February 3, 2015

“I’m using e-cigs to quit smoking” – true that?

Filed under: Rants! — Tags: , , , , — Ann @ 6:59 am
Temporary fix?

Temporary fix?

This morning I read three articles in local newspapers about e-cigarettes. Smokers quoted in all three articles stated that they were using the “candy-flavored lung polluters” — as the Sacramento Bee recently characterized them — to quit smoking.

As a person who smoked tobacco cigarettes for over 20 years before quitting cold turkey, I know a few things about stopping smoking. So, to those of you who claim to be using e-cigs to give up smoking forever, I encourage you to take an honest look at yourselves and answer these two questions:

1) Are you tracking your consumption and gradually smoking fewer and fewer e-cigs? If the answer is “no,” then you’re not in the process of quitting.

2) Do you have a quit date established that falls within a reasonable period of time? If you are truly using e-cigs to quit smoking, then not only are you smoking fewer on a weekly basis, but you should have a goal of being completely smoke-free that is no more than six months down the road.

The fact is, many addicts are merely substituting one nasty, expensive habit for another, with no intention of kicking it for good. (They’re fooling themselves. Addicts are very good at this.)

The fact is, as I wrote in my previous rant against electronic delivery systems (“E-cigs, smoking, addiction, and nicotine. The facts,” June 22, 2014), only one-fifth of people who use e-cigarettes as a stop-smoking aid succeed in quitting long-term (according to the journal Addiction).

The fact is, vaping has surpassed cigarette smoking for teens as their oral fixation of choice. (I threw that in because, frankly, it scares me how popular it is with the kids.)

The fact is, according to state Director of Public Health Ron Chapman, e-cigarette aerosol contains 10 chemicals that are found on California’s Proposition 65 list of those known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, including benzene and formaldehyde. (Yummy!)

But you’re a smoker — you close your ears to statistics and you close your eyes to the sight of a lung-damaged ex-smoker wearing an oxygen tank 24/7. And you’re an addict — you don’t want to give up your friend, your rituals, your comfort, your little zingy high.

Believe me, no one gets that better than I do. But be honest with yourself. Are you using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, or are you just using them?

Because if you’re quitting, I trust that your quit date is written in red on your pretty new 2015 calendar. And that it’s sometime before Labor Day weekend.

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