Looking for the best reasons to quit smoking? We’ve got all the information you need: from the reasons why smoking is bad for you to the best way to start healthier alternatives. So get yourself started. Read on.
|The Fact: Good Health and Smoking Just Don’t Mix|
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following comprehensive report on the health risks of smoking:
- Compared with nonsmokers, smokers are 2-4 times more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease and are 2-4 times more likely to suffer from stroke. For men who smoke, the risk for developing lung cancer increases 25 times, and for women, 25.7 times.
- Any organ in your body could be at risk for developing cancer. These organs include bladder, trachea, stomach, liver, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, cervix and even the blood.
- Chemicals found in smoke can cause damage to the blood vessels. In time, the walls of the vessels thicken and can lead to higher blood pressure, causing stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. Other side effects include blockage of blood flow to and from the different organs, including the skin.
- Besides lung cancer, respiratory diseases caused by smoking may include COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Compared with nonsmokers, smokers are 13 times more likely to die from COPD.
- Smoking can also affect pregnancy. Risks include low birth weight, ectopic pregnancy, early delivery and stillbirth. Infants born from mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have orofacial cleft.
- Other effects include reduced sperm count in males, weaker bones among female smokers, increased risk for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, and type 2 diabetes. Smoking has also been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation and impaired immune system.
|Smoking and Death: The Statistics|
- On a global scale, use of tobacco leads to almost 6 million deaths annually. Given the current trends, the number will rise to 8 million annual deaths by 2030. These cases make smoking the number one cause of preventable death.
- The United States accounts for more than 480,800 deaths annually. That includes about 42,000 deaths caused by secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke. In other words, that is about 1,300 deaths daily.
- The old adage, “smokers don’t grow old; they die early,” has some degree of truth to it. On average, nonsmokers live ten years more than smokers.
|Smoking in the U.S|
- In 2014, 16.8% of adults (18 years or older) were cigarette smokers. That’ about 40 million people (18.8% males, 14.8% females).
- 29.2% of non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives smoke; and among non-Hispanic multiple race individuals, 27.9%, non-Hispanic Whites, 18.2%, non-Hispanic black, 17.5%, Hispanics, 11.2%, and non-Hispanic Asians, 9.5%.
- Every day, about 3,200 people under the age of 18 smoke cigarette for the first time. And around 2,100 occasional smokers (young and young adults) begin to smoke on a daily basis.
|Vaping: A Fresh Healthy Alternative|
The use of e-cigarettes as an alternative to cigarette smoking may have become popular only recently. But studies in the UK have suggested some promising results. Current reports show that using e-cigs are about 95% less harmful than cigarettes. However, almost half of the population is not aware of the fact that e-cigs pose lesser harm than puffing actual tobacco.
Moreover, there is no evidence that using e-cigs could be a gateway to smoking tobacco among children and non-smokers. In fact, using vaporizers or e-cigs could even result in diminished instances of smoking among young individuals and adults. The study revealed that there were 2.6 million adults in Great Britain who were ex-smokers. And most of them have used vaporizers or e-cigs to help them quit smoking and not to return to their old habits.
How Popular the e-Cig or Vaporizer
When we envision vaping as a better alternative to the more harmful habit of tobacco smoking, the numbers couldn’t be more telling. According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), the use of e-cigarettes tripled from 2013 to 2014 among middle and high school students.
Another report from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey suggested an upward trend inn the use of e-cigarettes. In 2013, there were only about 660,000 high students who used these vaping devices. In 2014, the number increased to 2 million. Even among middle school students, the same upward pattern is evident, increasing from 120,000 in 2014 to 450,000 in 2015.
Because the e-cigarettes have just started to gain popularity since 2010, the surveys mentioned above were the first to focus on using these vaporizers. Since then, this promising alternative has overtaken the present use of the traditional tobacco, cigarettes included. In fact, among non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic other race, e-cigs has become the top choice. On the other hand, tobacco cigarettes remain popular among non-Hispanic blacks.
At present, the FDA regulates only cigarettes and tobacco sales. But all that is changing because of the now widespread use of vaporizers or e-cigarettes. The agency plans to place the use of e-cigs, hookah, tobacco and other related products under one set of legislation. But even before such regulations become a reality, states have already taken their own steps to regulate the use of e-cigs. For example, age limits are put into place to make sure young adolescents or those under 18 years of age are not exposed to the use of the device.
|The Years Ahead|
With the upward trend of e-cig use as suggested by previous years’ reports, the use of these vaping devices is projected to keep rising. On the other hand, smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes will still continue to decline. Here are some of the major changes to expect in the years ahead:
Regulation of Vaporizer/E-Cigarette Industry
The ever increasing use of vaporizers will certainly result in regulations and taxes by the government to regulate the sale of these products across the country. On one hand, this expected development might signal an overall increase in the cost of vaping (buying vaporizers and vaping materials). But on the other hand, rules put in place would help ensure that the products sold in the market pass the quality standards set by the government.
For now, what drives vaping companies to sell high-quality vaporizers is the stiff competition brewing in the marketplace.
In general, however, makers of vaporizers and the vape fans prefer the trade and use of vaporizers with greater freedom to keep the use of cannabis – whether for recreational or medical purpose — as cheap as possible. Also, experts warn that the FDA’s plans to regulate the use of vaporizers or e-cigarettes would create a major setback in this growing momentum. But ultimately, things get a tad more complicated because of the increasing force to legalize recreational marijuana across the country.
Today, we find ourselves not just limited to tobacco use. Cannabis will remain largely popular because of its many uses, particularly in the medical field. So vaporizers will no longer be exclusively designed as e-cigarettes for e-juices that contain nicotine or flavorings, but also for dry ground cannabis.
More Studies Needed
The future of vaping also partly depends on long-term studies on cannabis use just begun by a number of researchers across the country. Not so long ago, none of these research endeavors materialized because cannabis use is strongly prohibited across the United States. But ever since the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado, other states have followed suit.
So, the unraveling of the stigma associated with the use of cannabis, together with the easing of laws against its use in many states, could pressure the federal government to decriminalize its use. Many hope that becomes a reality. And when it does, everything is possible. This includes opening up of opportunities to further study the effects of vaping as opposed to smoking.
Admittedly, the lack of research findings emboldens the government and other health organizations to issue warnings on the uncertain effects of vaping. So, it’s only a matter of time when legislations would be carried out depending on the outcome of the studies.
The Future of Vaping
Although legislation have yet to be put in place, there is no denying the growing popularity of vaping. In fact, it is the stiff competition among manufacturers that keeps the industry alive with new technology and innovation. And vapers are always up to date as to what’s new and trending. For example, vape pens for dry herbs have long been popular, but right now, there is a growing trend of vape users who prefer concentrates because of the thick flavor. It is expected that even without the regulations coming from the government, the vaping industry will continue to be a growing economy of its own.
The statistics we mentioned show an undeniably growing trend of vaporizer or e-cigarette use in the United States. And the upward trend is still expected to remain particularly because of the proven health risks of smoking. But what is promising is that people choose to vape not just because it is the fad these days. It is a choice because of the increasing health risk concerns. For not, the future is bright in the vaping world.