Most people have high hopes for the New Year, and many of us will try to improve our lifestyle or break a bad habit once December 31st comes to an end.
One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions has to be quitting smoking, with thousands of Brits keen to kick their biggest vice once 2019 arrives. The introduction of e-cigarettes has certainly helped smokers in their quest, and their battle against their addiction could be aided even more.
Find out how by reading on.
Quitting isn’t easy
According to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), giving up cigarettes is one of the most difficult resolutions to keep, and figures from 2016 showed that 60 per cent of those who gave up cigarettes for New Year had taken it up again by January 31st. Only 13 per cent were still smoke-free by the time 2017 rolled round.
January presents an ideal time to give up smoking, what with many people feeling they have to go on a health kick after indulging too much at Christmas. Indeed, the New Year offers the perfect opportunity to start afresh, but it is not the only occasion of the year for many smokers to try and quit cigarettes.
Indeed, the RSPH revealed a third of Britain’s ten million smokers attempt to give up every year, but only four per cent of these succeed and are free of tobacco 12 months later.
Chief executive of the RSPH Shirley Cramer CBE said: “Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the UK, so it is encouraging that many people are choosing to try and quit as their resolution.”
She went on to say: “Although quitting can be difficult, our research demonstrates that those who try to quit at New Year are more than three times more likely to succeed than the national average.”
How vaping can help
One of the most effective ways to stay smoke-free is to use e-cigarettes with quality e-liquid that allows people to have some nicotine without the negative health impact of inhaling tobacco.
This will certainly help those who are addicted to nicotine – as this is what they find hard to cut out when they give up smoking.
By swapping traditional cigarettes for electronic ones, smokers can reduce their nicotine intake dramatically, while still being able to continue the habit of holding something in their fingers.
In that respect, smokers do not have to go ‘cold turkey’ and e-cigarettes can take over where tobacco ones left off, while still improving their health.
According to Dr Nicholas Hopkinson, who spoke with Net Doctor on the issue, vaping is “much safer than smoking”.
“The toxic chemicals that are present in cigarette smoke are either not present in vape, or are present at a much lower level,” he stated, referring to a recent study of 181 people, with some vapers and some smokers.
The results of the study showed there were lower cancer-causing chemicals present in the participants who vaped, rather than smoked.
“People who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking will get a substantial health benefit,” Dr Hopkinson confirmed.
Smoking in the workplace
One of the biggest challenges ex-smokers face is not being able to get a nicotine hit in the office. Those who are desperately trying to give up tobacco, but need to vape to distract them from the temptation of getting a cigarette out find it difficult when they are unable to do so.
That is why the latest call from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping (APPGV) to make it more acceptable for e-cigarettes to be used in the workplace could be a huge help to those trying to kick smoking for good.
Last week, the APPGV suggested that the Houses of Parliament set an example to other businesses and become a vape-friendly zone to enable companies to understand e-cigarettes do not come under the same policies as smoking.
The Metro reported Acas adviser Tom Neil as saying: “E-cigarettes or vaping is not covered by the current law that applies to smoking within workplaces. So employers have the freedom to decide what policies to put in place around vaping at work.”
Some bosses might be put off from allowing their staff to smoke e-cigarettes in the office, whether they believe it may encourage employees to get their tobacco cigarettes out or they are not sure if it would be a nuisance to other workers.
However, as vaping is often part of a smoker’s plan to quit, employers should be encouraging it in the workplace, the APPGV believe.
Mr Neil suggested companies could set up a specific vaping area, allocate certain times of the day to vape, or establish guidelines on how many vape breaks can be taken.
Companies could have such an influence on the success of someone’s quitting journey that ruling out vaping in the workplace altogether may result in their failure. This is not good for the business either if it means their health suffers as a result, and they end up taking cigarette breaks outside and spending less time working than they would if they were vaping.
According to the APPGV, introducing a rule about vaping would make it clear to all members of staff what the policies around e-cigarettes are, and this should start in Parliament.
Chairman of the organisation Mark Pawsey told the news provider: “There are only two designated vaping locations [in Parliament], and despite being a member for eight years, I still have no idea where either of these locations are.”
What about public spaces?
Many vapers are still unsure of what the rules about smoking their e-cigarettes in the public are, and the APPGV thinks similar policies regarding vaping etiquette should be established for these areas, as well as for the workplace.
Currently, while the UK has a smoking ban on tobacco use in public places, there is no such legislation that covers vaping. Organisations, therefore, are allowed to create policies with regards to allowing people to smoke e-cigarettes on their own premises – this includes inside shops, cafes, restaurants, and on public transport.
However, the lack of policy could discourage businesses from letting customers vape, as they are unsure of the exact rules.
According to Public Health England (PHE): “Unlike cigarettes, there is no side-stream vapour emitted by an e-cigarette into the atmosphere, just the exhaled aerosol. PHE’s latest evidence review found that to date, there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to bystanders.”
It was added that those with respiratory conditions, such as asthma, could be sensitive to vapour, much as they would with other environmental irritants. Therefore, organisations that are likely to experience a significant number of people with these ailments visiting – such as a GP surgery – should be mindful of this and “make adjustments where appropriate”.
Other than that, there is no guideline on what businesses should do regarding allowing vaping on their premises.
If there was a clearer policy for vaping in public places, those who are trying to quit smoking by picking up e-cigarettes instead would be more aware that they can vape in the majority of public places – something they cannot do with traditional cigarettes.
This could encourage them to pick up or continue with vaping, which would dramatically improve their chances of succeeding in their mission to become smoke-free.
If you’re planning on swapping cigarettes for e-liquid once the festive season comes to an end, why not pick up a vape pen starter kit today to help you stick to your 2019 New Year’s Resolution?