saw someone smoking on a plane? Chances are you never have – but if you did, it was probably in an old black and white movie that was playing in the middle of the night.
One airline however, is teaming up with e-cigarette manufacturer DanSmoke in one of the strangest marketing campaigns in recent memory. Ryanair, a low-cost airline operating out of Ireland, printed millions of boarding passes with a voucher for DanSmoke products. Strangely, Ryanair doesn’t condone the use of e-cigarettes on planes (while e-cigarettes do not give off the harmful smoke that cigarettes do, they do still emit smoke). One can only guess at Ryanair’s motivation for teaming up with DanSmoke – perhaps they aim to one day allow passengers to use smokeless cigarettes on flights. After all, flying for many people is a source of anxiety.
Regardless of what history might have to say on the matter, we might be bearing witness to the eventual decline of the harmful tobacco product. E-cigarettes do have their work cut out for them however; the tobacco industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and it isn’t likely to go down without a fight.