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Who Needs E-Cigarettes? Woman Claims Botox Injections Help Her Smoke Less

After trying the usual nicotine replacement therapies to cut down on smoking, a woman in Vancouver turned to a cosmetic procedure that most people use to keep themselves looking young – botox injections. Believe it or not, they actually worked wonders for her, and she claims she went from smoking a pack and half of cigarettes a day to just ten a month.

smoking-cessationScientific evidence shows electronic cigarettes can help smokers cut down on cigarettes and even quit smoking completely, but for people reluctant to give them a try, there are other alternatives out there. Kelly Greenwood, from Vancouver, was smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes every day, and after failing to cut back with classic nicotine patches and Chantix, she turned to botox injections. These are most often used as a non invasive cosmetic procedure to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, but Kelly’s case is proof they have other practical uses.

Mrs. Greenwood is allergic to nicotine patches – whenever she puts one on she gets welts – and prescription medicine like Chantix give her blurred vision. Desperate to find a way to give up cigarettes or at least smoke less, she turned to plastic surgeon Dr. Allen Gabriel, who suggested botox injections on either side of Kelly’s upper lip. He jokingly warned her that the procedure would prevent her from kissing her husband or drinking out of a straw for a while, but the woman said she was determined to take the chances if it meant curbing her smoking habit.

The woman received her first botox injections on May 1st, at a cost of about $100. She remembers that the first time she tried to drink out of a wine glass, most of it dribbled down her chin, but she got over it pretty fast, especially as she noticed she was unable to smoke, either. Basically, she was unable to pucker her lips to draw on the cigarette.

That’s how the botulinum toxin works – it temporarily paralyses muscle activity. If you want any muscle to stop working for a period of time, that’s where you inject botox. The paralyzing effect can last between three to seven days.

Kelly Greenwood says the treatment has worked wonders for her. She has gone from smoking around 30 cigarettes a day to just 10 a month, and hopes to be able to give up smoking completely after a few more injections.


The first time I read Kelly’s story I thought it was funny and bizarre, but then I realized botox injections have a few advantages over e-cigarettes: first of all, they are approved by the FDA, which e-cigs will probably never be, at least not in their current form. They also make you look younger, as paralyzing the muscles makes wrinkles around the mouth less apparent. And, last but not least, they can help you lose wait through starvation. Kelly Greenwood herself told KGW reporters that with other quit smoking aids she always gained weight, but botox injections helped her lose a few pounds, as her paralyzed upper lip makes chewing food difficult.

Now, if you think Kelly’s approach to achieving smoking cessation is weird, you probably haven’t read İbrahim Yücel’s story. Back in 2013, this Turkish man built a metal cage for his head that made it impossible to get a cigarette anywhere near his mouth. To make sure he didn’t succumb to temptation, he would lock the cage and give the keys to his wife and daughter whenever he stepped out of the house.

It’s crazy the lengths people will go to in order to quit smoking, but crazier still is the way policy makers and anti-smoking organizations are tackling the problem – suggesting the same old smoking cessation therapies, which have a very low success rate, and opposing anything that has a real chance of making smoking obsolete. Yes, I’m talking about electronic cigarettes!

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