My name is Suleman, and as a finance professional from Karachi, various milestones have marked profound moments of growth and reflection in my life. From the joy of marriage to the responsibilities of fatherhood, each experience has led me to prioritize my well-being. One of the major decisions I made for myself was the decision to switch to a Heated Tobacco Product (HTP) to reduce the harmful effects of smoking in my life.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of academics and career demands, I found myself grappling with the harmful effects of my smoking habit. The toll it took on me was undeniable, with persistent coughing and shortness of breath becoming regular companions since I had been smoking for 10+ years. As time passed, the thought of starting a family brought with it a renewed sense of responsibility, prompting me to reconsider my choices. It was during this period of reflection that I began exploring less harmful alternatives.

One day, while researching Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR), I stumbled upon an article discussing Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs). Intrigued by their significantly reduced risks, I decided to delve deeper into finding out about them before making the decision to switch. I harbored many misconceptions about HTPs. I believed they were just another marketing gimmick and doubted their ability to satisfy my nicotine cravings. I feared they might be as harmful as smoking. Yet, as I experienced HTP firsthand, I discovered these were mere myths only.

The reduction in coughing and the increase in my stamina after switching to Heated Tobacco Products were clear indicators of the positive impact. I learned that the critical difference between HTPs and cigarettes lies in the method of consumption. While cigarettes burn at high temperatures, releasing toxic substances, HTPs heat tobacco at lower temperatures, preventing the production of many harmful substances. I discovered that HTPs generate an aerosol vapor primarily composed of water, glycerin, and nicotine, posing minimal risks to the people around me compared to secondhand smoke from cigarettes.

Furthermore, I was surprised to find that HTPs emit a much less noticeable smell compared to smoking, making them a more discreet option. Despite my initial skepticism about the scientific backing of HTPs, I uncovered many studies showing HTPs produce markedly lower levels of harmful constituents than smoking. This solidified my confidence in the harm reduction benefits of HTPs. I also took it upon myself to encourage my friends, who used to smoke, to consider making the switch to HTPs for its positive impact on one’s life if they wished to continue smoking.

My positive experience and noticeable improvements served as compelling arguments. Hence, as I continued this journey, I was grateful for the support of my family and realized that prioritizing my wellness was not just beneficial for me, but also for those I cared about. My story stands as a testament to the power of determination and the transformative potential of harm reduction strategies.


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