There’ve been anti-smoking campaigns for a long time. While these campaigns have successfully reduced the number of smokers, they haven’t managed to eliminate smoking. Once upon a time, smoking was widespread. You could board an airplane and smoke thousands of miles up in the air peacefully. In addition, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops all permitted smoking on their premises.
The truth is, smoking has been around for a long time. If you go back through history, you’ll find smoking has been around for centuries. Evidence suggests that people were smoking as far back as 3000 to 500 BC in Mesoamerica and Latin America. Tobacco smoking made its way to Europe through trade in the 17th century. It quickly spread over to North America shortly after.
However, as time has progressed, science has unearthed many adverse effects of smoking. After all, the human lungs are supposed to breathe in oxygen, not inhale poisonous gas. While there’s been a growing stigma against smoking cigarettes, it persists. As the adage states: old habits die hard.
Unfortunately, smoking cigarettes remains the leading cause of preventable deaths. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths annually. To make matters worse, it contributes to 1 in 5 deaths in the US. Moreover, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 34 million people currently smoke in the United States. Although the number of smokers has decreased significantly since 2005, it remains a significant problem.
Quitting smoking can be challenging, particularly for chain smokers. There are various methods smokers use to attempt to quit smoking, ranging from nicotine patches to hypnotherapy. However, they tend to have varying efficacy rates. Scientists are actively seeking solutions to curb smoking addictions in people, and they might have found what they’ve been searching for all along.
Quitting Smoking with Psychedelics
Psychedelics are effective in helping smoking cessation. John Hopkins researchers conducted a study with 15 participants. The study aimed to observe the effects psilocybin—the active ingredient in magic mushrooms—had on smoking cessation. Over six months, eighty percent of participants reported abstinence from smoking. That’s a significantly higher figure than the 35 percent efficacy rate for varenicline—a drug that many people consider the most effective treatment for quitting smoking.
In addition to the John Hopkins study, other studies corroborate psychedelics’ impact on smoking cessation. In 2017, a team of researchers administered an online survey to assess the effects of psychedelics on smoking.
The survey included 358 participants who smoked about 14 cigarettes daily. Moreover, the participants had previously attempted to quit smoking at least five times before consuming a psychedelic.
All the participants had consumed psychedelics in a non-laboratory setting. The survey’s findings revealed that 38 percent of the people surveyed reported quitting smoking following their psychedelic experience. In addition, a further 28 percent stated their smoking had decreased drastically from an average of 300 cigarettes to just one cigarette monthly.
Psychedelic Medicine’s Impact on Delivering Better Outcomes
Therefore, it’s safe to say psychedelics can help people quit smoking and lead healthier lives. In addition to smoking cessation, psychedelics have also shown positive results in treating alcohol and cocaine addiction. Moreover, they’re effective in treating anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental disorders.
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