The culture surrounding smoking has been evolving for many years. In the ‘50s nearly everyone smoked everywhere; the ‘70s began a culture of smoking something a little different; then, when 2000 hit, people started to become more aware of the dangers of smoking tobacco. Today, smoking cigarettes is not as common as it once was as other vices challenge its rank in popularity. Regardless of whether you’re smoking cigarettes, e-cigs or vapes, it is important to continue to be mindful of your lung health.
The benefits of good lung health are tremendous. Healthy lungs mean exercising longer, sleeping better, getting sick less often, being more adventurous, getting outside more often and so much more. Imagine being able to play with your children for hours or going on long hikes with your favorite canine. Healthy lungs can help make this happen, so you must make it a priority to be conscious of them.
If you’re a long-time smoker, you know that giving up the habit is not as easy as it sounds. You most likely have already tried something — from the patch, to the gum, to quitting cold turkey — and nothing seemed to diminish those cravings. Perhaps it is time to face facts: quitting smoking isn’t in the cards for you right now, and that’s OK, because there are now more options than ever for someone considering cutting tobacco that will help improve their overall lung health and let them maintain their lifestyle.
For many smokers, the best chance for giving up tobacco is by employing a “harm reduction” approach to quitting, which encourages the use of alternate and less destructive alternatives to cigarettes. Among the many options a quitter has with the harm reduction methodology, e-cigs give addicts the opportunity to give up smoking without having to cut their intake of nicotine. Smoking is extremely dangerous when consumed via smoke in the lungs, and it is one of the most habit-forming components in a cigarette, so for many lifetime smokers giving it up isn’t a choice — similar to those who wish not to give up sugar or caffeine. E-cigs make a great alternative, and they help limit the lingering smells that cigarettes often leave behind.
This next option is somewhat similar to e-cigs without the heavy nicotine component. Vaping has quickly become one of the most trendy habits for millennials, with over 9 million Americans regularly partaking. Vaping differs from e-cigs in many ways, the biggest way being the amount of nicotine. Though vape oil comes with the option of having increasing levels of nicotine, there are also oils available that contain little to no nicotine. Vaping can be a healthier alternative to cigarettes, though it comes with its own baggage.
Popcorn lung can be caused by certain types of vape oils that contain diacetyl, an ingredient commonly found in popcorn butter, so be sure to read any warning signs on oils before you purchase them.
Smoking anything from cigarettes to vape pens comes with responsibility. Lung health is of utmost importance, especially if you are a smoker in any form. Early detection of lung abnormalities can be the difference between a healthy life and life spent on ventilators, so be sure to consult your doctors regularly about having radiological exams performed.
Quitting smoking doesn’t have to feel like a job for Sisyphus. You don’t need to feel like you’re pushing a boulder up a mountain only to have it roll back down on top of you. Simply consider your options for quitting and choose the one that fits your lifestyle and your needs the best.
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