Worldwide, smoking kills over six million people every year. You’d think that after decades of stop smoking programs in schools, public service announcements, and warnings on cigarette packaging, that more people would quit – or never pick up the habit in the first place – but only 6.2 percent of smokers per year are able to quit completely. That might not sound like a terrible number, until you compare it with the fact that 5400 young people start smoking every single day. Nicotine is an extremely addictive substance, and the number of ways that people can ingest it seems to be growing all the time.
Among the types of tobacco that are smoked alone, there is a huge variety of products. Traditional cigarettes are the most popular, and their use is on the rise. About 5.8 Trillion cigarettes were believed to have been smoked worldwide in 2014, although the number is probably considerably higher because we don’t have data from third world countries. Cigarettes are simply tobacco rolled in a paper product. When you light one, a chemical process called combustion takes place, which creates toxic gasses along with all the harmful chemicals that are already present in the tobacco.
Light cigarettes, despite the misleading name, aren’t any healthier. It’s similar to the way that some people believe light beer is less alcoholic, even though it really only contains fewer calories. Light cigarettes are called such because they are meant to release less tar and allow more of the toxic chemicals to escape rather than be inhaled. However, exposure can be just as high as regular cigarettes if the smoker takes deep or frequent puffs.
Similarly, menthol cigarettes are believed by some to be less dangeros. They give off a cooling sensation when smoked, due to the presence of substances found in peppermint and spearmint plants. The only benefit they really have is to make the sensation of smoking less unpleasant, which really isn’t a benefit at all, because it can lead people to smoke more and attract young people to cigarettes.
Menthol cigarettes are still sold, but in the United States, any other flavors of smokeable tobacco are not allowed. The 2009 Family Smoking and Tobacco Prevention Act banned the sale of cigarettes with flavoring agents. However, there are still many other tobacco products on the market that are flavored, including smokeless tobacco, cigars and cigarillos, electronic cigarettes, hookahs, and dissolvables.
Many people also believe that cigars are a safer alternative to cigarettes. For one thing, many people will smoke as much as a pack a day of cigarettes, but cigar users often have only one or two a day. Unfortunately, the truth is that one cigar contains half an ounce of tobacco, which is essentially the same as a pack of cigarettes. It also contains far more nicotine.
If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504 to get started.