'It's Not the Addiction that Kills People, It's the Smoke'

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Each May 31st, the World Health Organization declares another “World No Tobacco Day” meant to encourage a full day of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption. But this year, some public health officials are wondering if it’s time to change our approach to healthy living. While no one doubts the addictive properties of tobacco, and the negative consequences for all of our health — is it time to stop demonizing an addiction that affects 20 percent of Americans, and think of ways for smokers to give up cigarettes but still have access to nicotine?

Michael Siegel of Boston University says its time to consider new options like the e-cigarette, which delivers a safer form of nicotine.

Guests:

Michael Siegel

Comments [5]

Chris from NJ - where the vapor is cleaner than our air

Just a few comments.

I'm a 27 year smoker that has been smoke free for 11 months (the longest by more than three times of previous quit attempts) via the use of an electronic cigarette.

John, as a non-smoker, your perception of the level of impact of the 'fashion' and appearance aspects on a smoker continuing to smoke are misguided.

These factors may have an impact on someone initially taking up smoking, but I assure you that once people have been smoking for years, it is no longer about how it looks to smoke. It is a chemical dependency and a physical/mechanical habit too.

Personally, I was addicted to nicotine after my very first pack of cigarettes. It filled a missing chemical void for me that is hard to even put into words. It was never about the appearance of smoking for me, it was always something that had called out to me.

Nicotine for me is the functional equivalent to what others turn to pharmacology for. The ecigarette gives me the opportunity to use nicotine without all the harm associated with the smoke.

Please look further into the subject for your own information and to help shine a positive light into the negative fog that is shrouding just how effective an e-cigarette can be for a smoker.

Most of the people who are against the use of these products do not have a complete set of information and are basing their judgement on a flawed foundation.

The other undercurrent is the lobbying money being applied by the tobacco industry and big pharma who have obvious financial conflicts with a burgeoning market of alternatives to their product lines.

It was great to hear Michael Siegel as a guest. He is one of only a very few informed people to have the brass to come out and state what is just so obvious in this whole debate.

May. 31 2011 05:04 PM
T from Oklahoma

I was raised in a household where every one smoke, so I naturally followed suit. Over the years I began to hate it; the smell, mess, and cost. I tried the e-cigs, but really didn't like it. I then found Swedish Snus. I have been a dedicated snus user for 3 years now. I get the nicotine without all the bad stuff. And there is no spitting with snus and no one even knows I am doing it unless I tell them, which is a great bonus since I work for a government agency.

May. 31 2011 11:11 AM
kyle radigan from 01060

Today's segment on smoking really reminds me on why I hate this show. Hockenberry still thinks people smoke for glamour, Headlee just has to tell everybody she's a non-smoker. Maybe you should take up the habit if only to quit asking 200-word questions while breathlessly running through the entire broadcast.

May. 31 2011 07:18 AM
brian hazlewood from hartland,CT

After smoking for 20 years I quit cold turkey one morning. I had been sick in bed for three days. On the fourth day I sat up and reached for a pack. That's when I put the pack in the drawer and stopped smoking. That was in 2008. I have one lit up one cig since then but found I couldn't stand it so I crushed it out. The most important part is I can be around other who smoke and it doesn't bother me one way or the other.

May. 31 2011 07:18 AM

Let me recommend joining a Quit Smoking program. They can really work! I tried many times to quit on my own, but I never could do it. I joined a program, paid a fee, did what they told me, and it worked. I never went back. 25 years later, I can say it's the only way for some smokers. :)

Ironically, now I live next door to a restaurant where the workers go out back to smoke and it floats up into my window! :(

May. 31 2011 07:03 AM

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