The World Health Organization, known by its acronym WHO, has established, according to some studies, that about 3 million people die every year from tobacco in some form. Some measures have been taken in the commercial air sector to reduce these catastrophic figures, such as banning people from smoking in airplanes. This measure, however, can be a real challenge for those who have been smoking for long periods of time since the hours they spend on a plane, not being able to have smoke can cause a lot of anxiety.
Slowly closing options for smokers
Before 1999, when lighting a cigarette on board was banned entirely in many travelling companies in the world, some specific companies, such as Iberia from Spain, had begun to reduce the number of seats allocated to smokers. So there were already some restrictions that could affect smokers when travelling.
The first to establish the ban was the large US airlines, which were joined by others such as British Airways, Air France, SAS, Lufthansa, Brazilian Varig and the entire fleet of Australian and Thai commercial aircraft.
Long trips and anxiety
A long-haul flight usually lasts between 11 and 15 hours. Many of the nicotine addicts cannot last so long without smoking, so some airlines have seen fit to implement some measures. In “Air France” we find what they call “the smoker’s corner.” Once the opening of the smoking area is announced, smokers are ready to win a seat – only six people – very close to the emergency exits and from where they do not disturb the rest of the passengers.
Although it has been for at least 10 years that smoking began to be banned in some parts of the world, some smokers have not suffered the anxiety caused by being long without smoking whether they make trips by plane, bus or train. They have avoided anxiety with nicotine medications. Since these drugs can take away anxiety when people want to stop smoking, they would also serve to put up with hours without cigarettes. Although they work great, these products lack much to have a flavour as rich as the tobacco, but they remove the symptoms. In a hurry they are excellent.
Nicotine Substitutes in airports: good idea
Most flights are “non-smokers,” thus banning the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic cigarettes (which use a vaporizer and some of the best e-liquid) or similar devices in the aircraft. In case you are a regular smoker and believe that the prohibition can cause discomfort, consult with your doctor the possibility of carrying nicotine substitutes, such as gum and patches.
One of the substitutes that can be used is nicotine patches, which are not provided by airlines but which many passengers use during their flights. Usually very good results are obtained from its use, however, there may be some side effects such as dizziness, headache, abdominal discomfort, among others.
The fact that nicotine substitution therapies are not available in places where there is no option to leave the premises, such as airplanes or trains; it is irrefutable proof that smoking bans are not a measure of protection to the nonsmoker, but a measure of punishment against smokers.
Smoker’s quality of life
The quality of life of smokers can be greatly improved if products with nicotine are easy to obtain. It would be very positive if a smoker, who is doing a plane trip when he is anxious could buy nicotine gum on the same plane. Because, after all, it is unacceptable for a smoker to be condemned to long hours of anxiety by some. Nicotine products must be easy to obtain. It must be possible to buy them in any place where smoking is prohibited. In spite of everything, they are human beings with the same rights as everyone else.
First were the flights of less than 90 minutes, then the national, later all. Shortly after the buses were added, and now the trains. To the joy of non-smokers and the misery of nicotine friends, smoking and travelling are, increasingly, two ‘pleasures’ that can only go together in the privacy of one’s own car. Luckily there are some tips and tricks to make those long waiting hours a little lighter.