The percentage of smokers over the age of 65 have plateaued over the last six years to between 8 and 9 percent. Yes, this means that there are still millions of older smokers that maybe want to quit but still have not.
Will switching to vaping be the healthier option for them even if they do not go nicotine-free?
Some studies have also shown that e-cigarettes confer at least two-thirds reduction in health risks when it is compared to smoking. Dr. Schroeder also pointed out that nicotine is not the primary culprit. Nicotine is an ingredient that is addictive but does not cause damage like the 70 carcinogens that are known.
David Abrams, a clinical psychologist at New York University who researches nicotine and smoking said the following: “If you could get nicotine in a safer form, like an F.D.A. – approved medication, even for the rest of your life, you’d be in far better shape.”
Dr. Abrams says that vaping could be a reasonable alternative, especially for older smokers. He said: “Any smoker, especially an older smoker, who isn’t thinking about switching is doing himself a major disservice.”
A study published by AgeUK found that “Older men and women have the lowest rates of current smoking: only 11% of that aged 65- 74 and 5% of those 75+ are current smokers.” (Later Life In The United Kingdom, 2017).
The closest statistics that was found relating to vaping and seniors is from a poll that was created on a vaping forum. The poll has been answered by 67 people. “24 people, 35.8%, aged 56+ use vaporizers” (P, Teresa).
This provides us with interesting information about how many seniors actually vape. And what can be seen from looking at the comments? The majority of them use vaping for their nicotine addiction. But there are probably a lot more seniors that vape but just do not have access to the internet and that we don’t know of.
The reason for seniors vaping can either be because they use vaping as a tool for their nicotine addiction or because there are more flavors available for them to try. The other reason can also be because of research that has shown that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking.
There still needs to be done more research on the percentage of senior vapers, but we can say that if they are switching from smoking to vaping it is the healthier option.
If you are a senior vaper and use any medication, please consult your health care provider just to let them know that you are switching to vaping.
Nicotine can be found in most vaporizers, and yes, it is addictive. After you have used nicotine for a while your body and brain get used to it and this may cause that you have nicotine withdrawals when you decide on quitting vaping.
Is vaping nicotine addictive?
Yes, and the more you use it the more your body gets used to it and the harder it is to go without it.
Here are some questions to determine if you are addicted to nicotine?
Do you get irritated when you want to vape but at that moment you can’t?
Have you ever tried to stop vaping, but it just was not possible?
Do you think about vaping all the time while you are busy with something else?
Have you answered yes to any of these questions mentioned above? If you have, you might be addicted to nicotine.
Fast forward to the stage where you have gotten it right to stop vaping, but now your body and mind need to get used to going on without the nicotine. This is called nicotine withdrawal.
Here are some symptoms you might experience:
Feeling irritable or restless
Feeling sad or down
Feeling tired or groggy
Having trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
Having trouble sleeping
Having intense cravings for e-cigarettes
How do I manage my nicotine vaping withdrawal?
Well, this is going to be different for everyone. But what I can say is that with time that uncomfortable feelings of nicotine withdrawal will fade.
You can also do the following to help you with your journey to stop vaping:
You may find nicotine-free e-liquids or you can change to vaping cannabis
Drink enough water
This will ease the symptoms like headaches, hunger, fatigue, and sweating.
Get enough sleep
You can set up a sleeping schedule for yourself to ensure that you get enough rest.
Eat healthy snacks
Yes, you are going to have cravings but instead of munching away on chocolates and chips, pack yourself some healthy snack to snack on when you get those cravings.
You are going to need the support of your friends and family
You do not have to go on the journey alone you can ask your friends and family to be there for you and support you because it is not going to be easy.
Something else you might want to take note of and notify your partner, friends, and family is yes you are going to be moody because your body must get used to going on without nicotine. So, if you are experiencing mood swings, anxiety, or depression, do not worry it is normal.
There is not a doubt that nicotine has its benefits:
Even though nicotine is an addictive substance, the vapor of e-cigarettes appears to be less addictive than the smoke of cigarettes. According to work by Jonathan Foulds of Penn State University College of Medicine published[i] recently in Nicotine and Tobacco Research,” vapers reported being less irritable when they did not have access to an e-cigarette compared to their feelings of frustration when they could not smoke.”
Vapers also said that they could wait longer for their first puff of the day than when they used to be smokers. They also said that they did not wake up in the middle of the night to vape like they did when they smoked.
Many e-cigarettes deliver less nicotine per puff and overall produce lower blood nicotine levels than cigarettes do. But with technology improving there are devices on the market today that you can attain the same blood level of nicotine that they will experience as a smoker. But the vaped nicotine will take longer to reach its peak than a cigarette.
The following two variables are very important in determining the addictiveness of any abused drug:
How high the level of nicotine is in the bloodstream
how quickly the level is achieved.
Foulds’s team found that subjects who used weak “ciga-likes” (first generation e-cigarettes that physically resemble actual cigarettes) had among the lowest scores on a test of “dependency,” or addiction. Also, the length of time as a vaper was positively correlated with the strength of dependence. As Foulds suggests, “we might actually need e-cigarettes that are better at delivering nicotine because that’s what’s more likely to help people quit.”
Nicotine is considered to be safe when it is taken in small doses like in gum. But it can have the following effects:
Most of the harmful toxins that you find in smoke is absent from vapor, this means the health risks are lower
When you switch to vaping there will be a lower amount of toxins and carcinogens in your body
Health improvements, reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke
Overall feeling better
Lowers the risk of cancer
So yes, as we have mentioned above nicotine is addictive, and if you decide to stop smoking or vaping you may experience nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine has its benefits but also has disadvantages, but so does everything else in the world. Let us take an example drinking water is healthy for you but drinking too much water can be dangerous because overhydration can lead to water intoxication. You see everything has disadvantages, but it is all amount setting yourself limits. Although vaping is healthier than smoking, vaping a whole bottle in one day is not.
Can vaping kill you?
This is a question, that not even the experts can answer because there have not been enough studies done on the matter. But what I can tell you is making the switch from smoking to vaping is a much healthier option. It is not only healthier for your body, but some have reported that vaping has helped them quit smoking and vaping altogether.
You do not need to go cold turkey, leave the turkey for thanksgiving. You can choose a lower nicotine to vape or even a nicotine-free vape juice.Do what makes you happy and not the world.