How an EU Study and My 2-Year Journey Illuminate the Future of Nicotine Alternatives

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Two years ago, I tried my first alternative nicotine products (vape and nicotine pouch). Now, 24 months later, I’m convinced they can change the world.

I believe the ideal topic for a blog post is one that’s really important to our lives and that is often discussed, but that’s also complex and confusing, often controversial, with differing information coming out of different mouths. This perfectly describes my feelings towards alternative nicotine products two years ago when I was still a smoker.

One day, determined to quit smoking, I rolled up my sleeves, took a deep breath, and whispered to myself, “Be strong, Mariam.” Starting my research, I navigated through layers of controversial information. After days of reading, asking questions, and watching educational videos, I emerged with a clear understanding: alternative nicotine products are significantly better for your health than smoking.

Today marks 670 days, or 22 months since I discarded my last cigarette pack and never looked back. I won’t bore you with all the details of how this decision drastically improved my respiratory and overall health. Let me just say I’ve never felt stronger or healthier.

None of this would have been possible without alternative nicotine products – vapes and nicotine pouches for me. Yes, I decided to give up smoking, but I still love my nicotine, and I’m sure many of you do, too. The mental clarity and focus it provides, similar to caffeine but without disrupting my sleep, has been a game-changer.

I’m sharing my story because these amazing products have really changed my life. And it’s not only about me, but it’s about all of us who need and depend on these products for healthier habits. Sadly, these products are always being challenged. Constantly, we have to stand up for them and raise our voices to keep them available. 

But here’s some good news – we’re not alone in this. 

I’m excited to tell you about an extensive tobacco control survey conducted all over Europe. Held from February to May 2023 and thoroughly analyzed by Snusforumet, this consultation paints a clear and compelling picture of what people across Europe think about governments trying to limit the availability of alternative nicotine products.

EU-Wide Sentiments:

The consultation garnered 17,725 valid responses, primarily from EU citizens (89%). The strong public consensus on alternative smoking products is striking. More than three-quarters of European citizens believe these products aid in quitting smoking, with only 5% viewing them as a significant public health risk. This perspective is shared by the academic and research community, with about 90% supporting the role of these products in smoking cessation.

I felt a profound connection with the voices behind these numbers. They’re not just percentages but people like you and me striving for a better, healthier future. 

Country-Specific Narratives:

•Germany: 92% of German citizens robustly support alternative products for smoking cessation, with 95% satisfied with current product visibility restrictions.

•Italy: Imagine the vibrant cafes of Rome, where health and lifestyle are common topics. A staggering 96% of Italians are against banning flavours, reflecting their belief in personal choice and well-being.

•Greece: Similarly, three-quarters of Greeks find the visibility restrictions adequate.

•Croatia: In Croatia, over 90% believe in the efficacy of alternative products for quitting smoking.

•Spain, France, Romania, and the Czech Republic: These countries share a story of hope, belief, and a vision for a healthier future.

This consultation is more than numbers; it’s the voice of the European people, highlighting a growing acceptance of alternative smoking products and a nuanced understanding of public health. Each statistic I read resonates like a heartbeat, a pulse of our shared aspirations. I see myself in these numbers – the Italian advocating for choice, the German seeking balance, and the Greek valuing regulation that respects freedom.

I urge you, readers, to feel these numbers as I do. As we continue our journey towards understanding and making responsible choices, let’s keep these voices in our hearts. They remind us that we’re not alone in this journey.

Maybe I’m wrong about some things, or perhaps unexpected events will unfold. Still, from what I’ve experienced, read, and discussed, it really seems like alternative nicotine products are on a mission to change the world and, with this kind of public support, they WILL create a healthier future for everybody. 

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