Quit Blowing Smoke
We all know smoking and chewing tobacco have potentially severe health consequences, but vaping with e-cigarettes or going to hookah lounges are safer options, right?
Family Nurse Practitioner Chris Beaird, ARNP-BC, says that’s just blowing smoke! In fact, both vaping and hookahs can be as dangerous as smoking cigarettes, if not worse!
While each method is different, there is no safe way to consume tobacco. Here are some of the myths associated with each type and why you should think twice before trying them:
- Regular cigarettes and cigars: There’s not many myths that haven’t been debunked already, but there are some varieties out there that claim to be “natural” or “light.” Don’t let them fool you, these “healthier” options have the same amount or even higher risk of complications as regular cigarettes and cigars!
- Smokeless tobacco: These items, such as chewing tobacco, may not produce smoke, but can still cause addiction, cancers of the mouth, esophagus and pancreas, as well as pregnancy complications and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- E-cigarettes: Vaping may be the latest trend, but there are a lot of misconceptions! Many people think that since there’s no smoke and they are often allowed in public places, it’s not as dangerous. WRONG! There’s still tobacco involved, and people usually end up smoking more often since it’s allowed in more places, increasing their risk of tobacco-related health complications. Plus, they let off chemicals like formaldehyde when lit. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t crazy about that smell in biology class, and I definitely don’t want to be inhaling it now!
- Hookah: Ah yes, the newest trend of hookah lounges. These aren’t risky because water is involved, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but the water does not filter out toxins, so you’re still inhaling carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar and heavy metals in equal or even higher concentrations than regular cigarettes, no thanks!
Though all of these methods involve health risks, their effect on your body begins to lessen the minute you quit using them, so what better time than now to kick the habit! And don’t turn to an alternative method to help you quit. Instead, share your goals with family and friends so they can help support you and call 1.800.QUIT NOW for free phone and online support. Most importantly, don’t forget to talk with your primary care provider about resources and any health risks!
Published Aug 3, 2017