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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
April 15, 2013
Using Other Tobacco Products
Over the years, participants have asked me if using another form of tobacco is a good way to quit smoking cigarettes. While that might seem like an easy route to quitting, we don’t recommend it. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has found that the best way to become smokefree for a lifetime is to combine a behavior modification program (such as FFS Online) with the use of an FDA-approved medication. Switching to another form of tobacco continues that person’s addiction to nicotine, prolongs the quitting process and comes with its own set of drawbacks.
Use of any tobacco products could have health consequences, so it stands to reason that trading one form of tobacco for another is just jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Consider the facts below about alternate forms of tobacco, and follow the links for even more information about each product on the American Lung Association’s website.
Cigars contain the same addictive, toxic and cancer-causing compounds found in cigarettes. A single, large cigar can contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes. The consequences from smoking cigars are similar to those from smoking cigarettes, including 4 to 10 times the risk of dying from oral, esophageal or laryngeal cancer in comparison to nonsmokers. Those who smoke cigars heavily or inhale deeply also increase their risk of developing COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.)
There is no published scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are safer to use than regular tobacco products. The FDA has found that these products contain cancer-causing agents and toxic chemicals, including the ingredients found in antifreeze. There is also no scientific evidence that these products will help smokers quit.
Hookahs, also called water pipes, are relatively new to the U.S. and you often find hookah bars near colleges and universities. Because a typical hookah session lasts 40 to 45 minutes, exposure to dangerous chemicals is increased with hookah use. Lung cancer and other diseases have been linked to hookah use.
Smokeless tobacco has at least 28 cancer-causing agents and using it increases the risk of developing cancer in the mouth, gums, and pancreas. Smokeless tobacco includes chewing tobacco, snuff and snus. The amount of nicotine that is absorbed from smokeless tobacco is 3 to 4 times the amount delivered by a cigarette.
I wish there was a fast, easy or magical solution to becoming smokefree, but there is no easy fix to this process. Ending your addiction takes hard work and commitment but it can be done, and you’re in the right place to find the support and information you need to stay smokefree for life.
If your Quit Day is coming up, keep these tips in mind:
- Reward yourself. Do something nice for yourself to reinforce your hard work.
- Get extra rest. Try going to bed this week 15 minutes earlier than usual.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Contact your buddy and get the support you need to stay strong and stay smokefree.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.