How to quit smoking

According to the Tobacco Association of South Africa, there are 6.3 million and counting adult cigarette smokers in South Africa. But with the known health risks and expenses many smokers are constantly trying to kick the habit. Moneybags writer Danielle van Wyk explores some of the new methods to quitting smoking and how much they cost.

From going cold turkey to Nicotine replacement and behavioural therapy, there are many suggested methods help you stop smoking. One of the latest methods however is Vaping.

A look at Vaping

A form of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette), Vaping provides a safer alternative to traditional tobacco use, states The Vapour Products Association of South Africa’s (VPASA) Kabir Kaleechurn.

“A recent Public Health England report shows evidence that E-Cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking. Vaping technology heats liquids that provides the user with nicotine intake, with none of the level of toxins associated with smoking a tobacco cigarette,” Kaleechurn adds.

Cigarettes contain close to an estimated 5000 toxic chemicals which not only kill users but also emits harmful second hand smoke for those around the smoker, VPASA explains.

“Vaping has created an ideal scenario allowing users to effectively simulate the smoking experience without having to inhale carcinogenic chemicals and toxins found in combustible cigarettes,” Kaleechurn highlights.

Vape devices are known to be expensive and can see you spending anywhere between R1500 – R6000 device dependent from online stores like the Vape store.

Keeping with the technological approach to breaking the habit, another method is the recently South African launched IQOS device.

What is IQOS?

“IQOS consists of a pocket charger and a stylishly designed, rechargeable pen-like device that the heated tobacco units are inserted into. The tobacco unit is then heated just enough to create an aerosol, which produces no smoke, no ash and less smell,” says Rupini Bergstrom, communications manager at Philip Morris South Africa.

The heated tobacco units contain premium tobacco and not just flavoured nicotine like traditional e-cigarettes, which Bergstrom says makes it comparable to the ritual of smoking cigarettes but without the smoke, with less smell and no ash.

Available in supermarkets and tobacconists nationwide, the IQOS device retails at around R850, says Phillip Morris.

Other alternatives

Alternatives to the above that might not be as draining on your pocket could be nicotine gum which forms part of the Nicotine replacement therapy process.

Things like gum, patches, lozenges and inhalers are used to provide your body with nicotine without the use of tobacco. Local pharmacies, chemists and Clicks stores are usually good about stocking these.

Another method people often resort to is using medication. Here, doctors will prescribe certain medications that help with cravings and symptoms. A commonly used medication is Champix. These tablets can set you back about R700 (before pharmacy mark-up), and typically consists of a 12 week course.

There are many ways to quit smoking, the main problem smokers face is finding the inner strength to quit a habit that has often been the source of comfort or turned into an unbreakable habit. Many however will agree that no matter the method, if a smoker doesn’t make the decision to quit, chances are they’ll just end up wasting time, money and energy.