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A Safe Cigarette for Smokers?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 1.1 billion smokers across the world today.

by Alex Koyfman

That’s one in three adults — a fact that may come as a shock to people living in Western nations where cigarettes are rapidly becoming taboo and their use prohibited in many public places.

In China alone, there are more smokers than there are people in the United States.

In terms of where it’s most popular, Greece takes first place — with almost 3,000 cigarettes consumed annually (about half a pack a day) per adult.

Considering the fact that only about 40% of adults admit to being smokers, that means the average Greek smoker is consuming about a pack per day.

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Most incredible of all, however, is the most basic number…

6.25 trillion: the number of cigarettes produced in 2012, according to a recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

That translates into 850 cigarettes for every man, woman, and child on the planet.

cigchart

And it also translates into more numbers, such as 6 million: the number of global fatalities associated with smoking every year.

And 300 billion: the total economic cost in the U.S. alone associated with the medical care and lost productivity from premature death.

So today, quitting (or never starting at all) is a social trend with more than two decades of momentum, particularly in many developed nations.

You see some of the most basic evidence of this every day — it’s no longer just non-smoking bars but also non-smoking bar decks and non-smoking parking lots.

Even famous actors and rock stars are dropping the habit.

In the U.S., fewer than 17% of adults admit to being regular smokers, a number that plunges annually.

And that’s really the most important number to look at — that rapidly decreasing population of smokers.

The Quitters: A Market Within a Market

That number indicates that while many people simply never pick up the habit due to known risks, many others — perhaps hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide — are trying to quit.

I can attest to it personally, too. Half the smokers in my office have dropped the habit in the last several months alone.

As is the case with all modern consumers, these aspiring non-smokers are using all the methods known to modern science, as well as some older ones, to kick the addiction.

Some go cold turkey. Others use patches or gum. Some are even using pharmaceuticals, like Chantix, to wean themselves off the habit.

Unfortunately, so far quitting smoking has proven to be an incredible challenge.

A study done in Australia in 2010 found that long-term smokers had to try 7.4 times on average before successfully dropping the habit.

That same study also found, shockingly, that nicotine addiction is often as strong or stronger than opiate addiction, making the process of quitting something as seemingly inane as cigarettes more physically and emotionally taxing than quitting heroin.

And even with the new cessation aids like Pfizer’s Chantix, the rates of success do not seem to be much better.

chantiximage

Although the drug boasts a 44% success rate, a clinical trial done in 2011 proved that after six months, that rate drops to below 15%.

And that’s without considering the now famous — and infamous — psychotic side effects associated with the drug.

One of the main issues cited by smokers as a reason for failure is easy to understand for anybody that’s ever enjoyed a cigarette — whether it’s just a few times a year or many times per day.

Aside from delivering nicotine, which the patch and the gum do just fine, cigarette smoking is a physical habit.

People like to smoke, and they continue to smoke because the entire experience, chemical and habitual, is part of the equation.

So if you want to quit smoking but you actually like the process, what do you do?

Fight Fire With Fire

Well, one company based out of New York has come up with an idea… one that may finally prove to be the silver bullet for any smoker who wants to quit.

Using advanced genetic engineering, this company has actually created a tobacco in which both tar and nicotine levels can be precisely controlled and varied.

The result is a cigarette that isn’t just far safer because it contains fewer of the harmful carcinogens but that can also actually be used as a cessation aid.

By gradually decreasing nicotine levels in the plant, this revolutionary product allows the smoker to step down his intake all the way to near zero.

As a cessation aid, this “safe cigarette” has already proven to be more than twice as effective as Chantix over a six-month time frame and even more so on longer timelines.

And there are no unforeseen and bizarre side effects, such as suicidal tendencies (it was linked to 544 suicides and 1,869 suicide attempts in its first five years of commercial availability).

chantixchart

It gives smokers exactly what they want and allows them to safely, gradually regulate the process of nicotine detoxification.

If this doesn’t sound like any tobacco company you’ve ever heard of, it’s because it isn’t.

While it does market standard cigarettes as well for those who are happy with their lifestyle, it’s this “medicinal” cigarette that truly promises to turn this massive global industry upside down.

Industry Legends Reinventing the Business

And they know the business, too.

The CEO of this company was responsible for bringing one of today’s most iconic tobacco brands to prominence in the mid to late 1990s, when he multiplied its market share by a factor of seven in just a few short years.

Today, though, his plan is much bigger and broader than before.

Because this company doesn’t just compete with Big Tobacco… It actually wants to make them obsolete.