For nearly a quarter of a century the number of smokers has steadily decreased. In fact, industry insiders have pegged the number to be somewhere around the 33% in terms of the actual number of people who have moved on from the tobacco habit. However it is also important to note that over that same time period the tobacco companies have reformulated and reengineered their product to better deliver the nicotine that compels the smoker to come back time and time again. To be clear, the cigarettes of today are much stronger than the cigarettes of 15 years ago. While some people might smoke fewer cigarettes, they are actually receiving the same or even more nicotine by volume.
While the cigarette companies and the cigarette itself have changed, so too have the people using them. Smokers of today are much more likely to battle issues such as anxiety and/or depression regardless of their income level. And while the research might sound backwards, it has actually shown that the best way to reduce stress is to quit smoking. Many would assume it to be the other way around. Research has also shown that the average smoker is waiting longer between smokes. This could be due to the increased number of smoke free areas or it could also be attributed to the increased delivery system in the product.
As the smoker waits longer and longer for each cigarette, the mental “reward” increases every time the user uses a tobacco product. This would appear to make it easier to stop smoking since the individual is using less of the product and for shorter periods of time. However the chemical balance in the brain actually makes this work in reverse. As you reward yourself with a cigarette you are reinforcing the behavior more than you could ever know. This is the main reason why quitting has become so hard for so many people.
While the United States has seen a remarkable number of people walk away from tobacco, it needs to be remembered that the majority of the “success” came in the 40 years prior to 2004. It was during this time when the adult smoking population was nearly cut in half. In fact it fell all the way to 20.9%. In 2011 he CDC released new information that showed the median number of smokers had risen from the previous mentioned low all the way up to 21.2%. However in 2013 the number was back down to 19.6%. The point here is that over a 10-year period the number has basically stayed the same.
So what can be done about the paradox that smokers find themselves in? World Not tobacco day was on Sunday, May 31. As the day pushed onward it became clear that smoking was not going anywhere and that people were still facing the mountain of trying to walk away from a serious habit.
Some would argue that the tobacco companies need to be forced to lower the allowable level of nicotine in their product. However the problem with this issue is the simple fact that you have a governing body dictating business policy. In a free and open market that cannot be allowed.
Some of the best advice for quitting the habit can be found in the following two options.
First, we as a nation and as friends and family members need to stand together and challenge the idea of statements such as, “I will quit tomorrow,” “I smoke only because I am stressed.” These statements are false and they only cement the behavior to smoke.
Second, be aware of the smoking triggers such as being around other smokers. Try and limit your exposure to alcohol or alcohol consumption since this leads to further smoking. Train your body to adjust to stress and emotion without a cigarette.
Walking away from cigarettes can be major life decision. It can affect your mind your body and your family as well. However you need to be fully aware that it will most likely only have positive effects in the long term. Smoking does not have to control your life. Take your life back and proudly walk away from the tobacco habit. Ecigs are great way to bridge over into a new tobacco-free way of life. Switch to vaping today!