AKUA Mind & Body celebrates World No Tobacco Day to raise awareness about its harmful effects and its increased use among teenagers and young adults. We recognize the importance of this day as it is with the start of these small addictions that the addiction to major substances/drugs begins. Hence, we believe in taking any opportunity to bring to light the ills of addiction whether it is associated with tobacco, alcohol use or substance abuse.
World No Tobacco Day, May 31st, is an international awareness day designated to educate, empower and inform the public about the harmful effects of tobacco on all users, regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. This year’s campaign is titled #tobaccoexposed and the purpose of educating the public regarding the tobacco industry’s tactics to attract younger generations.
“The global campaign will debunk myths and expose devious tactics employed by these industries. It will provide young people with the knowledge required to easily detect industry manipulation and equip them with the tools to rebuff such tactics, thereby empowering young people to stand up against them. This is especially important right now as studies show that smokers have a higher risk for a severe case of coronavirus”.
“JUULing” is another term for “vaping,” which is the use of electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as “e-cigs” or “vape pens.”
Specifically, JUUL is a brand of e-cigarette that is shaped like a USB flash drive. This battery-powered device heats a flavored nicotine-containing liquid to produce an aerosol that is inhaled.
Vaping seems harmless and is intentionally advertised to allure younger generations interested in getting the “nicotine high” without smoking cigarettes. Although vaping is perceived as harmless, it still comes with the same dangerous side effects as cigarette smoking and is still addictive since vaping products contain nicotine.
Why is nicotine so addictive?
Nicotine is the gateway to dopamine, a chemical in the brain that is responsible for producing pleasurable effects. Dopamine is tightly linked to the brain reward circuit and increases when an individual engages in pleasurable behaviors such as exercise, laughter, sexual intercourse, or drug use. When taken in small amounts, nicotine causes a pleasurable mindset and distracts the user from hostile feelings. These rewarding feelings make the individual want more nicotine time and time again. Nicotine works similarly to other addictive substances such as heroin and alcohol by flooding the brain’s reward circuits with dopamine.
According to the CDC
- Approximately 40 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes.
- Approximately 5 million middle and high school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.
- Every day, approximately 1,600 U.S. youth younger than 18 years smoke their first cigarette.
- Each year, nearly half a million Americans prematurely die of smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Approximately 16 million individuals in the United States live with a serious illness caused by smoking.
- Each year, the United States spends nearly $170 billion on medical care to treat smoking-related diseases in adults.
Advertising and sales in the tobacco industry
It’s easy to discuss the harmful side effects of cigarettes when it comes to health concerns. Lung cancer, throat cancer, mouth cancer, bladder cancer, heart disease, and chronic lung disease are just a few of the very common medical conditions that are tightly linked to tobacco use, whether it is smoked or chewed. The tobacco brands have some of the savviest advertisements on all media channels, which can entice individuals of all ages to want to partake in tobacco use.
This year, World No Tobacco Day has been laser-focused on revealing the tobacco industry’s inner workings and how it uses attractive products such as e-cigarettes to lure innocent young minds into this market.
Watermelon, cherry cola, strawberry, and vanilla mint flavors all sound delightful. They are covering up the smell and taste of classic cigarette smoke using hookah or electronic cigarettes while having the same high as tobacco is a win-win situation for teenagers and adolescents. Unfortunately, tobacco products, whether cigars, cigarettes, hookah, or e-cigarettes, contribute to terrible health effects and have high addictive potential.
AKUA Mind and Body treatment
AKUA Mind and Body is a full-service treatment program that offers a wide range of “east meets west” treatment modalities for many different populations struggling with substance use disorders. AKUA Mind and Body treats co-occurring disorders and works diligently with each client and their family to ensure that treatment is specifically tailored to their needs, and not just their disorder.
AKUA Mind and Body offers detoxification, intensive treatment programs, and outpatient treatment programs. AKUA Mind and Body uses a blend of holistic approaches combined with evidence-based treatment to help individuals who have been affected by addiction to recognize their underlying triggers and develop healthy coping skills. Regardless of where you are in your recovery process, AKUA Mind and Body can help.