With smoking garnering a bad reputation over the decades, it’s no surprise that more governments are seeking to more strictly regulate tobacco use. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 74 countries already have comprehensive national smoke-free laws in place. Another 182 countries are part of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which aims to address the prevalence of tobacco use around the globe.
As per this report from The Messenger, the UK is the most recent addition to the growing list of countries implementing strategies to effectively end the tobacco epidemic. This development has prompted discussions within the US, who believe a similar nationwide policy will be implemented soon. Here’s what smokers need to know.
How probable is a US-wide smoking ban?
The first smoking restrictions in the US were introduced in the 1970s. These limited cigarette use in government buildings and on airplanes. However, there currently isn’t a federal ban covering smoking in workplaces and public places. Instead, local governments initiated their own smoke-free legislation. That includes over 28 states, as well as cities and territories, including Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, that have implemented the same policies within their respective areas.
As more than half of American states have anti-smoking laws in place, current research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also finds that most Americans support ending the sale of all tobacco products. The clear interest in regulating tobacco use among US residents and the different states can help influence and accelerate any decisions on a nationwide smoking ban if the US decides to adopt one.
How can smokers prepare for it?
While there have yet to be any formal announcements regarding a US-wide smoking ban, smokers should prepare to adjust to the possible changes. This means dealing with inaccessible smoking paraphernalia, which can cause significant lifestyle changes along with withdrawal symptoms like mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and trouble sleeping. Fortunately, there are a few ways these side effects can be addressed effectively.
Find smoking alternatives
If you want to continue using a stimulant in the event of a smoking ban or restriction on tobacco products, then you should try finding smoking alternatives. Fortunately, there are products on the market that can give you a controlled amount of nicotine without emitting smoke or using tobacco. These come in many different forms, including nicotine pouches, as seen here. Nicotine pouches are a popular smoking alternative since they are small, discreet, easy to carry, and come in different flavors. These can help you get around a ban since they are smokeless and can be used in public spaces where smoking is restricted. Using a pouch is easy: you just tuck it between your gum and top lip to release the nicotine.
Alternatively, those looking for something non-oral can opt for nicotine patches. These transdermal patches are smokeless and release nicotine into the body through the skin, so you can continue to get a fix in the event of a smoking ban. They are also easy to use, as they can be placed anywhere on the body and remain discreet under clothing. This article shows that skin patches work over hours, providing any wearer with a consistent dose of nicotine for a prolonged period of time.
Quit smoking entirely
With a federal ban on smoking becoming a possibility, this may be your sign to quit smoking altogether. The US government provides free resources to help smokers going through cessation, with Smokefree.gov being a leading website dedicated to helping smokers deal with the challenges of quitting. They provide tips and support and even have an app that smokers can download to guide them on their journey to leaving smoking behind for good.
Smokers can also replace smoking with another habit to deal with any cravings or urges. You can try exercising, listening to music, or learning a new skill. There are different ways to curb the urge to smoke, and finding one that effectively distracts you can make it easier to lower your cigarette consumption in preparation for a smoking ban.
The process of quitting smoking is not an easy one, which presents a challenge for smokers as legislators push for smoking bans and tighter regulations on the sale of tobacco products. However, with these actionable ways, you can work towards sustainable habits that can help address any future smoking prohibitions. For more on the latest updates, check out the health archives here on YCNews.