January 2000 –
Frequently Frustrated Flyers Who Smoke
Bad weather, crowded airplanes and cancelled flights all add up to stress for airline passengers. But for flyers who smoke, the aggravation is multiplied by long periods in planes and terminals, all under "No Smoking" conditions. While non-smokers breathe easy after a long flight, smokers sprint for the nearest exit instead of the baggage claim.
Dr. Brad Rodu, a professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has just the ticket for frequently frustrated flyers who can’t smoke: Switch to smokeless tobacco. "Smokers face increasing periods of forced abstinence from nicotine, especially when traveling," noted Rodu, who has
conducted successful clinical trials using smokeless tobacco as a cigarette substitute. "Smokeless tobacco provides the nicotine kick smokers need, and newer products can be used invisibly in any social situation. In fact, new products are so discreet that they can be used on those airlines which supposedly ban tobacco entirely. Unless, of course, the airlines institute mouth exams in pursuit of political correctness."
Smokers who switch to smokeless get other advantages, including a healthier outlook. Research conducted by Rodu, also a senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, documents that smokeless is 98% safer than
A recent informal survey of airports indicated that very few currently sell smokeless products. "This will inevitably change, as more smokers recognize the benefits of switching, temporarily or permanently, to smokeless tobacco," commented Rodu. In fact, the transition is occurring; according to statistics from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 2 million smokers have already switched to smokeless.
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