More than one and a half million people smoke throughout Switzerland. Smoking leads to a double dependence. On the one hand, it leads to a physical dependence on nicotine, and on the other hand, it leads to a behavioural dependence, if reaching for a cigarette becomes a ritual. Nicotine stimulates the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, which lead to psychological and physical effects.
Nicotine can be inhaled in the form of cigarettes, shishas, cigars, cigarillos or even pipes. Snuff is a mixture of one or more types of finely ground tobacco consumed through the nose. So-called snus, sometimes called mouth tobacco, is tobacco wrapped in small packets that is placed between the gums and the cheek.
E-cigarettes have gained popularity in recent years. They consist of a mouthpiece, a rechargeable battery, an electric nebuliser and an interchangeable cartridge containing the liquid, called liquid. This liquid is nebulised when the mouthpiece is pulled and inhaled as vapour. The liquids are available both with and without nicotine. Compared to tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes are probably less harmful to health overall, but risks cannot be ruled out.
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