Smoking cigarettes isn’t as common in our society as it once was; magazine ads for the likes of Benson and Hedges or Virginia Slims no longer feature doctors recommending their carcinogenic products. So, that’s progress! But that doesn’t mean tobacco is universally seen as a faux pas, either
Per the CDC, smoking is certainly on the decline: in the past ten years, the number of people who smoke has decreased by about ten percent. But 15 percent of Americans continue to do so.
More men than women smoke and a greater number of younger people than those over 65
Smoking rates are also higher in the Midwest and the South than they are on either coast and they’re more prevalent in poverty-stricken areas than areas with people above the poverty line. Education also factors in: the higher your education, the less likely you are to smoke.
According to USA Today, West Virginia is home to the highest number of smokers: 26.7 percent of the population habitually lights up. They also have the second highest rate of premature deaths. Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi follow. Conversely, residents of Utah, California, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Colorado, and New Jersey are least likely to smoke.
There are Many Reasons Why You Should Quit Cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes isn’t the same as smoking cannabis – while the jury is still out on the potential adversity of the latter (which is why people are encouraged to vape instead of “pipe”), the health effects of tobacco cigarettes have been well-established for quite some time. And they are many.
Of course, one of the greatest risks is cancer. But, while many of us tie smoking to lung cancer, there are plenty of other cancers that rear their ugly head in habitual smokers.
Pancreatic, esophageal, stomach, kidney, and some types of leukemia are more common in smokers (and so are throat and mouth cancers). Cervical cancer – while it’s most often caused by HPV – also lists smoking as a risk factor
Then, naturally, there’s what cigarettes do to your heart: they don’t heart it, for one thing. Heart disease is tied tightly to cigarette use and it’s very possible for smokers to get heart disease when other factors (obesity, lack of activity, faulty genetics, high-fat diets) are largely absent.
But cigarettes may screw with you in other ways you don’t realize. As reported in US News, smoking can cloud the mind (resulting in memory problems, compromised reasoning abilities, and early-onset dementia), bring about diabetes, invite infections (likely because it compromises the immune system), lead to wrinkles, bring upon menopause at an earlier age, damage bones, interfere with vision, cause gallstones and heartburn, interrupt sleep, and interfere with quality (not to mention quantity) of life.
Cigarettes may also nullify sex life. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that smoking was a major lifestyle factor in men suffering from erectile dysfunction. There you have it folks: this is why Joe Camel never had children.
So, yeah, sucking on a cigarette sucks for those who do it.
CBD as an Ally in Your Attempts to Quit
But stopping smoking isn’t as simple as just stopping – the nicotine in cigarettes is addictive, leaving people physically dependent on cigarettes and unable to quit merely because they know it’s bad for them.
There are lots of things that people can do – from nicotine patches to hypnosis, different people find different results with a variety of cessation measures.
Yet, for some people, the only thing that works is cannabis – that’s right, weed may help your need for the nicotine
According to Herb magazine, a study conducted at the University College London found that CBD helps reduce cigarette addiction. Through their research, scientists discovered that those addicted to cigarettes were able to lower their cigarette use by 40 percent. The reason had to with CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety (a symptom of cigarette withdrawal) but also with its ability to interfere with a memory process called “reconsolidation.” This process reactivates the reward areas of the brain by “reminding” smokers of how good cigarettes make them feel. A person trying to quit smoking, for instance, may face reconsolidation upon seeing someone else smoking or seeing an ad for cigarettes. By interfering with this memory recall, CBD may also be able to compound a smoker’s motivation to quit.
None of this comes as a shock as CBD has demonstrated a talent for helping people squash a variety of drug addictions.
For those who want to see if CBD can indeed be their wingman in telling the Marlboro Man to bug off, it’s best to stick to CBD oil or strains high in CBD. More than anything, stay away from blunts or spiffs that contain tobacco (or are rolled with a tobacco leaf) – smoking tobacco kind of defeats the purpose of trying to quit tobacco.
A CBD patch, which sticks the top of your skin and slowly delivers CBD throughout the day, is another option
These are exceedingly popular (at least in Colorado) and not always easy to find. But, if you can, they might be worth a shot.
It’s hard for smokers to quit: per WebMD, the vast majority of people who successfully quit do it with outside support. A few of the common ways to curb cigarette use include behavioral therapy, nicotine replacement therapy, medication, and gum. Some people also find success with holistic methods such as meditation and yoga.
But CBD is certainly worth a shot, even if it’s supplemental to other methods. Don’t forget that it offers plenty of health benefits (CBD oil is something people routinely consume whether or not they’re addicted to cigarettes (or anything else)). Thus, at the very least, you’ll be consuming wellness perks even if CBD doesn’t prove lucky in helping you bid adieu to Lucky Strike forever.