So you’re a smoker, and you now find yourself looking for a smoking alternative, which will undoubtedly lead you to the electronic cigarette. You may find some articles about the e-cig controversy, mainly focusing on e-cig health claims and posing the question do e-cigs work? We’ll touch upon some of that and give you our take on the e-cig alternative to traditional tobacco cigs later. But first, how about we explore this concept of a tobacco cigarette alternative, since that bigger idea itself can be brand new to most smokers who have been carrying around traditional cigarettes for years or often even decades.
What is a tobacco alternative?
There are many reasons that can cause smokers to seek out a smoking alternative. Whether you are tired of the comments and condescending looks when you light up a traditional cigarette, your significant other can’t stand your stench anymore, or you are just about going broke with the rise in cigarette taxes nationwide, the time comes when you need to make a switch.
The push to provide a tobacco alternative to smoking can be traced back decades, although the advent of smokeless tobacco goes back centuries. In fact, indigenous peoples in the Americas had been using “snuff” even before Columbus sailed the ocean blue to find the new world.
What types of alternatives are out today?
Well they just about run the gamut, don’t they? As mentioned above, snuff was introduced a long time ago as a way to inhale small amounts of ground tobacco leaves for that quick nicotine hit. I don’t know about you all, but that doesn’t tickle my fancy as an attractive tobacco alternative, even with its effect as a nicotine delivery device.
Dipping tobacco has long been around as a type of moist version of snuff. Of course this tobacco isn’t inhaled, it is placed under your upper lip to get the nicotine satisfaction one is after. This tobacco is also called “chew” and became well known as baseball players took up the practice when they couldn’t smoke during games any longer.
What has become more popular lately comes from Sweden originally and is called Snus. Snus is a moist powder tobacco that is often wrapped in a tea bag type of material. Either in that packaging or as loose snus, the idea, similar to dipping, is to place the stuff under your upper lip, where it will slowly release the nicotine you need.
Nicotine gum came along in the 80s as tobacco cigarettes began to lose their luster. This was especially so after Richard Nixon signed into law the ban on cigarette ads that would eventually take effect on January 2nd, 1917. The gum is still around today and does provide that desired nicotine hit, with some level of the oral appeasement, although we think it is far from being able to take a drag on a cigarette.
Getting away from the oral fixation of the options we just went through is the nicotine patch. The patch was researched through the 80s before it began to be marketed commercially in the early 90s. While it can be considered an adequate nicotine delivery device, it lacks a lot of what cigarette smokers are looking for when they search for a tobacco alternative. Here again they can’t take a drag, feel the smoke in their mouth and lungs, and the instant nicotine hit.
Why choose e-cigarettes as an alternative?
Now we get to the bread and butter of tobacco alternatives: the electronic cigarette. Do e-cigs work and are they really able to fill that gap that wasn’t met by the other options that have been developed over the years? While we don’t think e-cigs are perfect for every smoker out there, it has become clear as day that e-cigs are emerging as the best choice for the far majority of smokers looking for a reasonable tobacco alternative.
The e-cig alternative provides a lot of the same benefits (no smoke, no smell, etc.) as the others, but in terms of the actual feel and day-to-day use, there just isn’t a comparison. An electronic cigarette provides an answer to that oral fixation while producing vapor that mimics the feeling of smoke in your mouth and lungs. It isn’t smoke, it leaves you smelling good, but it sure does feel like you just took a drag on your favorite cigarette. Not to mention you could save a boatload because e-cigs are much cheaper than a pack of cigarettes for most (compatibly $1-$2 a pack, or even less depending on the brand and type of ecig).
While there has been some e-cig controversy in the past, and you will see much back and forth between those for and against it, we think this product has simply revolutionized our approach to what a tobacco alternative can be. We won’t get into e-cig health claims in this space as it isn’t the place for it, but we do advise you to always do your own research before trying something new.
Clearly at ECCR we are big proponents of the electronic cigarette and its potential to simply change lives. If you are getting ready to take the next step, be sure to check out our many resources that will help you differentiate between the various types of e-cigs out there and in choosing the best e-cig brand that fits your needs.
Thanks for taking the initiative and the time to educate yourself about tobacco alternatives. We hope we’ve done our part to make your next choice that much easier!