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WHO Questions The Effectiveness Of Ecigs As Quitting Aids

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that there is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of ecigarettes in helping people quit smoking actual cigarettes, news that may well encourage you to consider other methods, such as cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy techniques.

As the WHO explains, there is a wide range of different ecig devices, all of which come with different amounts of nicotine and harmful emissions. Some gadgets have also been found to contain nicotine after claiming to be nicotine-free, so bear this in mind if you are trying to quit and have considered vaping as a way of achieving this.

Adolescents are apparently at greater risk when using ecigarettes than others, as nicotine is very addictive and our brains are still developing well into our 20s, with exposure to nicotine having potentially long-lasting damaging effects. Younger vapers are also more likely to smoke real cigarettes, as well as using cigars and hookahs.

It also seems as though ecigarettes could result in lung damage, with growing evidence coming from the US to support this. The country saw 2,409 people in hospital because of ecigarette use in 2019, with 52 confirmed deaths related to their usage. These are alarming statistics.

At the time of writing this blog, the BBC News has written a piece on two potential cases of ecigarette or vaping-related lung injury in the UK in the past year, in which both patients died. This is being investigated by The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

The WHO has now called for regulation of ecigarettes, saying they’re harmful to health. This regulation should disrupt the promotion and uptake of these products, reduce the potential health risks to users and non-users alike, stop false or unproven claims being made about the devices and protect current tobacco control efforts.

A possible draw to using vapes over cigarettes is they do not burn tobacco which contains tar, the substance directly linked to causing lung cancer.

Nobody will be surprised to know that cigarettes contain many noxious substances such as carbon monoxide. In addition there are over 4,000 other chemicals in tobacco smoke of which a large number are believed to be poisonous and over 40 are known carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds).

However, one thing is for certain, most people using vapes as a replacement for smoking cigarettes are still inhaling nicotine, and potentially in much higher doses, due to the fact the consumer has the ability to set the amount ‘dispensed’.

So what is nicotine?

  • Nicotine is a water-soluble insecticide produced by the tobacco plant to protect itself against pests.

  • It is a poison and a few drops of pure nicotine on the tongue would most certainly be life threatening.

  • When taken into the body nicotine acts as a powerful neuro-stimulant, raising heart rate and constricting blood vessels.

In stop smoking sessions, clients give a number of reasons why they smoke cigarettes and vapes. They believe:

  • it helps them cope with feeling nervous or anxious,

  • it helps calm their nerves when stressed,

  • it acts as a social facilitator, and

it relaxes them before important business calls or meetings.

However, because of its stimulating effects on the body the average smoker’s heart rate is almost 10 bpm faster than a non-smoker, therefore smoking does NOT relax or calm you down. The irony is that it actually does the opposite - it increases levels of stress.

If we could look inside the body we would see nicotine acting on an area of the brain known as the adrenal medulla, which increases the flow of adrenaline. We have all experienced a ‘rush of adrenaline’ in situations where we feel stress or sense danger, where the heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increases. This is what we are telling the body to do when we inhale nicotine. GET STRESSED! GUARD UP! DANGER APPROACHING!

As we can see nicotine is nothing but a STRESS DRUG!

Cigarettes, vapes and any e-cigarette devices actually cause the problem they promise to cure.

In addition to the short-term effects above, the long-term physical and psychological effects of nicotine addiction are very similar to that of chronic stress and can exacerbate existing heart and blood pressure problems and contribute to sleep disorders.

If you are determined to quit smoking this year and are now concerned about using vapes to help you achieve this, or simply want to rid yourself of nicotine totally from your life, what about looking into our Stop IN-7 treatment programme, which has been specifically designed to help you become a healthy and happy non-smoker.

The program not only focuses on popular methods of smoking cessation such as Hypnosis, which is a fundamental part of treatment, but incorporates a wide range of different therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness and hypnotherapy, into a whole package.

Hypnotherapy recordings are used to help begin the quitting process and on treatment day itself the client and I spend time really understanding the mechanics of nicotine and why we smoke. We finish the session with a powerful hypnosis and the client leaves with all the tools needed to remain smoke free including a further hypnotherapy recording to reinforce the positive work they have achieved in the session at a deeper, subconscious level.

Hypnosis and hypnotherapy has been used very successfully over the years to help people quit smoking and it is one of the best approaches for anyone keen to leave nicotine behind them forever.

If you have any questions about the treatment and what it entails, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Alexander James, Wimbledon stop smoking expert at The Mindful Therapist.

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