What is virtual smoking and how is it different from virtual smoking sessions? In this post, you will learn about these and their lifestyle significance.
A long time ago, people enjoyed fishing as a hobby and not as a profession. They are not interested in making fishing their source of livelihood, which is also a cool profession by the way. However, they just want to get on the river bank or a boat and enjoy fishing for the fun of it.
But why should they expend all their energy or even soil their clothes just because of their fishing hobby? All these add to the fun but in recent times, technology has made it possible to have that experience in the comfort of your home. This was made possible through Virtual Reality.
Virtual reality allows you to experience something projected from simulation as though it were real but is in fact, only virtual or exist only in the computer or device that produces it. Virtual reality comprises images, scenes, environments and sounds that mimic real-life experiences but are not real in themselves.
Virtual smoking is one of such virtual realities and here is what it entails. Virtual Cigarette smoking is a simulation of cigarette smoking that involves the display of a virtual cigarette on your smartphone screen which you can pretend to smoke. This technology also enables you to burn virtual cigarettes faster by blowing on your smartphone.
In the world of technology and inventions, there is nothing absolutely considered impossible. Many different technological products and ideas are advanced for several reasons and you might be wondering why the virtual cigarette smoking technology was invented.
Of course, it was primarily invented to provide a new fun activity to people who consider smoking a hobby. They can get to live a part of the smoking experience without actually smoking one. This can be fun, you know.
Another reason why inventing the virtual smoking technology could be a viable idea is that over the last two decades, virtual reality technologies (VRTs) have been proposed as a way to enhance and improve smoking cessation therapy. These technologies include Cue Exposure Therapy, e-cigarettes (vapes), etc.
However, these interventions did not provide long-lasting help in smoking cessation. Cue exposure therapy as a form of virtual intervention for smoking cessation involves the exposure of individuals who are addicted to a substance to stimuli that relates to the substance without allowing them to use the actual substance.
For example, an alcoholic can be exposed to the smell of alcohol without allowing him to drink, or a smoker can be exposed to the smell of nicotine in vapes, etc or the sight of cigarettes, as in virtual cigarettes without being given one to smoke. These can sometimes be helpful interventions in the cessation of addictive substance use.
According to research carried out in 2021, these virtual interventions can be useful as therapeutic interventions for smoking cessation or the use of other substances. However, another study has demonstrated otherwise. This study conducted in 2013 showed that the use of virtual cigarettes increases craving among smokers. Since then, no new studies have been carried out to further study the relationship between virtual smoking and craving or cessation of smoking among smokers.
Virtual Smoking Sessions
This is a slightly different concept from virtual smoking but I still want to talk about it in this post. What are virtual smoking sessions?
Going to nearly three years now, the novel coronavirus has continued to plague and change the course of our lives in interesting ways. Recently, in the last part of 2021, a new variant, Omicron strain was discovered and the government of the day and world health agencies are further urging people to maintain a social distance.
In a press conference held on December 20, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke that "an event cancelled is better than a life cancelled", urging the need for everyone to adhere to preventive ways of controlling the spread of the coronavirus as far as cancelling festivities.
If that means absolutely cancelling Christmas and New Year Day celebrations, many people would not have adhered to the directive. Of course, Christmas and New Year celebrations took place normally in all parts of the world. However, a few things were affected.
People who enjoy smoking in groups with other people, especially in the festive season, might be forced to smoke alone and this can be considered uninteresting by them. But breaking social distancing rules might be even more disastrous to your health. Here is how virtual smoking sessions can come in.
Virtual smoking sessions involve new ways of enjoying group smoking without physical meetings or contact with other smokers. It involves setting up a virtual conference where many people with other people who are physically distant from them.
To make this possible, you first need to download a group conferencing app like Zoom, Facetime, Houseparty, Google Hangouts, and others. These technologies can then be used to display everyone as they smoke in their respective homes and show their faces as they burn down the cigars or cigarettes.
This can add to the fun and experience, making smoking sessions as fun as they could have been if they were all smoking together physically.
To make the session more interesting and interactive, you can set a time when every participant in the virtual smoking session can start smoking, more like scheduling a virtual meeting. When everyone logs in at the set times, everyone can start smoking simultaneously, further adding to the fun experience.
For the 2021 Christmas and 2022 New Year Day celebration, COVID may have been able to prevent physical group smoking among smokers but while you engage in the virtual group smoking session, you could try more different products including CBD-infused products like concentrates, edibles, etc, as you would when you are physical with other people.
Virtual smoking is a virtual reality simulation of the act of smoking, while a virtual smoking session is the simulation of group smoking when this is practically impossible. The common unifying attribute of these two concepts is the fact that both are a simulation, and do not occur in real life as they are portrayed.
Virtua smoking has been proposed as a therapeutic intervention for smoking cessation but substantial evidence is not available to support these claims.
Virtual smoking sessions, as you have seen, can help people enjoy the feeling of group smoking even when conditions like the pandemic have halted all such experiences.