Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quitting smoking and E cig update

Let me be clear from the onset, this post is not about quitting smoking by using e cigs!  I am merely planning to share two items with you.  This first is a story about quitting that someone told me today and the second, in case you missed it, is the FDA and the Center for Tobacco Products announcement on e cigs.

I have come to know the bike mechanic at a large sports store near my home (because I buy old bicycles with numerous problems).  One day, maybe last year, I saw the bike mechanic smoking outside the store and this made me sad.  Another day, also last year, he told me that he was considering going to college to study a health profession (pharmacotherapy) - this was after I told him about my work in Public Health.  I was very happy to hear his plans and encouraged him to go for it, while adding, something, I can't remember exactly what, about smoking.  A long discussion on quitting ensued, because in the past I officially helped people to quit smoking, and he seemed interested in hearing about it.

Today I saw him again and he immediately and enthusiastically told me that he had quit smoking.  Not one puff in the last month.  He said that he had been thinking about it for some time and finally it hit him, 'I'm done.'  

I quit in the same fashion, but its rather uncommon (successful cold turkey).  He spoke about the first week or two after he quit, all the junk/gunk he coughed up.  I know why that happened; his cilia (protective, hair like filters at the back of the throat) were coming back to life and doing their job, but most people (smokers) who experience this intense coughing, think that they were better off smoking and go back to it.  Unfortunately, a drag off a cigarette may stop the coughing (because the cilia are killed by tobacco smoke).  My friend, the bike mechanic, did not fall for that!  He saw the coughing for what it was - healing, detox and stayed with the quitting.  Next he noticed that fruits and vegetables actually taste GOOD - so he is also eating better.  I am glad because the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables will help clear up some of the smoking damage.  Plus, he is young.  Quitting while under the age of 30 may allow the smoker's body to become like that of a nonsmoker (over time).  So kudos to him and anyone else - regardless of age - who quits.  There is only one thing better than quitting smoking and that is not starting in the first place.  To see the benefits of quitting smoking time line from the American Lung Association click here.

E Cigs
The Center for Tobacco Products will be regulating e cigs in the same manner as cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and the like.  This means, for starters, e cigs cannot be sold or marketed to children, flavors might be forbidden (flavored tobacco, with the exception of menthol, has been outlawed by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009), and the companies selling/marketing e cigs cannot imply health benefits or cessation efficacy without providing  scientific evidence to back such claims.  In addition, makers of the products will have to file reports which disclose the smoke or vapor constituents(chemicals) and quantities from their product.  WHEN this will happen or when the info will be available to you, is not yet known.  Read the press release here.

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