Smoke Free Future Ahead
We are living in exciting times. With options such as cannabis, vaping and e-cigarettes, you have so many options that you can use if you really want to quit smoking. Despite these realities, we still have 1.1 billion smokers in the world today. Worldwide, around 10 million cigarettes are purchased by the minute reaching 15 billion cigarettes sold on a daily basis.
Given these staggering numbers regarding smoking, is it a possibility to be seeing a smokeless future? For the anti-tobacco advocates, now is the time to celebrate despite these numbers we just presented.
Government efforts to stop smoking
Despite number of tobacco users according to researchers, there are areas in the world wherein smoking is becoming an obsolescent habit. In developed countries such as US, strict laws and sin taxes are making people quit or cut on their smoking habits.
Just how effective are these policies in decreasing tobacco consumption? Ban on tobacco advertising, sponsorships and promotions could decrease consumption with an average 7% in different countries. You’ll be surprised that in some countries, as much as a 16% decline is seen among their smokers.
There are 29 countries that have effectively implemented a ban on smoking advertisement. These 29 countries constitute to 12% of the world’s population.
Also, another means of potentially stopping smoking is by having additional taxes for cigarettes. By simply increasing the price of cigarettes by 10%, expect at least a 4% decrease in the amount of cigarettes consumed. In third world countries, this measure could decrease the sales of cigarettes a bit more, given the economy.
There are also those countries that make use of graphic pack warnings in order to target smokers, especially children who start picking up the cigarettes. There are 42 countries today that make use of this strategy that constitute to 19% of world’s population.
WHO response to tobacco
In 2005, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco was in effect. It was the most widespread treaty that covered 90% of the world’s population. What does this do? It is the standard which countries could adhere to when it comes to the legal dimension of international health cooperation.
To further improve on WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco’s results, three years later, provisions were introduced to scale up the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention’s goal. MPOWER was established which has 6 measures to correspond to different provisions in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Monitor the prevention policies of tobacco
Protect people from the use of tobacco
Offer help for people who wish to quit
Warn people about the potential dangers of tobacco smoking
Raise taxes on tobacco
Enforce ban on advertising, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco
Also, another great thing about the WHO FCTC Protocol was to require tobacco companies to provide full range of paperwork regarding the tobacco supply. This eliminates the use of illicit tobacco in the market. This decreases the smuggled tobacco which could tolerate price adjustments.
How do these efforts affect different countries?
In the US, almost 70 percent of smokers have the initiative to quit smoking. That is a huge number of people who already want to kick the habit out. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. Success rate remained low at 6%, especially when the study was released in 2011.
To give you an idea just how bad nicotine addiction is, experts believe that it is just as bad as heroine or cocaine. For those who had college degree, quitting is quite higher at 11 percent compared to the 3% success rate of smokers with fewer than 12 years of education.
In China, in a 2009 survey, 38% of smokers knew that smoking can cause coronary disease. For those who know the negative impact of smoking, majority of them want to already quit smoking.
According to reports, 25% of individuals who used medicines could last smoke free for over 6 months. Aside from medications, counseling also makes a huge difference when it comes to helping people quit smoking in general.
Things that aid smoking cessation
There are things that can help you quit smoking for good. For instance, you find a support group which allows you to help each other. You can also go to friends and family who could help encourage you in your effort to quit smoking.
Just how important is having support when trying to quit smoking? In England and Wales, they built the NHS Stop Smoking Services in 2000. Yearly, there was a steady increase in the number of attendants. In fact, it has reached 800,000 in 2011 to 2012. Quit rate for this particular intervention goes as high as 53% in four weeks, and 15% at one year. It is an impressive number given the 4% success rate on those who tried to quit smoking unaided.
Vaporizers and e-cigarettes are now becoming in demand. A lot of people make use of these options in order to replace their tobacco. A pack of cigarettes in the US could easily cost around $18. Compared to these options, you can definitely save a lot of money.
Do vaporizers and e-cigarettes really work? There is a study that now agrees on the use of the efficacy of e-cigarettes and vaporizers if you wish to avoid smoking. There are two types of addiction developed with cigarette smoking. It has the psychological and the physical addiction. Psychological addiction will pertain to meeting oral fixation of smokers. Also, there’s the physical addiction which is mainly caused by nicotine. Both of these addictions are addressed by vaporizers and e-cigarettes.
What does vaping and e-cigarettes do differently? Both e-cigarettes and vaporizers liquids contain nicotine. This means that you eliminate the problem with withdrawal symptoms. The good news is that there are different doses of nicotine depending on which liquid you are trying.
Aside from the fact that you eliminate combustion of tobacco, vaporizers and some e-cigarettes can hold cannabis. Given that there are states that have supported cannabis legalization, this can help avoid withdrawal symptoms from nicotine.
In a study made by Nicotine and Tobacco Research, they found out that people who are using e-cigarettes with refillable tanks are more successful if they wish to quit smoking. It is because of the different nicotine content options that users have.
Other than e-cigarettes and vaporizers, the nicotine gum, nicotine patches and nicotine lozenges are also available. These are FDA approved Nicotine Replacement Therapies that you could use.
Given efforts by governments, and the number of people who already stopped smoking today, it is a possibility that we are going to see a smoke free future if this trend continues. The vaporizer industry has turned into a billion dollar industry. Given people’s reliance to large vaporizers and e-cigarettes, this could potentially decrease the number of smokers.
Cigarette firms are affected
Big tobacco firms are now affected by declining sales in tobacco. Reynolds American in 2014 purchased the third largest tobacco company in the US for $27.4 billion. With this merger, this puts Reynolds American the second largest after Altria Inc., the makers of Marlboro.
There was a decline in cigarette consumption which led to this action by US based tobacco firms. In 2013, there was a 4% decline in cigarette sales as reported in the Wall Street Journal.
If you’ll look at the prevalence of teenage smoking habits during the 70s and compare to what it is today, the numbers aren’t looking good for tobacco firms. In the 70s, 30% of the 12 graders are already smoking. In contrast to what it is today, it only comes close to 5%. The same trend is happening to adult smokers, as well.
Are we going to see a smokeless society soon? Given the direction of sales, not to mention the decision of tobacco companies to exhaust different markets in Asia and other parts of the world with limited laws when it comes to smoking, we are collectively hurting the tobacco industry. It is not operating as it used to be. But are we seeing a smokeless society soon? Not really.