As smokers grow to learn the neverending list and research associated with health risks from tobacco use, alternatives or the option to smoke something else that could be less dangerous becomes ideal.
Everything about tobacco, from the release of nicotine to the higher than normal carbon monoxide release is detrimental to your health. While smoking lasted so many years, a “cool” thing to do, there’s something about the look, taste, and smell of a cigarette that remains less than ideal.
These are the best alternatives, and now to enjoy them.
What Are Alternatives?
Alternatives are anything you would use in place of something else. So, tobacco alternatives would be any smokable product.
So... why use smoking alternatives?
Tobacco is not only harmful to your body, but highly addictive. As you smoke a cigarette, nicotine is released into our body. Nicotine affects your body both physically, and releases dopamine and serotonin.
Dopamine and serotonin are released naturally when you do things that cause happiness, such as listening to your favorite song or eating a good meal.
Your body likes these releases which is why you prefer to do things that make you happy, so when nicotine clings to the receptors and begins releasing large amounts, your brain “doesn’t care” about the damage occurring to the rest of your body and wants more. This is why even if you know cigarettes are bad for you, you “need” them.
Alternatives give you a method to relieve some of the addictive cravings, without adding more nicotine into your system.
Types of Alternatives
When considering alternatives, it’s important to remember that each product is not made equally. For some products, a lack of regulation could lead to an equally harmful smoke. Understanding the differences is essential to a safe transition to alternatives.
Before choosing any alternative, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your personal habits and see when, and how often you smoke. Each product has their own advantages and disadvantages that you may value.
A common transition for many smokers is vaping, which involves heating and smoking an oil. This heating reduces the risk of thermal destruction, or chemicals such as CBD from being destroyed by overheating.
Vape juices can be found in a wide range of flavors from fruity to savory, and be packed full with any potency of nearly any additives. This means you can have vape juices with decreasing levels of nicotine. Instead of quitting nicotine immediately, this reduction over time could reduce withdrawal symptoms, but may lead to an increase in the time needed to quit.
A major advantage with vape products is the use-on-demand possibility.
When you go out for a cigarette, do you feel the need to finish that cigarette? Or do you just take 2 or 3 pulls and put it out? Of course you finish it.
Use-on-demand means you can take just 1 or 2 pulls and stop, getting just enough nicotine or just enough action of smoking to relieve your cravings.
While being able to smoke just enough is an advantage to the vape, the possibility to smoke wherever and whenever also enables smokers to smoke much more than they would previously, especially when smoking nicotine vape juices.
Vapes also do not look, feel, or smoke like cigarettes, which some smokers do not prefer.
When you want the feel of smoking a cigarette, with some of the values of a vape, cigarette vapes may have just the answer.
These small vape pens have a similar size and shape to a traditional cigarette, giving you the feel to help relieve the ritual craving. These mini vapes are completely sealed disposable units, meaning they need to be replaced when they run out of vape juice.
Cigarette vapes are less common, meaning there are fewer companies producing them. This means you may not have many options of flavor, or quality.
When considering a product more closely related to a standard cigarette, many smokers try herbal cigarettes.
Herbal cigarettes allow you to grab a normal-feeling cigarette, with filter and all. Original herbal cigarettes were a mix of herbs and tobacco, allowing you to get reduced levels of nicotine with a difference in flavor. Some herbal cigarettes are completely tobacco-free.
While herbal cigarettes may lack nicotine, any plant-based product that is burned will release chemicals and toxins such as lead and tar. Because there is no standard to what forms of herbs are put in these cigarettes, you could be inhaling potentially risky chemicals.
Within the United States, the lack of restrictions or regulations around herbal cigarettes, and the wide range of herbs that could make their way into these smokable alternatives calls for in- depth research by the consumer.
In most cases, regulation translates to a safer product. This can be seen with U.S.’ hemp products, which are highly regulated during the growing process.
Hemp is a form of industrial cannabis that must be below 0.3% THC, meaning there are no psychoactive effects from hemp extracts in the final product. In other words, you won’t get high from smoking hemp. With such a restriction in place, each harvest must be tested.
To further your safety, smoking cannabis has continuously been tested over the last decade due to marijuana usage. While hemp and marijuana come from the same basic plant, further research into CBD and other cannabinoids found within the plant allow the smoker to have a deeper understanding of what they’re putting in their body.
While hemp products are highly regulated in terms of THC, they are not restricted in terms of CBD. This means you can have a hemp-based product with no CBD, or a hemp-based product with high CBD.
Our hemp cigarettes come in a traditional cigarette pack, and look, feel, smoke, and light like a normal cigarette. From the paper, to the filter, you’ll get the feeling you're smoking a cigarette.
This makes hemp cigarettes a great alternative for any smoker trying to quit. When you commonly smoke around friends or co-workers, and want that same feeling, pulling out a pack will keep you in the loop, and the similar experience can help fill your routine and ritual.
Other Forms of Tobacco
When trying to quit, some smokers attempt to use other forms of tobacco as an alternative.
With the goal to pull away from nicotine and tobacco use, using other forms of tobacco often leads to the user now simply continuously using another form of tobacco instead of a cigarette.
This can include:
- Clove Cigarettes
- Some Vape Products
Cigarette smokers are often limited to how often they can actually light a cigarette. These other forms of tobacco use allow the user to use indoors, while driving, and in times when they would otherwise be unable.
For many smokers stepping away from tobacco, the sudden lack of nicotine may become too much. With nicotine alternatives, you can add a small amount of nicotine to your day to day, allowing you to reduce the mental and emotional struggle associated with withdrawals.
Popular nicotine alternatives include:
- Nasal sprays
These alternatives allow you to add minute amounts of nicotine to your day to help curb cravings.
Whenever using nicotine alternatives, your goals should be to reduce the total amount used over time. Since nicotine is an addictive substance, you could potentially become addicted to the alternative, especially if you allow yourself to increase the nicotine levels along the way.
It’s important to note that in most cases, using nicotine alternative may increase the time needed to quit tobacco. With that being said, it will be a far smoother journey.
With the goal to pull away from tobacco use, nicotine should be reduced and eliminated from your day to day. Alternatives allow you to relieve your cravings and want for a cigarette, without continuing the bad habit.
Understanding your own personal habits will allow you to choose an alternative that meets your day to day, while helping you quit smoking.
Nicotine alternatives aren’t always needed, but some smokers are more sensitive to withdrawal symptoms than others. The availability of these products will help you become smoke free.
Our hemp flower smokes here at Oklahoma Smokes remain the closest representation to an actual cigarette, while adding potential health benefits from CBD.
By keeping a pack of hemp cigarettes tucked away, any returning cravings or the feeling that you need a cigarette can quickly be relieved without any risk of nicotine relapse.
SourcesHemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill