It takes a great deal of commitment and discipline to overcome the long-standing smoking habit. However, having the thought of quitting is one step towards the path to recovery.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as healthy tobacco alternatives. Many of these alternatives are marketed as a healthier choice to smoking, and while it may have a lesser amount of chemicals, tobacco is still unhealthy. It’s still harmful to your overall health. Quitting is the only way to reduce your risk of tobacco-related health issues.
That said, these alternatives help you to reduce your dependency on tobacco and nicotine. Here are some that you can try:
Also known as vapes, these electronic cigarettes are small refillable devices that are battery-powered. The electric cigarette vaporizes nicotine solutions so that they can be inhaled.
E-cigarettes have become a popular choice among many young people. Some reports have stated that nicotine exposure from e-cigarettes is more significant than the average cigarette.
E-cigarettes are not entirely safe and not exactly a healthy alternative. In young people, it can lead to addiction and affect brain development. Apart from known lung collapses, there are some reports of explosions and fires that happen randomly. Further studies are required to fully understand the effects of smoking e-cigarettes on a person’s overall health.
E-cigarettes have very little regulation, and there are no standards to control the levels of flavors, contaminants and other cancer-causing agents known as carcinogens. The American Dental Association has provided an interim policy supporting the ban of vaping products and e-cigarettes ahead of additional research. It stated that more research needs to be conducted to understand the impact of vaping on oral health.
Snuff is finely ground tobacco packaged in pouches and cans. It is usually sold dry or moist. Finely ground form or moist snuff contains carcinogens, specifically nitrosamines.
Another alternative to smoking cigarettes is tobacco in its different forms. Smokeless tobacco is any tobacco that does not require or need an apparatus to light it up. You can find smokeless tobacco in the form of chewing tobacco, oral tobacco, spitting tobacco, snuff and dip tobacco.
Tobacco in sweet, candy-like lozenges is another alternative to smoking cigarettes. It is designed to be taken orally, either chewed or sucked, until they dissolve. It usually contains tobacco and nicotine and is generally used among people who are quitting smoking.
Shisha is heated tobacco using hookah. A hookah is used to heat tobacco mixed with other flavors such as molasses, honey or fruit in a water pipe (the hookah), and a long hose is used to inhale the flavored smoke. Shisha originates from the Middle East and specific areas of Asia and has now become popular in Europe and the Americas. The World Health Organization states that one shisha session is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes in a report. Shisha also has a certain percentage of toxins.
Usually smoked by the wealthy, cigars are brown and thicker than cigarettes. They come in flavors, some are filtered, and some are not. Cigars are also found in the form of cigarillos, cheroots or blunts.
Kretek has its roots and origins in Indonesia. They are clove cigarettes that contain tobacco and deliver more carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar than regular cigarettes. Kretek has more regulation compared to e-cigarettes. In Europe, for example, kretek is often sold in thinner and smaller packs, adhering to the maximum amount of nicotine and tar levels.
Bidis is another type of flavored cigarette that is often unfiltered and delivers five times more nicotine than regular cigarettes. Bidis originate from the Indian subcontinent and carry a higher risk of oral cancer.
A smoking pipe is usually filled with tobacco, and a match is used to light the pipe. Smoking pipes have been around for ages, but it also comes with an increased risk of dying from cancer. Pipe smokers have a high chance of getting lung, lip, throat, larynx or pancreas cancer.
Healthier options for alternatives to smoking
These alternatives can help you move towards quitting smoking a little bit little.
Deep breathing session
Practicing deep breathing at least twice a day is a way to reduce stress levels and clear your lungs. Each time you feel like smoking, take five seconds of inhaling fresh air through your nose followed by five seconds of exhaling through your mouth. You can do this as often as you like, whether in the elevator to work, waiting in line for coffee or even in the shower.
Have a water bottle with you
Smoking can be both a mental fixation and a physical one too. Part of quitting smoking is keeping your hands busy. A water bottle next to you is one such solution. You can take it anywhere and refill it frequently. Each time you feel the urge to smoke, drink a sip of water. You not only keep your hands busy, but you’ll also stay hydrated.
To kick the smoking habit, you also need to change your daily routines. Instead of going outside to smoke, go outside to take some fresh air and walk. Stretch if you have to or take a brisk stroll. Do this for at least 5 minutes or 15 minutes if you have the time. You’ll feel refreshed and energized to go about your daily activities.
Find things to keep yourself distracted
Smoking may have taken up your time. You may have spent 5 minutes each time for a cigarette break. But now, on your road to recovery, you find yourself unsure of what to do in the 5 minutes of extra time you have. So what do you do? Focus on something else like a hobby or a game. Learn a language on a language app installed on your phone, or brush up on your vocabulary by doing a word game in the newspaper.