It's quite fascinating to look back on human history and see the ideas and notions we used to believe so wholeheartedly, yet now know as entirely false. There's probably no better example of this than smoking.
Did you know that, since the 15th Century, people have used tobacco for everything from an anaesthetic and pain medication to toothpaste and tobacco enemas? Thankfully, tobacco is now largely limited to just cigarettes, but they're still deadly.
Though we're definitely a more enlightened nation regarding the ill effects of smoking, there are still far too many deaths per year in New Zealand alone. According to Statistics New Zealand, around 5,000 people die each year from smoking-related illnesses, or from second hand smoke. If you work out the maths, that equates to around 13 people every day, or almost one person every two hours. When you look at it on global terms, smoking kills approximately 2.7 people every second around the world (5 million a year, or one in 10 adult deaths). However, though these numbers are pretty scary, there is a solution for both kiwi smokers and their families. There are plenty of products to quit smoking available on the market, each offering a unique way of trying to beat the habit. We'll get to precisely what they are and how they help shortly, but first let's take a look at what the negative effects of a smoking habit are.
Though NZ cigarette packaging has to have those gruesome pictures on it by law, a lack of proper education can no doubt be attributed to smoking rates, especially among youths. According to both the American Cancer Society and Statistics New Zealand, most smokers are young people, particularly teenagers and people in their 20s. Unfortunately, people in that age group are often those who are trying to seem 'cool', to fit in, or to rebel against their parents/society in general.
You probably already know the bulk of what damage cigarettes can cause. Lung cancer, blindness, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), tooth decay/loss, diabetes ... the list goes on.
Why does it cause such damage? Well, the chemicals contained in a single cigarette are brutal on the body, especially when introduced to it over a life time.
Here is a quick list of common chemicals found in smokes, as well as what their other purposes are.
- Arsenic: Used for wood preservatives and rat poison.
- Cadmium: Commonly contained in batteries.
- Polonium-210: A cancer-causing radioactive material.
- Formaldehyde: A liquid used to preserve dead things in jars. Also common in paint manufacturing.
- Ammonia: A household cleaner, though also great for fertilisers and explosives.
- Acrolein: One of the biggest ingredients of a cigarette. Once used for chemical warfare in WWI!
And that's only a small list of examples. We could go on forever just about the horrible things they put in a single cigarette.
The fact that anyone in our day and age starts smoking is almost baffling, but the fact is, it happens. If you have picked up smoking and are reading this, or you know a smoker close to you who you'd like to help, don't worry - quitting is easy to start. All you need to do is take that first step, and read on.
There are loads of different types of products to help you stop smoking in New Zealand. As we have said, each works in its own way to try and wean you off the habit. Nicotine is arguably one of the more well-known, and addictive, chemicals contained within a cigarette. Because of this, smokers often suffer from a physical nicotine addiction, meaning their bodies crave the substance and go into often-serious withdrawal without it. A nicotine replacement product, such as Habitrol Patches, is designed to release a minor amount of the harmful chemical over a long period of time. Your body still gets the nicotine it craves, but in smaller and smaller doses, slowly reducing its need until you never need it again.
Here are some of the products available to quit smoking.
Elusion Electronic Cigarette: Rather than release nicotine to wean you off a physical habit, using a product such as Elusion Electronic Cigarettes gives you the sensation of smoking, without filling your lungs with nicotine.
Habitrol products: Habitrol is one of the major quit smoking brands. It offers nicotine replacement products such as Habitrol Mint Lozenges, as well as Habitrol Mint Gum and the patches we mentioned earlier.
Nicotrol products: If you find chewing gum effective, you could also try Nicotrol Regular Strength Chewing Gum, or one of the brand's other products in its gum range.
Nicorette products: Alternatively, you could also try Nicorette. This brand offers products such asNicorette Regular Strength Chewing Gum and Nicorette 16-Hour Patches, but also alternatives. For example, if patches and gum don't work for you, you could instead try a Nicorette Inhaler to gain the benefits of an E-cigarette and nicotine replacement product, or Nicorette Quick Mist spray for something fast-acting.
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