You’re probably aware of the waning popularity of smoking, as knowledge of the negative side effects becomes more widespread, and the hobby becomes more taboo. Not only this but mask use and isolation restrictions in the past two years have complicated matters as well.
Smokers increasingly find themselves in situations where they can’t remove masks to smoke, or they’re unable to venture into public places where they might once have smoked. (The upside, if there is one, is that the BBC reported the highest number of people quitting smoking in a decade!)
All of these conditions make things difficult for smokers. But they’ve also given rise to an ever-more-active market for alternatives, such that smokers now have more options than ever before when cravings hit, and a cigarette isn’t an option.
1. Smokeless tobacco
This category includes products such as chewing tobacco, snuff, and tobacco products that dissolve in your mouth. With smokeless tobacco products, there’s no air contamination produced and no smoke smell that sticks to hair, clothing, and upholstery.
However, these products usually require some type of disposal, such as a spittoon, so they’re not always welcome in public areas. They also tend to carry a higher risk of oral issues such as receding gums and even oral cancer, according to Cancer.org.
2. Nicotine pouches
For those who would like alternatives that don’t involve tobacco at all, nicotine pouches are becoming favorable options. A comparison posted by Prilla notes that while products like dip and chew require spitting and can be difficult to dispose of, nicotine pouches are easier.
This is because they can be discreetly placed somewhere, such as a tissue, and saved in your pocket or purse until you find a garbage can. Nicotine pouches are also more discreet during use, as they fit under the upper lip and stay there until the user is ready to remove them.
This means that users can have pouches in their mouths without having to chew –– and even in situations where masks are required.
3. Nicotine patches & gum
These products originally established the alternative nicotine market and are still around, even if pouches have a bit more market momentum. While pouches are meant to help you enjoy nicotine without having to feel pressured into quitting altogether, patches and gum are specifically designed to help you ease out of the habit in a given amount of time (usually 12 weeks).
Both are subtle options suitable for most public situations –– though again more are coming to prefer pouches, and even if you’re looking to quit, effectiveness varies from person to person.
CBD products have been gaining traction in states where they have been legalized, and they’re popular for treating conditions such as anxiety and insomnia –– not only in humans but even in pets, as we noted in our ‘Want to Know About CBD?’ post!
CBD products are also sold simply as a way to relax, just like tobacco products have been for decades. They’re not direct alternatives in the sense that they don’t address nicotine cravings or anything similar. But the right CBD product might just help you to block off some of those cravings with a new habit.
If your aim is to tamp down those cigarette cravings but you’re having trouble, consider getting more water into your body every day. It promotes cell turnover, ups your hydration levels, and is just an overall good idea.
Harvard Health recommends about 4-6 cups a day if you’re relatively healthy, and reaching for one of those cups when you start wanting a cigarette might just take your mind off the craving for a bit.
6. Hard Candy
Cigarettes give our mouths something to do –– and when we take that away, we end up with even more cravings. Verywell Mind recommends hard candy as something to try in order to occupy your mind during times of craving, and it seems that butterscotch or cinnamon drops are the candies of choice for many people. But of course, the specifics are up to you!
These alternatives can serve different purposes for smokers. Even if your aim is simply to have another option in situations when you’re unable to smoke though, it’s nice to know just how many products and ideas are out there these days.