It’s no secret that tobacco use is dangerous. In fact, over the last 50-60 years, various scientific studies have linked tobacco use to several cancers, an increase in lung and heart disease, and more. Tobacco use may be an American tradition, but it’s also a serious threat to personal and public health. With the COVID-19 pandemic still causing illness and death, ending tobacco use is more important than ever.
Smoking compromises the respiratory, circulatory, and immune systems in the body. With less oxygen in the blood, “sticky” platelets, decreased heart and lung function, and an inability to fight off minor illness, the body is in a constant state of distress. If your body can’t fight off a common cold because of smoking, it’s certainly going to struggle with something like COVID-19. As we learn more about smoking and tobacco use and come in contact with ever more dangerous viruses and pathogens, ending tobacco use for good becomes an even higher priority.
With advancements in technology and alternative tobacco products, quitting tobacco is more feasible than ever before. Finally, we can rid the 13% of the population that still smokes of the habit for good.
Common Quitting Methods: And Their Problems
For every advancement in cessation technology and products, the tobacco industry has stepped up its game to make sure its products are appealing to new audiences. According to Vice, the tobacco industry even has a hand in some cessation products like nicotine gum and patches! In fact, big tobacco has funded some studies on NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) and found that users who use tobacco are highly unlikely to quit; so why not sell them a cessation aid and tobacco products, knowing they’ll probably never quit anyway?
Nicotine patches and gum are some of the most common cessation aids for smoking/tobacco use. The patch slowly releases a small amount of nicotine into the skin throughout the day and is meant to control cravings and keep you from smoking. Likewise, the gum gives you a more concentrated and localized dose of nicotine right away, but both methods aren’t as effective as you’ve been led to believe.
Some users choose more brutal methods like quitting cold-turkey, which actually has the lowest success rate of any cessation method. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and it’s difficult to replace or mimic the tradition, feel, and social aspect of a tobacco habit with a patch, piece of gum, or by removing it altogether. Smoking is about much more than a nicotine dose; it’s a piece of American heritage that dates back to the country’s birth.
Recently, we’ve seen the rise of other alternatives like e-cigs and vape pens, but these products carry their own set of risks. They still contain harmful chemicals that are vaporized and inhaled into the lungs, and guess who owns a large portion of e-cigarette commerce? You guessed it! Big tobacco has played a major role in the introduction of e-cigarettes and other “alternatives”.
1. Modern Quitting Tools
With the advancement of technology comes new cessation tools for the modern tobacco user. Smartwatches and mobile apps have provided smokers with a pocket-sized support and advice tool that they can take anywhere. Modern cessation apps can help you track habits, reach milestones, and even connect with the cessation community at large for advice and guidance in your journey.
In addition, we’ve seen the rise of something called telemedicine, especially in the wake of this year’s COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine provides a more convenient and accessible way for patients to get in contact with their healthcare provider and discuss health issues while still practicing social distancing.
While modern tools are certainly helpful and we’re lucky to have them, some tobacco users still yearn for an alternative that includes the ritual of tobacco use and respects the tradition; minus the tobacco. Luckily, there is a company that focuses on bridging tradition and modern tobacco-free alternatives for a product that looks, feels, smells, and tastes like the real thing.
2. Tobacco-Free Dip
Black Buffalo is a company that produces tobacco-free pouches that are as close to actual tobacco as you can get. These edible, organic leaves are processed in such a way that they mimic actual tobacco, and contain medical-grade nicotine for that same “buzz” that traditional tobacco provides. You can hardly tell the product apart, right down to the packaging. You’ll still get that satisfying pop when you open a can of Black Buffalo tobaccoless chew, minus the harmful effects that tobacco causes.
Replacing tobacco use with Black Buffalo’s chew allows tobacco users to finally break free of the dangerous habit with something that isn’t as socially-isolating. You’ll find that tradition and modern ideas blend perfectly with flavors like Wintergreen and Blood Orange.
Black Buffalo aims to please its customer and legitimize its approach to tobacco-free products. That’s why the company has made sure to file a PTMA with the FDA to ensure their place in the new market.
3. It’s Time To Embrace The Future
Long-term tobacco use is a public health concern that is well-known and documented, and something we can do without as a society. With thousands of deaths, billions in healthcare costs, and hundreds of potential health complications, tobacco use is a liability to individuals and the public alike. A compromised population of people can aid in the spread of deadly viruses and damage overall public health.
It’s time we leave tobacco behind for good and embrace the future. A tobacco-free future with alternatives like tobacco-free dip, telemedicine, and cessation apps can help us build a healthier, more sustainable future.