Millions of people around the world still smoke cigarettes. But over the past few years, the popularity of smoking has suffered thanks to numerous anti-smoking laws as well as society’s overall desire to live a healthier lifestyle. The main reason people quit smoking is that of the health risks involved.
Many people find it very difficult to quit cigarettes and thus seek out substitutes that will let them continue their habit or help to make the quitting process easier. In the following few paragraphs I will take a look at some of the most popular alternatives and try to determine whether they are actually a healthier option than cigarettes.
The origins of cigars are unknown but archaeologists have found a tenth-century pot depicting Mayan smoking tobacco leaves tied together with string. Suffice it to say, the practice has been around for ages and considerable amounts of cigar tobacco are still grown in Latin America and other parts of the world.
Cuba is famous for the quality of its fine cigars and the famous trade embargo that made the importing of Cuban cigars into the USA illegal. For heavy cigar users who inhale when they smoke the health risks are quite high. However, many people don’t inhale Cigar smoke and won’t smoke more than one or two a day. This type of smoking actually poses a very little health risk.
Some people prefer to smoke tobacco out of pipes. These are usually made out of briar wood, meerschaum or clay but can be also made from other materials. Pipes consist of a chamber called a bowl in which tobacco is placed. The bowl is connected to a thin stem through which smoke runs to the mouthpiece. Pipes come in various shapes and sizes.
They can be simple and cheap or expensive and elaborately designed. The bowl on meerschaum pipes will often be engraved with elaborate designs while Calabash pipes are often very large and require a lot of effort to be put into the creation process. Calabash pipes have often been used in film and on stage due to their unique size and shape. Pipe tobacco is usually not inhaled and in these circumstances, it is not particularly detrimental to one’s health.
Snus is a moist tobacco powder that originates from Sweden. It is similar to snuff, which is a dry tobacco product that is inhaled through the nose. Snus is commonly administered by placing a small teabag-like sachet under the upper lip for an amount of time. It is also possible to get tobacco-free snuss that is made from coconut husk or tea leaves. The health risks associated with snus are widely contested by experts but the general consensus is that taking snus is decidedly less harmful than inhaling tobacco.
In the last few years, electronic cigarettes have skyrocketed in popularity. Companies provide affordable and long-lasting alternatives to traditional paper cigarettes. E-cigs are comprised of a battery-powered heater that turns liquid into an inhalable vapor. Electronic cigarettes are designed to emulate the act of smoking as closely as possible and enable smokers to still get their dose of nicotine without the harmful effects of smoking tobacco. Electronic cigarettes are generally considered to pose hardly any health risks.