The Down Low on Cigarette Alternatives

By: Bel Marra Health | Immune System | Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - 01:14 AM

 quit smokingYou might be trading one bad habit for another. For those of you smokers wanting to quit using the electronic cigarette, you could be sorely disappointed. Following the hype surrounding the e-cigarette craze, the US FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation, Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis (DPA) has taken a look at the popular e-smoking devices and found a few shocking facts you might want to pay attention to:

– Diethylene glycol (an ingredient most commonly used in antifreeze) was detected in some e-cigarettes.

-Certain tobacco-specific nitrosamines (considered to be human carcinogens) were detected in half of the samples that were tested.

-Probably most surprisingly, the electronic cigarette cartridges that were labeled as containing no nicotine still had low levels of nicotine present in all cartridges tested (except for one).

Most companies that produce e-cigarettes claim that the cartridges contain only water vapor, small amounts of nicotine and propylene glycol – (a substance seen in stage shows that is used to create fake smoke)

RELATED ARTICLE: The Effects of Smoking on Your Skin

So clearly with the controversy surrounding e-cigarettes, there needs to be a better alternative to quitting smoking. While in a perfect world, people would be able to just not partake in the habit at all (also known as cold turkey quitting). In the meantime, a few natural alternatives to consider:

Quit Smoking the Natural Way

1. Try flavored toothpicks. A safe and healthy way to distract yourself from the habit, and still mimic the motion of smoking. Flavored toothpicks come in a wide assortment of flavors—from cinnamon and tea tree to peppermint and spearmint.

2. Throw away your nicotine gum, and pick up some sugarless gum. Chewing on sugarless gum can be a healthy substitute for cigarette smoking. It can satisfy the craving for having something in your mouth, and it can even keep the acidity in your mouth balanced, too.

3. Chocolate, well dark chocolate anyways. Cigarettes obviously contain nicotine, which increases the levels of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine leads to feelings of joy, pleasure and satisfaction. Dark chocolate is known to increase dopamine levels, which can trigger the same feelings of pleasure that cigarette smoking can.

4. Get moving. More often than not, you probably smoke whenever you feel stressed. Taking up some exercise, even light exercise, can prove to be an easy way to stop smoking by helping you to relax and release tension. Less tension, could curb your “need” for cigarettes.

With e-cigarettes being called into question, realizing that there are other, healthier, alternatives becomes very important. While this “miracle” e-cigarette idea might not be all it’s cracked up to be, there are other ways to quit smoking. The list of alternatives might not be a quick fix, but can at least get you heading in the right direction.


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