Scientists have known for years that nicotine claims countless lives annually. However, with new vaping technologies, measuring consumption no longer ranks as easy as divulging how many packs per day you smoke to your physician. Items such as JUULs keep nicotine levels high even as they cut the aroma and hazards of tobacco use from secondhand exposure.
Now, a new cloud-based nicotine monitoring device called IntelliQuit syncs with a mobile app to reveal the precise amount of nicotine an individual uses. Unlike other measures, which only indicate the number of cigarettes or cigars smoked, this technology enables doctors and patients alike to monitor all tobacco usage. As a result, those wishing to kick the habit have a powerful new tool in their arsenals.
The High Cost Of Nicotine Use
According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use kills 8 million people annually. About 1.2 million perish from secondhand smoke, which devices such as JUULs aim to combat. However, this does not decrease the negative health impacts on users.
The proliferation of JUULing and vaping has hooked a new generation on nicotine use. Even though these devices fail to emit harmful particulates and toxins into the air, materials still stream into the lungs. Some of the chemicals used as distillates in popular vaping devices have proven carcinogenic in laboratory testing. In essence, not only do users of these devices expose their lungs to harmful nicotine levels, but they also breathe in toxins like formaldehyde.
Smoking comes with high health costs. The habit increases the risk of cardiovascular and lung disease significantly. Additionally, research shows that your risk of developing cancer increases with every year you continue using tobacco.
Nicotine use also comes with a hefty financial price tag. A two-pack-per-day smoker spends more than $20,000 per year on the habit.
JUULs rank no cheaper. A starter pack costs $49.99 at most convenience stores, and replacement pods, the equivalent of 20 cigarettes, is $15.99 per piece.
How The IntelliQuit Device And App Work
The IntelliQuit device works by addressing color changes, similar to those used in standard urinalysis drug screenings. The user breathes into the device and uploads it in a method akin to the way Fitbit users update their activity data. The app then uploads the data to a HIPAA-compliant cloud account where physicians can access the data in seconds.
More than 47 million Americans still use tobacco products despite the known health risks. Doctors hope the IntelliQuit device and app will help more decide to kick the habit.
Many tobacco users underestimate the amount they use. The majority of smokers fail to appreciate the health risks of even moderate nicotine usage. Many younger users say their fear of harming others ranks higher than concerns about their health risks.
Doctors hope with more careful monitoring, users will wake up to the reality their addiction poses to their health. They can also proactively take steps to reduce use gradually if this proves easier than going cold turkey. Approximately half of all smokers prefer quitting gradually versus taking an all-or-nothing approach.
Other Resources for Quitting the Habit
As of right now, those with health insurance coverage can receive reimbursement of approximately $100 per test. However, developers hope that once the efficacy of the device is proven, more patients will benefit from the technology.
In the meantime, those wishing to quit have multiple free resources for doing so. Both the federal and many state governments provide smoking cessation helplines free of charge.
Certain medications, such as bupropion, can make smoking cessation easier, either when used alone or combined with the IntelliQuit device. Due to the levels of nicotine and other toxins, health experts do not recommend switching to e-cigarettes as part of your cessation efforts. However, if you feel concerned about the impact of secondhand smoke on family members, such devices can help protect their health.
Health professionals and the public should bust many of the myths smokers express as to why they do not quit. Among women, for example, many allow the fear of gaining weight to keep them from kicking the butts. However, by planning healthy meals and taking moderate exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week, they can pass on this side effect.
Smoking increases more than health disease risk and cancer. Smokers run a higher risk of developing periodontal disease, which can lead to lost teeth. Those who cling to smoking for vanity/weight control reasons should consider the impact the habit can wreak on their smile.
Solving The Nicotine Health Crisis In America
Smoking poses serious public health risks. Any new tool in the battle for cessation proves beneficial. As knowledge is power, giving patients control over knowing exactly how much nicotine they use can help them quit the habit.