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Flavoured cigarettes are simply ordinary cigarettes that contain additives to improve the flavour and smell and disguise the unpleasant taste of tobacco smoke. By making cigarettes more attractive, sweet or fruity flavourings create a more enjoyable first smoking experience, which encourages smoking and makes it more attractive, especially to young people.
Certain substances mask the discomforts of smoking, such as respiratory tract irritation and other early warning signs of lung disease. For example, menthol acts as an analgesic and reduces the irritation that smokers would otherwise experience.
Please note that Quebec’s new law on tobacco control prohibits the sale of a tobacco product that has a flavour or aroma other than that of tobacco since August 26, 2016.
Over 7,000 chemicals are released in tobacco smoke, of which over 70 lead to cancer in humans. We know that many of them are toxic, including nicotine, carbon monoxide, benzene, and ammonia.
Tobacco smoke is harmful for all the parts of the body it comes in contact with. Whether they inhale it or not, smokers run the risk of developing cancer of the lips, mouth, and tongue. On top of which, a smoker who does not directly breathe in the smoke from a cigarette still breathes in the second-hand smoke produced (see the preceding question in regard to this).
This is just about the only downside to butting out. Yes, quitting smoking can make you put on a few pounds. Why? First, because your body no longer has the nicotine to speed up your metabolism, you will burn fewer calories. Second, because your sense of smell and taste buds, which were dulled by the nicotine and toxic substances in cigarettes, come back to life. As a result, food tastes better and eating becomes more enjoyable. Many ex-smokers also automatically replace cigarettes with food.
No need to panic! A healthy lifestyle (being more active, eating well, listening to your body and eating only when you're hungry, and drinking lots of water) will help you control your weight—even better if you can get started before you stop smoking. For more information, consult the Healthy living section.
All smokers—whether they are healthy or already suffer from a disease linked to tobacco—can benefit from the advantages of kicking the habit. Even older people who've smoked for years have much to gain from quitting. For more details, read the Perks of quitting section.
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) seem to be a promising smoking cessation aid for certain types of smokers. However, because more research needs to be done and because there is a wide variety of e-cigarettes available, it is strongly recommended that you talk with your doctor or pharmacist before starting using them.
Furthermore, Health Canada and Quebec’s ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (page in French) suggest caution regarding e-cigarettes because their quality can vary and their contents may be different than what is indicated on the label. For instance, they could contain nicotine even if the label reads “nicotine free”. Please note that Quebec’s new law on tobacco prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors since the end of 2015.
We therefore recommend that smokers first try proven methods to stop smoking, like nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gums, lozenges, inhaler or mouth spray), bupropion, or varenicline. The contents and manufacturing of these products are strictly regulated. What’s more, they are covered by most insurance plans.