The ban on cigarettes has seen the illicit trade of tobacco products skyrocket. Picture: Pixabay
The ban on cigarettes has seen the illicit trade of tobacco products skyrocket. Picture: Pixabay

Finished your last cigarette? We've got 5 alternatives to smoking

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published May 19, 2020

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The road to level 3 of the lockdown is a far way off for smokers. For those who have been counting down the days by smoking the last of their stash or forced to go cold turkey, it offers little comfort.

The ban on cigarettes has seen the illicit trade of tobacco products skyrocket, much to the dismay of government. To further back up the claim, a UCT study found that almost all smokers have been able to buy cigarettes during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown, and concluded that the ban is backfiring badly and should be lifted as soon as possible.

Either way, if you're a smoker and reading this, things don't bode well. The question is: Are you willing to pay R100+ for a packet of your preferred brand or would you consider kicking the habit once and for all?

If you've picked the latter, it's just a matter of willpower and determination that will get you there. 

The Cancer Association of SA (Cansa) offers the following steps to help you stop smoking:

- Decide on a date to quit smoking and stick to it. Throw away all reminders of smoking - cigarette packets, ashtrays and lighters.


Avoid smokers and triggers that may tempt you. Once you have started, the first two to three days are the most difficult. It usually becomes easier.


Replace smoking with another activity. Here are five ways some use to help them resist the urge to smoke or use tobacco when craving strikes, - not all good or scientifically proven

A few alternatives to consider are:

Herbal cigarettes

The most common are clove cigarettes, which are 60 to 70 percent tobacco mixed with cloves and clove oils, additives and flavourings. These often are marketed as safer than traditional cigarettes, but they produce tar - one of the main cancer- causing agents of regular cigarettes.

Studies show they have the same carcinogens found in regular cigarettes. Their second-hand smoke poses risks for the people close to the smoker. And because they are mostly tobacco, they also deliver nicotine and cause nicotine addiction.

Laser therapy

This uses low-intensity light or cold lasers to stimulate points on the body, similar to acupuncture. The aim of the light is to stimulate chemicals in the brain known as endorphins which imitate the “relaxing” effect nicotine has on the brain. However, there is not much research supporting the success of this alternative.

Cupping therapy

This ancient cupping therapy is used for many things, one of which is smoking cessation.

In cupping, cups are applied to intact or scarified skin to draw blood toward or through the skin. Traditionally, cupping therapy has been practised in most cultures in one form or another and it could be used to help those who want to quit smoking.

While health practitioners are still debating whether it works for everyone, some studies suggest it may be worth a try.

Nicotine chewing gum

This is a type of gum that delivers nicotine to the body by delivering it to the bloodstream through absorption by the tissues of the mouth.

This gum can be used “on demand”, whenever you experience a nicotine craving. You can also choose from various flavours, such as fruit and mint. It’s available in 2mg and 4mg strengths. If you chew the gum too much, however, you may swallow some of the nicotine, which may be absorbed by the lining of your mouth.

Join a programme

To enroll in the Kick Butt programme simply visit

You have the option to unsubscribe at any time. Support is available online by just activating your e-mail series and you will receive instructions and a link. Any queries regarding the programme may be directed to the toll free call centre at 0800 22 66 22 or [email protected]

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