You probably heard someone mention they only ‘smoke what they roll’ because it’s safer. They believe conventional cigarettes are mostly dangerous because of the preservatives and other chemicals used to preserve the leaves.
Unfortunately for them, there’s no such thing as a healthy cigarette, including tobacco grown in a yard and rolled with the cleanest, chemical-free paper around.
It’s important to know that all kinds of smoke, from burnt leaves to overworked engines, will weaken your lungs and worsen your health with the thousands of hazardous chemicals you inhale from them each time.
In today’s article, we will explore the dangers of smoke from combustion, examine the chemicals present in cigarette smoke, and dispel the notion of ‘healthy’ smoking with rolled cigarettes.
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The Chemicals Found in Smoke from Combustion
Firefighters wear masks and oxygen tanks when infiltrating burning properties during rescue missions to prevent them from inhaling smoke.
Smoke from any sort of combustion contains thousands of toxic chemicals that pose a threat to human health. If you light up natural tobacco leaves rolled in paper, it might seem safe without any preservatives. But the truth is, you’re inhaling thousands of perilous chemicals, including the lethal ones below:
Carbon Monoxide: This odourless and colourless gas hampers the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen, leading to decreased oxygen supply throughout the body.
Particulate Matter: Smoke contains tiny particles that can infiltrate the respiratory system, causing coughing, wheezing, and reduced lung function.
Aldehydes: These compounds, including formaldehyde used in embalming and disinfecting and acrolein used in acrylic acids and industrial antibacterial solutions, irritate the respiratory tract, potentially leading to respiratory infections and long-term lung damage.
Sulphur Dioxide: This pungent gas can trigger respiratory problems such as bronchoconstriction, a major cause of asthma and breathing difficulties.
Metals: Combustion releases various metals, including cadmium in batteries, lead, and arsenic, which can accumulate in the body and cause serious health problems.
Rolled Cigarettes Aren’t Healthier By Any Means
With the chemicals mentioned above included in any rolled cigarette, it’s clear to see that smoking them isn’t a healthier alternative to grocery-sold 20s.
Any smoke from combustion, including chimney smoke, poses significant risks to human health. In fact, the dangers of smoke from burnt wood coming from chimneys are so severe health experts are calling for its ban.
Is There a ‘Healthy’ Cigarette?
Unfortunately, there is no cigarette that’s healthy or helpful to our bodies. Combustion creates chemicals and compounds that cause grave damage to the human body.
Vaping: A ‘Healthier’ Alternative to Cigarettes?
This really comes down to where you’re buying them from, and under what conditions and manufacturing quality they were made.
Nicotine vaping products (NVPs) sold in pharmacies are made under stringent pharmaceutical standards on the manufacturing process and ingredients, are toxicologically assessed for inhalation, are locally insured, and are specifically designed to help you stop smoking. This ensures motivated smokers using it as a second-line solution to stop smoking can confidently quit with a product made with their health and cessation away from smoking in mind.
On the other hand, illicit NVPs (such as those in convenience stores and tobacconists) are imported under the radar, just like illicit tobacco and drugs, and are made as cheaply as possible for maximum profits. Their quality and health benefits are completely unknown, and they may be no better than smoking at all.
NVPs from pharmacies may be a second-line solution to NRT products, but they’re by no means ineffective. The latest Cochrane Review found high-certainty evidence that NVPs are more effective than NRT in helping people stop smoking.
The Only Healthy Option Is to Stop Smoking
Whether you’re smoking ciggies from the local convenience store or leaves without preservatives and clean paper, you’re still exposing yourself to the same danger. Quitting is the only way to get yourself healthy.
It’s understandable that an addiction to nicotine is what keeps people from quitting smoking, but with the right strategy, people and tools for the job, you can quit easily.
Your GP can create a custom-made quitting plan with your specific needs in mind. They can also recommend certain NRTs and assess whether these help with your withdrawal symptoms during the first week or month. After their evaluation, they can also prescribe pharmacy NVPs to you if deemed necessary.
With a GP cheering you on and with tools keeping withdrawals at bay, you might be surprised that you’re already in your first year of being smokefree, or maybe even way beyond!
See how a typical quitting timeline looks like.
Remember, there’s no such thing as a ‘healthy’ cigarette. There may be an ‘all-natural’ cigarette, but it still produces smoke that is hazardous to your health. Quitting is the only way to keep yourself healthy, happy, and living a longer life.
You’re reading this because you’re wondering whether rolled cigarettes are better options than pre-rolled cigarettes. We hope you found this information useful, but there’s more you need to know about smoking in general.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.