Whether you’re an aspiring professional athlete or just someone who enjoys getting out for a game of golf or basketball on the weekends, you know that smoking is one of the absolute worst things that you can do for your athletic performance. Quitting nicotine once you’ve become completely addicted, though, is an incredibly difficult thing to do. If it were easy, you wouldn’t see players with big wads of tobacco lodged in their cheeks every time you watch a baseball game.
If the highest-paid athletes in the world can’t seem to quit their tobacco habits, what hope could you possibly have? Well, here’s the good news: Companies have worked very hard over the past several years to develop alternative nicotine products that can compete with cigarettes. These products can deliver the same satisfaction as cigarettes or chewing tobacco while potentially reducing the harm that smoking causes to your athletic performance.
These are the most popular alternative nicotine products for athletes.
If you’re a smoker, it’s likely that you’ve heard of vaping products from companies like V2 Cigs UK. If you haven’t tried vaping yet, it’s really time to take the plunge because today’s vaping products are better than ever.
Vaping involves using an electronic device that simulates smoking by vaporizing a nicotine-infused liquid for inhalation. When you inhale the vapor, you absorb the nicotine through your lungs. That’s the main feature separating vaping from other alternative forms of nicotine consumption. With other alternative nicotine products, you typically absorb the nicotine through your oral tissue. It’s a slow process compared to inhalation, which is almost instant. When you vape, you feel the nicotine in your bloodstream right away. The other main feature of vaping is the enormous variety of different flavors; there are hundreds of different e-liquid flavors on the market at any time.
If you’re curious about vaping and would like to give it a try, the best way to get started is probably by buying a disposable e-cigarette. Disposable vapes are charged, filled with e-liquid and ready to use immediately; just remove the device from the package and puff on it as if it were a cigarette. If you use a disposable vape about as often as you would smoke a cigarette, you should find it relatively easy to replace smoking with vaping without experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Over the past few years, nicotine pouches have probably been the most popular alternative nicotine products after e-cigarettes. A nicotine pouch is filled with powdered nicotine along with a starch-based filler that gives the pouch some substance. In addition to those ingredients, a nicotine pouch will typically contain natural or artificial flavors along with a bit of sugar-free sweetener. You use the pouch by parking it under your upper or lower lip. When the nicotine tingle begins to fade, chew the pouch gently to redistribute the filling and move the pouch to a different section of your mouth.
If you’ve ever tried traditional oral nicotine replacement products such as nicotine gum or lozenges, one of the first things you’ll notice is that nicotine pouches tend to taste a little salty. That’s because they’re filled with tobacco-free synthetic nicotine salt. You’ll quickly grow to enjoy the salty flavor – but more importantly, you’ll love the fact that nicotine pouches don’t tend to cause hiccups as can often happen with other oral nicotine products.
Dissolvable Tobacco Products
In the late 2000s, tobacco companies began to experiment with alternative products made from micro-ground tobacco. Dissolvable tobacco products appeared in several different forms such as lozenges, dissolvable films and toothpick-like sticks. Although the different types of dissolvable tobacco products look very different from one another on the surface, they’re all used in the same way. You place the product in your mouth, and the tobacco mixture slowly dissolves. Because the tobacco is ground so finely, there’s no need to spit.
Because dissolvable tobacco products do contain tobacco, they may not have the same reduced risk profile that you’d enjoy if you used a vaping device or tobacco-free nicotine pouches. You do get the authentic flavor of tobacco, though, and that may be important to you.
The primary drawback of dissolvable tobacco products is that they aren’t available in all markets. If they’re available where you live, though, you may find it worthwhile to try them as an alternative to smoking if other nicotine products haven’t worked for you.
Snus is the original pouch-based oral tobacco product. Developed in Sweden, snus is the most popular type of tobacco product there as well as in Norway. You use it in the same way that you’d use a nicotine pouch – by placing it in your upper lip. You’ll keep the pouch there until the flavor fades, which typically takes around 30 minutes.
The key difference between snus and nicotine pouches is that snus contains tobacco, while nicotine pouches merely contain nicotine. Therefore, snus may be riskier to health than nicotine pouches. Snus is different from other oral tobacco products, however, in that the tobacco is steam pasteurized rather than fire cured as most tobacco products are. Steam pasteurization reduces the tobacco’s nitrosamine content, and research suggests that snus may therefore be less risky than some other tobacco products.
Because snus is made from tobacco, some snus products are much higher in nicotine than most nicotine pouches. While nicotine pouches typically come in strengths of 3 and 6 mg per pouch, it’s possible to find snus brands containing as much nicotine as 43 mg per gram. You may find the extra nicotine helpful if you find it difficult to quit smoking using nicotine pouches.
Herbal Pouches or Snuff
Have you ever considered the fact that it might be possible for you to reduce or eliminate your tobacco consumption without using nicotine? There are actually many companies that manufacture tobacco- and nicotine-free snuff and pouches made from things such as mint, black tea and coffee. Herbal snuff can have a very rich flavor, and it can create the same tingle in your mouth that you get from oral tobacco products. If you think that your tobacco use has more to do with habit than nicotine addiction, you may find it very worthwhile to try herbal pouches or snuff.