Thursday November 15, 2018

Want to Quit Smoking (Nicotine)?: Help is Here!

Cigarettes contain Nicotine which causes addiction

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Nicotine addiction
E Cigarettes are not a solution to those who wish to quite smoking because E Cigarettes too contain Nicotine. Image credit: www.SameCondition.com
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Dr. M.v. Annalarasi

We at samecondition.com in the previous articles have emphasized the need to quit smoking. Like mentioned earlier, it is true that it is easier said than done. In this article, we would like to communicate to you, in case you already didn’t know, the various recommended practices to adapt while trying to quit smoking. Apart from our articles, you might have come across several sources of the ill effects of smoking. But try adapting a different perspective to look at this issue. The beneficial effects of quitting smoking are aplenty.

It is a common knowledge that nicotine is the addictive substance that keeps you glued to smoking. But to abolish it from your life immediately can have some unfavorable implications: Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are insomnia, anxiety, difficulty to concentrate, intense craving to get your hands-on nicotine, depression etc.

To help you avoid quit as well aid you in a smooth transition towards “ the life without nicotine”, nicotine replacement products are recommended. These products are designed in such a way that they supply nicotine in controlled amounts. This would prepare your physical being to cooperate with your mental efforts to quit. Also, some of these products function on the mechanism of positive reinforcement and desensitizing the nicotine receptors by the nicotine replacement. Some of these products are sold under prescription and some are available over the counter. These are Nicotine transdermal patches, lozenges, inhaler, nasal spray, and chewing gums.

The safety of ‘the otherwise effective nicotine replacement therapy’ during pregnancy, remains to be determined. Nicotine in any form still poses a threat to the fetus. If you are a pregnant woman or have been diagnosed with any health condition like asthma, COPD, diabetes, hypertension, it is advisable to better consult a physician before buying these products on your own.

  1. Nicotine (Transdermal) patches: recommended not to be used alongside cigarette smoking. It has the advantage of moderating and maintaining sustainable levels of nicotine ( lesser than in cigarettes).

 2Nasal spray: available as prescription-only drug and the dosage delivered is tapered over time.

3. Gum: a slow release resin containing nicotine and polacrilin. It has a proved smoking cessation track record of up to 70%. ( available over the counter).

Each of these substances come with their own side effects like sore throat, dry mouth, nausea, dyspepsia etc. But the effects are controlled over a period and hence signal safety with uncontested clarity.

4. Medications: There are some non-nicotine containing pharmacotherapeutic substances (FDA approved and primary line of management) that come to your aid in ‘the quit smoking movement’. Two common examples are Bupropion hydrochloride and Varenicline tartrateClonidine, an alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonist, used for treating hypertension has also demonstrated considerable efficacy but not FDA approved. Yet, it has been endorsed by the US clinical practice guidelines to be prescribed as a second line of treatment for tobacco addiction. Next in line is Nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, primarily prescribed to treat depression. It has also exhibited potential as the second line of treatment. The research to make patches with this drug is still under process.

An alkaloid called cytisine binds to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and in some clinical studies has proved to be superior to the replacement therapy.

Some of these are available commercially and some are still in the process to reach approval. It is heartening to know that the efforts to help people trying to quit are on the rise. Check the approval status of the drugs on the regulatory websites of your country. It is even better to approach a physician to get yourself a medically accurate blueprint to quit smoking.

Did you know? Nicotine vaccines might also become a reality soon. This new line of immunotherapy for smoking cessation is also underway.

Remember:

The harms due to tobacco will stay away from you if you stay away from tobacco.

The article first appeared at Same Condition website: https://www.samecondition.com/blog/trying-quit-nicotine-dont-struggle-alone/

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E-cigarettes Are 95% Less Risky Than Conventional Cigarettes: Experts

Moreover, 55 countries worldwide, including the UK, New Zealand, Norway and Canada, among others, have legalised the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids as consumer goods

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e-cigarette
E-cigarette additives impair lung function: Study. ( Image Source: https://ecigarettereviewed.com/)

By cracking down on artificial nicotine products, India will miss the historical opportunity to reduce the burden of disease and deaths due to smoking and tobacco as these products are 95 per cent less risky than conventional cigarettes, health experts said.

“E-cigarettes represent a very historical opportunity when you consider the diversity in the mosaic of different patterns of use in different products that are used at such high rates in India,” Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, a research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, Greece told IANS.

India has 11.2 per cent of the world’s total smokers. Over 11 per cent of the 6.4 million deaths worldwide were caused by smoking in 2015 and 52.2 per cent of them took place in China, India, Russia, and the US, according to a recent study published in the journal The Lancet.

“E-cigarettes are not safe but are certainly 95 per cent less risky than smoking conventional cigarettes,” Alex Wodak, Emeritus Consultant, Alcohol and Drug Service, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney told IANS.

“The smoke from a conventional cigarette contains about 7,000 chemicals with mostly high concentrations but vapour from e-cigarettes contains only 150 chemicals which are mostly of low concentration,” Wodak added.

e-cigarettes
In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that’s sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

In August, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued an advisory to state governments to ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) which include e-cigarettes, vape, e-Sheesha, e-hookah, etc.

According to experts, banning these may deprive smokers of a substantially less harmful alternative which can be against public health and can result in adverse consequences.

One should never make decisions based only on potential risks but they should always measure benefits and see where the ratio lies, they added.

“Regulation is needed but it should be risk proportional,” Farsalinos said.

Earlier, in a statement, the Association of Vapers India (AVI) — an organisation that represents e-cigarettes — said the government has failed to offer an alternative to tobacco cigarettes known to cause many diseases, including cancer and lung disease.

“The government has so far relied on an emotional appeal to persuade tobacco users to kick the habit but never offered an alternative beyond gums and patches, which have a very low success rate,” said Samrat Chowdhery, Director, AVI.

Cigarette
Smoking conventional, e-cigarettes daily can be more dangerous. Pixabay

In such a scenario, “an attempt to ban e-cigarettes is regressive given that the government’s stated policy is to provide wider choices to consumers for all products and services, and not restrict them,” he added.

Although e-cigarettes too contain nicotine like tobacco cigarettes, they do not produce tar and toxic chemicals that cause most tobacco-related deaths across the world, the experts argued.

Also Read- Sales of Apple iPhones Will Pick up in India with Onset of Festive Season: Experts

Moreover, 55 countries worldwide, including the UK, New Zealand, Norway and Canada, among others, have legalised the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids as consumer goods.

E-cigarettes are a proven stop smoking tool and while uncertainties undoubtedly remain about their long-term health impact, failing to explore the use of e-cigarettes could lead to the continued use of conventional cigarettes which currently kill millions, the experts noted. (IANS)