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Are smokers "sick" or simply unaware of better options?

Are smokers "sick" or simply unaware of better options?

The initial approach to the smoking cessation process that involves medical treatment and behavior change therefore makes this process limit your freedom of choice but may also encourage long-term dependence on medical therapy. This is how Dr. John Oyston an anesthesiologist from Toronto, known for actively participating in numerous initiatives to reduce smoking as well as an advocate for safer resources for adult smokers.

In an article published in the media "Filter", Ojston says that quitting smoking is a decision that should be respected as a free initiative of the consumer and not as a medical procedure. He points out that a medical approach can label smokers as addicts and at the same time hinder the process of quitting smoking, and according to him, medical therapies given to smokers who want to quit cigarettes have minimal effectiveness.

Oyston says e-cigarettes and other less harmful alternatives to traditional cigarettes offer a safer alternative to nicotine delivery than traditional tobacco.

Unlike traditional cigarettes, another advantage of electronic cigarettes and other alternatives is that they are recommended for the gradual reduction of cigarettes.

As a positive example, he mentions Great Britain, where by 2023, about 2.7 million people have completely switched from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, a product that they can buy everywhere, from gas stations to supermarkets. He points out that never before has such an alternative to quit smoking had such a great impact.

"Rather than treating them as patients, it may be better to consider smokers as rational and intelligent consumers who are simply not sufficiently informed about the options available for nicotine consumption," says Oyston.

"Product selection is often based on politics rather than science, resulting in different approaches around the world in the fight against smoking," he continued.

The expert points out that although the World Health Organization calls for a ban or medical treatment for electronic cigarettes, there are much safer alternatives that should be freely available without medical supervision.

"Various states have allowed the widespread use of e-cigarettes, devices that heat tobacco or oral tobacco, and nicotine products, in each case this alternative has caused a dramatic decline in the consumption of traditional cigarettes at the population level. In a "rational world," e-cigarettes, tobacco heating devices, and oral products would be available—and sold—wherever consumers can buy cigarettes. They should come in a variety of different flavors, with tax rates set to encourage the switch from cigarettes to smokeless alternatives," believes the doctor.

However, as he further points out, it seems that doctors and health workers have an irrational objection to less harmful products that contain nicotine, according to the expert, probably because they compete with medical programs.

Another approach that comes from the "white shirts" is that they consider the decision to quit smoking a process that requires medical treatment, and any other alternative is dangerous and unfair.

"The right information can help 1.25 billion smokers take control of their health. Switching to less harmful products could prevent hundreds of millions of deaths. It's important that consumers are transparently informed." and evaluate each product containing nicotine on its own merits. Quitting should be a consumer choice and not a medical therapy," concludes Dr. John Oyston.