Tuesday, May 31st is World No Tobacco day.
The WHO likes to lump tobacco, cigarettes and nicotine products all together under one big, bad umbrella, and while we can’t fault them for wanting to do good in the world, we would like to take the opportunity to make the distinction between “traditional tobacco” and vaping or e-cigarettes and exactly WHY they aren’t even close to the same thing.
The case for vaping and e-cigarettes as a very successful means to eliminate dependence on traditional tobacco is a strong one.
Conservatively, vaping has been proven to be 95% safer than smoking. Is it safer than doing nothing? Absolutely not. But if you have been a slave to cigarettes for any amount of time, you know how horribly difficult it can be to kick the addiction. For most of us at OBaU, vaping is the only thing that has worked in our fight to give up smoking,
So why do people continue to smoke? Well, quite frankly, because very soon after starting, they’re hooked.
What non-smokers don’t understand is that the addiction to cigarettes and tobacco is not just nicotine. There is the feel of the cigarette in your hand. The touch of it on your lips. The feeling of fulfillment in each lungful of smoke. Even simply the ritual of making time to have a smoke – it all becomes at the very least a habit, and very quickly can turn into an addiction. And it is a VERY difficult addiction to beat.
Though tobacco and smoking were already known to the Old World via the Spanish, Sir Walter Raleigh is credited with specifically bringing it back to England and making it popular at court – eventually making its way throughout Europe and Asia.
“…and curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid git…”
– John Lennon
Most people have had a relationship with tobacco longer than the relationship with their spouse. It’s been there for job interviews, funerals, weddings – it was the yin to your daily cup of coffee’s yang! For a lot of us, smoking was an integral part of everyday life. Inscribed with “Comes meus fuit in illo miserrimo tempore (“It was my companion at that most miserable time”)”, even the tobacco pouch Raleigh left behind in his Tower of London cell spoke to it’s powerful grasp.
When you switch to vaping from smoking, whether you plan to eventually wean yourself off of nicotine – or even vaping completely – or not, what is undeniable it that smoking kills. Smoking kills 500,000 people per year in the US alone, and that number is orders of magnitude higher worldwide. Smoking and it’s effects are on track to kill one billion people in the 21st century. By getting rid of the most caustic, dangerous cancer causing parts associated with the addiction (the smoke & tar produced through combustion of traditional cigarettes) we reduce harm by at least 95%.
Make it a goal: be it through vaping or whatever means you find works for you personally – make 2016 the year you get tobacco free!