New Year Resolutions: Vaping as an Avenue to Quit Smoking
Creating new year resolutions is a culture that might feel timeworn, but the start of the year is always a perfect chance to re-evaluate where we are at in life and shift the goal posts to align with who we’re becoming or where we wish to be as the clock continues to tick.
One of the aspects most of us want to improve undoubtedly concerns health and fitness. Most people want to look better physically, feel more wholesome mentally and generally lead a healthier life characterised by better lifestyle choices.
Now, if there is one lifestyle change you can make that can have far-reaching effects in your life, it is quitting smoking. With health authorities in England deeming vaping to be 95% safer than smoking, maybe now is as good a time as any other to quit cigarettes for good, and vapes are a realistic substitute to help you achieve that goal.
Smoking remains prevalent the world over, with the number of smokers across the UK standing at 6.9 million as of 2019. Most smokers are aware of the dangers that stem from the habit, but the problem is that nicotine addiction is a notoriously difficult habit to overcome, as anyone who has been there can attest to.
Smokers looking to quit have always had a plethora of methods to choose from, including:
- Cold turkey
- Nicotine replacement therapy (think nicotine gum, patches, inhalers etc.)
- Prescription medicine
- Alternative methods like meditation and hypnosis to quit smoking
Unfortunately, most have found these methods ineffective and sooner or later relapse after quitting.
However, the emergence of vaping has helped change the script.
More Than Just The Nicotine
It has since been established that quitting smoking is not just a matter of introducing a nicotine product in place of the cigarette. The hand-to-mouth action involved in smoking matters a lot, as does having an actual physical device to replace the combustible cigarette.
This was the difference that e-cigarettes brought and has made them a much more effective cigarette substitute compared to other smoking alternatives. That’s in addition to other factors that help to bridge the gap between vapes and traditional cigarettes while minimizing the health risks associated with the latter.
This includes aspects like the action of inhaling and exhaling, for example, and vapour in place of smoke. The emergence of nicotine salts, a form of e-liquid that delivers an experience similar to traditional cigarettes cannot be overlooked as well.
That’s not to say the transition from smoking to vaping is a pick-up-and-carry-on-like-there-is-no-difference affair. There is a subtle difference between the two experiences that takes a while to get used to, but it’s only a matter of time before you adjust.
There are a few things you can implement when making the switch to reduce this adaptation curve.
Choose The Right Device
Unlike traditional cigarettes that are pretty much standard, e-cig devices come in different types. These include:
- Vape pens (aka regular vaporisers)
- Pod systems (could be refillable (open pods) or non-refillable (closed pods))
- Disposable vapes
- Mods and sub-ohms
Hitting the shops without familiarising yourself with the different e-cig categories you will encounter can overwhelm you and likely result in the wrong pick
As someone who is new to vaping, the only options you should concern yourself with are the first four. Forget about mods and sub-ohms for now. If you need the least hassle-free option, disposable vapes are a great starting point. The same goes for pod systems which are also famed for their portability and convenience.
However, the issue with these two categories is that they are kind of short-term options. Since both are meant to be disposed after some time – including open pod systems which are reusable up to a point – pod kits and disposable e-cigs tend to be more expensive in the long-term. Plus, they create more environmental waste.
Vape pens are a good, economical option that does not limit you in terms of flavour options and the e-liquid you can use in your device – with the exception of sub-ohm e-liquids which are not compatible with this category of devices. But remember they require regular cleaning and maintenance work, not to mention coil changes. Then again, that’s an inevitable part of being a vaper.
A good approach is to invest in both a vape pen and either a disposable vape or pod kit.
As for cig-a-likes, these are e-cigs that resemble regular cigarettes in design but you can skip this option for now as you might find their experience a little underwhelming.
Pick An Ideal Nicotine Strength
Standard vape e-liquids normally come in a range of nicotine strengths irrespective of flavour. The most common concentrations in the UK are 0, 6, 12 and 18 mg, although nic salts pack up to 20 mg per bottle (10 mg is the other common option in this category of juices).
It’s important to select the right nicotine strength as this can have a bearing on whether you find vaping satisfying. Or not. However, settling on the ideal concentration could be a matter of trial and error, so try out a liquid that matches your smoking habits when starting out before you purchase large quantities of juice.
If the ultimate desire is to be completely nicotine-free, you can scale down your nicotine concentration over time until you get to 0mg. It is possible. Just be realistic with yourself and avoid rushing the process.
When switching from cigarettes to vapes, it never hurts to start with a tobacco flavour as opposed to other flavour categories such as fruit or dessert.
This allows you to ease into vaping more seamlessly since a good tobacco flavour will not feel too far removed from what you were used to as a smoker.
You can always experiment with other flavour options later since for now, the most important thing is to quit smoking without falling back.
Nicotine Salt E-liquid Is An Option
Nicotine salts have a different formulation to other e-liquids which is why they promise the closest experience to combustible cigarettes.
For some smokers, regular e-liquids may lack a certain oomph as far as throat hit and general satisfaction goes, even when using a high-nic juice such as 18 mg. The good thing about nic salts is that despite their high nicotine content, they boast an extremely smooth inhale and deliver a more comfortable experience.
This makes them perfect for smokers making the switch to vapes, particularly heavy and intermediate smokers who might desire something stronger.
As another year rolls around, it is only natural that self-improvement is on the cards for most people. For smokers, kicking the habit permanently is a goal to always strive to (no matter the time of year).
If you have tried to quit before without much success, maybe now is a good time to consider vaping as an avenue to get out of the hole? There are plenty of benefits you stand to gain, so definitely it’s something worth considering.