“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” – Mark Twain
2020 so far, has been a devastating year for the global population. The global economy has moved into a recession is as bad as the 1930s Great Depression. It is estimated that the world’s economy will lose up to $8.8 trillion (USD) during 2020 and 2021. The world’s unemployment rate has also shot up during 2020.
The concise answer to this question is that a novel (new) coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) appeared during the last days of 2019 in Wuhan, China. Because it is new or never seen before, humankind has no natural immunity. Consequently, coupled with the fact that this virus is extremely contagious, it is no wonder that it has rampaged its way through the world’s communities, resulting in more than 42.9 million infections and 1.155 million fatalities to date.
COVID-19 and your mental health
While a vaccine is being developed, the only way to control and prevent the virus’s spread is through social distancing or shelter-in-place measures. In other words, to prevent the virus from spreading, people must stay away from each other. People are inherently social; therefore, being forced into a social isolation scenario is untenable. However, for now, the need to social distance a non-negotiable in the fight against the virus.
The research article titled “The Mental Health Consequences of COVID-19 and Physical Distancing,” opens with the fact that the need to social distance has resulted in “changes in national behavioural patterns and shutdowns of usual day-to-day functioning.”
The authors of this article then go on to acknowledge that, although physically distancing plays a critical role in the global fight against the virus, it has already had, and will continue to have, negative consequences on the world’s population’s mental health and well-being, both in the short- and long-term.
The negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic include “substantial increases in anxiety and depression, substance use, loneliness, and domestic violence.”
And increasing the number of cigarettes smoked is one way of dealing with elevated stress and anxiety levels. The Wall Street Journal published an article by Jennifer Maloney describing how Americans are smoking more during the pandemic that they would smoke under normal conditions. Let’s face it; there is nothing ordinary about COVID-19.
The caveat here is that smoking is detrimental to human health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In summary, the illness known as COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a respiratory illness similar to pneumonia. If fact, it is sometimes called COVID-19 pneumonia.
What is pneumonia?
Succinctly stated, pneumonia is an “infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs.” These air sacs might also fill with fluid. And depending on the severity, the patient will battle to breathe, resulting in death in the most severe cases.
A cigarette’s lighting burns the tobacco, resulting in the release of tar and over 7 000 chemicals into the smoke. And when this smoke is inhaled into the lungs, the tar is deposited into the air passages inside the lungs results in the narrowing of the passages, reducing the body’s ability to absorb air oxygen.
These aspects, pneumonia and the narrowing of the lungs’ air passages, are a problem on their own. But when the SARS-CoV-2 virus combines them, the chance of surviving COVID-19 is substantially reduced.
Thus, it makes sense to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked as a way to its complete cessation.
Mitigating the mental health consequences of COVID-19: A case study
It is well known that quitting smoking is challenging for all and virtually impossible for some.
Therefore, the question that begs is, how do you cut down on your tobacco use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The concise answer to this question is that you move from smoking to vaping. Let’s expand on this statement by considering the following scenario.
Let’s assume you are moving from smoking to vaping as a means to quit smoking.
What vaping device do you start with?
A friend has suggested you buy the Innokin Proton Plex vape kit and start with the 18% nicotine e-liquids. Over time, you’ll be able to reduce the nicotine percentage from 18% down to 12%, 6%, 3%, and finally 0%.
Note: Even though this mod is advertised for advanced users, you decide you’d like to be adventurous and start with a device that produces large clouds of smoke and has loads of other functions like selecting whether to use the coil mode or not. Other features include the ability to set the vapour temperature and the puff count.
Even though the air passages in your lungs are probably coated with thick layers of tar, the excellent news is that with time the tar will leave your lungs, and they will heal. Consequently, to improve your health and help your lungs heal, it is essential to move from smoking to vaping as soon as possible. Increasing your physical and mental health will automatically improve your quality of life and your lifestyle.