Banning Electronic Cigarettes (Pt. 2)

On November 17th, I wrote a blog entitled “Banning Electronic Cigarettes”. The blog was in response to a recent news item about the possibility of banning smoking or nicotine dispensing devices from pubs. During the last week, I’ve received at least one email per day promoting “eCigs” with what appears to be a nicotine dispensing device made to mimic cigarettes and cigarette smoking. There’s a lovely young smiling couple across the strap line. The ad suggests people can “smoke smarter” with fewer chemicals, no tobacco, tar or ash and to be able to smoke indoors “legally”. Tweets and Facebook comments from users both employ the words “happier” and “healthier”.

My concern is that these devices are being marketed as an alternative to smoking. If the intention of using these devices is the first brief step towards completely quitting then I can see the point, but what I detect is that these devices are being marketed as a lifestyle choice. “Happy” and “healthy” are being used strategically. I’m adamant that the best way forward in terms of being healthy and happy is to abstain from tobacco in any form including anything that pretends to be an alternative to tobacco in any form. My simple advice is use these devices for a few days and then come to me for hypnotherapy to quit for the rest of your life.

Banning Electronic Cigarettes

Earlier this week, there was discussion in various British media about banning electronic cigarettes from pubs. Electronic cigarettes are a method for nicotine replacement by inhalation of a nicotine containing an atomized solution. Electronic cigarettes offer users the option to wean themselves off nicotine by modifying the amount of nicotine they would normally get from smoking regularly to no nicotine at all. Negative health affects and overall efficiency are still under investigation in the US by the Food and Drug Administration. Nicotine inhalers are metered-dose inhalers that administer nicotine through the lungs and mucous membranes to the back of throat.

Both these methods are strategies to ultimately quit smoking, albeit in a gradual way. Why these methods would be banned from pubs is a bit of a mystery unless non-smokers in pubs are bothered by the appearance of smoking just as much as actual smoking. As a hypnotherapist and cognitive therapist my concern lies more with “transference”. A few years ago, I helped two people wean themselves off nicotine patches because each had been using the patches for more than 2 consecutive years. They had simply exchanged one habit for another. One could argue as to the relative harm of one habit or the other, but I strive to help people quit smoking , and by that I mean smoking anything permanently.

People who want to quit smoking and use either patches, electronic cigarettes, nicotine gum or nicotine inhalers as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), often find themselves as ex-smokers rather than non-smokers. An ex-smoker abstains by sheer will power and not smoking can become a conscious pre-occupation. A former smoker who become a non-smoker literally forgets about smoking all together. Where there are no impulses or even thoughts about smoking, there’s no emotional conflict. The non-smoker occasionally remembers they used to smoke and simply feels calm, in control and very pleased to be a non-smoker. I help people to become non-smokers and thus NRTs become unnecessary.