The Habit of Smoking
Reasons why University Students Smoke
University students use smoking to alleviate stress from constant studying and the constant pressures in their social lives. Others start smoking due to the peer pressure from their friends. Students, especially those who suffer from low self esteem, are the most likely to start smoking in an effort to blend in with “the crowd”, who in this case are their peers (Zachary & Siegel, 2010).
The Side Effects of Smoking
Cigarettes, like any other drug, come with their effects and most of them are serious health effects that can even lead to death. The most common health hazard associated with smoking is lung cancer. It can also cause heart attacks and strokes.
Lung disease and chronic bronchitis are also caused by smoking. Other side effects of smoking are the yellowing of the teeth, bad breath, difficulty in sleeping, sore throat and even cancer of the mouth, lips and larynx (Siegel, Tanwar & Wood, 2010).
Ways to Quit Smoking
Visiting a Smoking Treatment Medical Center.
To quit smoking, one can visiting a smoking treatment center; the addict meets with a certified smoking cessation specialist who will determine how dependent one is to nicotine, the willingness to quit and the most preferred way of learning. Then the specialist will design a specialized treatment which is suitable for the smoker (Siegel, Tanwar & Wood, 2010).
Joining a ‘Stop Smoking’ Support Group
A support group is another avenue for smokers to quit smoking, this achieved by the group therapy in which students who want to quit smoking come together and are taken through the quitting process and since they share a common goal they encourage and support each other which builds up to the achievement of the group and the individuals in it (Siegel, Tanwar & Wood, 2010).
Using some medicines to help you quit
The use of medicines is common to the students who wish to stop smoking. The examples of the medications used for quitting are; nicotine replacement therapy, Zyban and Champix. This meds release nicotine to the blood stream therefore helps to counter the cravings that arise and result to withdrawals (Zachary & Siegel, 2010).
An electronic cigarette is an electronic device that simulates the act of smoking by producing a mist which gives the physical sensation and often the flavor and the nicotine just as the analog cigarette (Etter, 2010).
Most of these electronic cigarettes are portable, cylindrical and when fully packed with all its necessaries they are the size of a ballpoint pen. Its components are the cartridge which is a disposable plastic container with openings at each end.
It serves as a liquid reservoir and at the same time as the mouth piece. It must allow the passage of the liquid to the atomizer which is the heating component that turns the liquid into vapor, and back to the user’s mouth (Netland, 2010).
The E liquid is a component found in the internal parts of the e cigarettes. It contains propylene glycerol and tar and an addition to several flavors. Electronic cigarettes are not only supposed to give you the satisfaction of nicotine in your body system, but also serve as a relaxation methodology (Netland, 2010).
Advantages of Electric Cigarettes
The e cigarettes do not emit smoke therefore they can be smoked anywhere. It delivers the same satisfaction as the analogue cigarette making it the optimum choice. University students view it as cool gadgets that can be carried around easily at the same time derive satisfaction for the smokers (Siegel, Tanwar & Wood, 2010). They are environmentally friendly because they use batteries instead of using real fire to light them.
The batteries they use are rechargeable thus there is minimized waste production. One refill of the electronic cigarette amounts to two packs of cigarettes; the difference in waste and cost is evident. Smoking of electronic cigarettes also shields the smoker from 2000 toxins present in regular cigarettes (Zachary & Siegel, 2010).
Electronic cigarettes were found to be “much safer” than the analogue ones. Therefore this substitute to the tobacco cigarettes has resulted in reduced health hazards especially cancer, when compared to smoking analogue cigarettes.
As for nicotine addiction, these cigarettes do contain nicotine and are used by those who want to derive the satisfaction of smoking without health hazards. Despite this, the electronic cigarettes have helped the people who want to quit.
Attracting non-smokers to try the new device
With the benefits that come with these gadgets and the adverts that are placed in the media, non smokers may be tempted to start smoking. That is why for example in Washington the electronic cigarette smoking in public places is banned and prohibited sale to minors (Netland, 2010).
Comparison between analog and electronic cigarettes
Given that in the analogue cigarettes one has to light it up in order to smoke, the smoker inhales chemicals which are harmful to one’s health as compared to the electronic cigarettes which the smoker inhales vapor.
Electronic cigarettes are more efficient and are less costly to maintain since they only require refills once in a while as compared to analogue cigarettes where the student has to buy a new cigarette whenever he feels like smoking.
Socially these cigarettes, despite not being welcomed with open arms, are friendlier than analogue cigarettes since they do not emit smoke the smoker has no bad smell and can smoke around people without worrying about the affecting them (Siegel, Tanwar & Wood, 2010).
In this modern age of environmental and health consciousness it is vital for the university students ensure that they take care of their health and the health of their peers. This will be done by avoiding preventable diseases and in this case the ones caused by smoking. Although this step is a long shot, it is achievable.
The electronic cigarette is only a stepping stone towards quitting smoking but not a miracle worker that will eradicate the craving for nicotine. A smoker who is willing to stop smoking will not be stuck in using electronic cigarettes and instead will move on to completely stop smoking. A recovering smoker should at all cost avoid being near the people who smoke since there will be the tendency of reverting back to smoking.
Etter, J.F. (2010). Electronic Cigarettes: A survey of users. BMC Public Health Journal 10. 231 -238
Netland, G. (2010). Quit Smoking for a Better Lifestyle. Electronic Cigarette reviews, 16 (4), 263-269
Siegel, M., Tanwar, B. & Wood, S.K. (2010). Electronic Cigarettes as a Smoking- Cessation Tool: Results from an online survey. Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, 215 (21), 215-244.
Zachary, C. & Siegel. M. (2010). Electronic Cigarettes as a Harm Reduction Strategy for Tobacco Control: A step forward or a repeat of past mistakes? Journal of Public Health Policy, 5, 3-16400