Despite the many health complications associated with smoking, a significant number of people still smoke. In 2010, an estimated 45 million adults in the United States smoked. Statistics show that as of 2015, 70% of smokers want to quit.
However, in 2020, there will still be an estimated 31 million adult smokers, according to the CDC. This statistic is concerning because it shows us that despite anti-smoking campaigns and efforts to quit smoking, the number of smokers in the United States remains high.
If you’ve tried to quit smoking before and ended up returning to the habit, don’t worry! This happens to many smokers. The good news is that quitting smoking may be easier now than it was a few years ago.
1. New research on smoking cessation
A recent study led by the University of Bristol has found that combining smoking cessation therapy is the most effective way to help people quit smoking. This means that if a person wants to quit smoking, they are more likely to succeed if they use more than one method at the same time to help them quit.
The study points to a variety of approaches, such as drug therapy or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). More specifically, the study recommends the use of varenicline, bupropion, and NRT as first-line treatments for smoking cessation.
Previous studies have only investigated the use of a single type of therapy and its effects, but this new study reveals findings that can help make smoking cessation easier compared to older interventions used. But be sure to consult your doctor before taking this route, as combining tobacco with other medications can have adverse health effects.
2. More accessible options
Until recently, there were only a handful of products to choose from when it came to nicotine replacements. Smokers who want to quit now have more options, making the process easier. For example, there is a wider variety of inexpensive nicotine pouches that come in a variety of flavors and strengths and are easy to use. Just place one under your upper lip and it will start releasing nicotine with no fuss and no smoke.
Another option is the affordable nicotine patch, which can be attached to the user’s arm, chest, shoulder or back to deliver a dose of nicotine through the skin. Both sachets and patches are readily available – as long as users have access to a computer or mobile device and are connected to the internet, they can order sachets or patches and have them delivered to their location.
3. Raising public awareness
With the advent of extensive medical research and a public information drive, we now know much more about the dangerous effects of smoking and how it manifests itself in our bodies. For example, our previous article pointed out that a person’s tongue turning white is often caused by smoking, and it can also be a possible indicator of many underlying health conditions.
Additionally, an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that as of February 2020, 64 people had died and 2,758 had been hospitalized. Where data like this was previously unavailable for free, we now have access to accurate and peer-reviewed information—reviewed information so we can make better, healthier choices.
Quitting smoking used to be an almost impossible task with limited options. Fortunately, with today’s better resources for information, support, and alternative product options, kicking the habit is within reach, and now easier than ever.