Nearly 23% or one-in-four adults in the world smoke tobacco. As per Our World in Data, at least 40% of the population smoke in regions such as Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands, and Europe. This shows us that smoking is a global activity shared by many cultures across the world.
Yet, there are also many countries where smoking is heavily discouraged —- or even illegal. In Australia or Japan, the sale or importation of nicotine-containing e-liquids is banned. In Singapore, simply possessing an e-cigarette is a crime and can carry a fine of up to $1500.
If you hope to become a world traveler, going smoke-free for a while may be the way to go. Still not convinced? Here are more reasons why traveling without your vape or cigarette is a good idea.
Local smoking laws
Smoke-free zones have increased around the world after evidence that public health improves following the implementation of smoke-free laws. This is a universal occurrence even in countries where smoking itself is more widely practiced.
Many public spaces like parks or restaurants have a designated smoking ban. Beaches like the ones in sunny Barcelona will be inaccessible to smokers too, soon to be followed by beaches all around Spain. Some dining areas do allow smoking, especially in regions, like the Balkans, where smoking is deeply rooted in the culture. However, this is the minority and travelers need to do heavy research beforehand.
Variation of smokeless nicotine products
When you shift to smokeless nicotine products for a while, not a lot of research will be needed at all! There’s a whole range of options for you to choose from too, depending on your personal preference.
Some of the most popular options are the staple nicotine gum and trendy nicotine pouches. Prilla explains that in terms of disposal, duration, and discreteness there is a difference between nicotine pouches and nicotine gum. The former tends to be less obvious while in use and the term of actual usage also usually lasts longer, whereas gum runs out of nicotine and flavor more quickly. Nicotine gum may also be trickier to toss, especially if you’re on the go.
However, gum may be more appealing to cigarette users who have a proclivity towards chewing. The candy-like profile, otherwise present in nicotine lozenges, may make the shift from cigarettes easier as well. Of course, for those hoping to veer away from oral solutions, the topical water-resistant nicotine patch is also widely accessible and can be great when planning to engage in beach activities.
Ease of using public transportation
Having a smokeless alternative will also make getting around a lot easier. Many modes of public transportation ban smoking in consideration of other passengers.
Packing smoke-producing products is tricky too, because of the potential fire hazards. The FAA recounted several fire incidents in aircraft that stemmed from smoking tobacco products. This includes a 2019 Southwest Airlines flight to San Diego where employees had to pull a smoking suitcase containing e-cigarette batteries from a plane’s cargo hold. Many adjacent bags were damaged and the plane had to be temporarily taken out of service as well.
Going smoke-free increases your safety, as well as the safety of your fellow travelers. This also makes packing a lot more convenient and stress-free.
Travelers tend to pack light and buy other essentials at the place of travel. However, the price of cigarettes tends to vary across the world and may even be more expensive in locations like Sri Lanka, where local cigarettes cost around $6 and imported brands can cost up to $9. This can make a huge dent in your budget, while going smoke-free reduces your overall expenses.
When opting to go smoke-free, travelers can ensure that their nicotine needs are fulfilled anywhere across the world and that their travels are worry-free and convenient. Upon safely returning home, you’ll happily be left with many new memories from your smoke-free travels.