Today is World No Tobacco Day. Created by the World Health Organization, May 31stis dedicated raising awareness of the health risks associated with smoking traditional, combustible cigarettes and to encourage government leaders and public health officials to support efforts to make it easier for smokers to quit.
One way to make it easier is to allow the country’s current 38 million smokers to choose the smoking cessation product that best work for them. Yet, that’s getting harder for smokers to do.
Sadly, politicians, regulators, and anti-smoking activists are making it more difficult to quit—particularly for women—by spreading misinformation about e-cigarettes, an innovative nicotine delivery system that is 95 percent less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
The anti e-cigarette propaganda harms women the most because women have a harder time quitting traditional cigarettes.
Studies clearly show that the products currently in the marketplace—patches and gum, which are the only products approved for sale by the FDA—don’t work as well on women as they do on men.
Women tend to suffer more severe symptoms of withdrawal, and are more likely to begin smoking again when faced with stress and anxiety. Because of a women’s menstrual cycle, they have more and stronger cravings than men and additional psychological research shows that women smoke for reasons other than the nicotine–such as enjoying the habit of smoking, the hand-to-mouth contact, and the appetite suppressing qualities of cigarettes.
This is why e-cigarettes are particularly important and are likely a more effective option for women who are trying to kick the smoking habit.
So, on this World No Tobacco Day, we hope US policy makers and anti-smoking activists embrace giving women the products they need to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Women deserve an equal chance at a healthy life.