NRT vs. E Cigs
The wind can be heard howling down the long desolate western town, a piece of tumbleweed can be seen gently dancing in the wind, the saloon doors creaking as they mysteriously open and close reminiscent of an old ghost town long forgotten with the passing of time. An eerie full moon breaks free from the cloudy sky above when two silhouettes appear from the haze. They stand motionless, just 20 feet apart from one another, both not breaking gaze…”This town isn’t big enough for the two of us”.
Whenever we pick up a magazine, read a hospital information pamphlet or view a quit smoking campaign approved nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) such as nicotine gum, nicotine patches and lozenges are publicized as the number one way to quit smoking. Even drugs such as Varenicline, also known as Chantix, has been medically approved by the powers that be which makes the stigma surrounding electronic cigarettes all the more confusing and unwarranted.
I think Id rather be addicted to nicotine!!!
Let’s just quickly take a look at Varenicline, a prescription medication used to treat a smoking addiction. It is claimed to have a higher success rate than that of NRT but at what cost? It has been well documented that users who have been prescribed this drug have experienced nausea, headaches, insomnia, abnormal dreams, vomiting, abdominal pains, flatulence, change in tastes and constipation. If that wasn’t bad enough in November 2007 the FDA claimed it had received reports stating that patients who were using Varenicline had experienced some worrying side effects including suicidal and erratic behaviour. The following year the FDA issued a follow up warning saying “it appears increasingly likely that there is an association between Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms”. Worrying right? How can something that has been linked with such serious side effects be medically approved whilst electronic cigarettes are given the cold shoulder?
Statistics dont lie
According to online sources such as Patient.co.uk the success rate of NRT in the UK is around 17% with going cold turkey having a 5% success rate. Great…so we have the medical industry backing suicidal drugs and cessation methods that if we are honest have a very poor success rate. The problem with all these nicotine replacement therapies is that they only address the nicotine issue, which if you ask any smoker is only a fraction of the problem. The nicotine requirement is only one piece of the jigsaw, with the smoker’s habits completing the rest of the puzzle. These include:
- The hand / mouth experience
- The social element of smoking with friends and family
- The actual smoking routine itself – smokers are normally quite regimented in there smoking routine.
- The rewarding sensation that the brain has associated with smoking a cigarette.
- The learned behaviour of acquiring nicotine via a specific process.
NRTs fail where E Cigs succeed
Where NRT’s and other quit smoking methods fail, electronic cigarettes succeed and with flying colours, they tick all the above boxes by allowing the smokers to fulfil all their smoking habits. The electronic cigarettes mimics a real cigarette allowing the users to satisfy there smoking requirements whilst not filling their lungs and the lungs of people around them with poisonous smoke. There is now research being conducted on electronic cigarettes in New Zealand to see if they can be classed as effective smoking cessation devices that are ‘safe’ for their intended use, we will be eagerly awaiting the results.
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