Do you want to quit smoking? Well, you’re not alone. We all know that smoking isn’t as cool as we thought when we were young. Most of us look back and wish we never even started.
You already know that smoking gives you no health benefits and in fact does just the exact opposite, slowly deteriorates your health. For this reason, I’m not surprised to find you seeking a way out…
According to the CDC, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the USA accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year.
Cigarettes contain approximately 600 ingredients, which create in excess of 7000 chemicals when burned. Of these chemicals, 69 are proven to cause cancer, while the rest have varying levels of harmful toxins.
Despite the fact that you may want to quit smoking, the withdrawal symptoms can make giving up a lot harder if you try to quit by going ‘cold turkey’.
There are many substitutes for smoking, some of which may be more effective in helping you than others.
Technology has come a long way over the past decade. In this time we’ve had a number of nicotine substitutes enter the market, many of which have been successful in helping millions of people give up smoking, including electronic cigarettes.
E-Cigs have been available commercially since around 2003. While they don’t necessarily work for everyone, they are becoming a much more popular alternative to smoking by the day for millions of people.
I live in a small town in the UK not far from London, and there’s rarely a day that goes by where I do not see someone ‘vaping’.
But, why are so many smokers moving to electronic cigarettes to help them give up smoking?
WHY USE E-CIGARETTES TO QUIT SMOKING?
If you’re familiar with e-cigarettes, you most likely know that the nicotine comes from e-juice, more commonly known as e-liquid.
You should keep in mind that switching to e-cigarettes does not necessarily quell your nicotine habit. It can actually do the opposite.
Yes, nicotine is addictive, but it’s not the harmful part of a cigarette that can cause you major health issues.
Vaping is better for your health than smoking, and it is usually a lot better for your bank balance too. There are a number of recent studies that have proven e-cigs to be less harmful than smoking.
The Iowa AG, Tom Miller, for example, recently released a statement in which he cited electronic cigarettes as 90-98% less hazardous than smoking.
Also, a research published by Public Health England indicated that electronic cigarettes are 95% safer than tobacco.
Studies like this help us to understand why people are stomping out cigarettes for good and charging their e-cigs.
But how do you go about using an electronic cigarettes to quit the bad habit?
HOW YOU CAN USE E-CIGARETTES TO QUIT SMOKING
It can be easy to quit smoking using electronic cigarettes if you prepare yourself well enough.
The first thing you should do is to mentally prepare yourself to move away from the cigarettes or tobacco you currently smoke. It can even help help to write down the reasons you want to quit as well as the benefits you’ll get from quitting.
If you’re going to try vaping to give up you’ll improve your chances of being successful by doing some research on the different types of electronic cigarettes available so you find a good match for your needs.
Some will be better suited to you than others so it’s worth making sure that you understand the different types of e-cigs available as well as their pros and cons.
You’ll also want to consider things like whether you’re a light smoker, or an infrequent social smoker. If you’re a heavy smoker, you’ll be better off getting an e-cig with a larger battery so that it lasts all day.
One of the biggest reasons I failed when I first started vaping was the fact that I ran out of battery away from home.
I had no means of charging my e-cig at the time and that day I used it as an excuse to buy cigarettes. You’ll want to avoid this by either having a back-up battery or one that will last you the whole day.
Talking of back-ups, you should also try to have a back-up device. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, just something in case your go-to e-cig breaks malfunctions.
E-cigs are not foolproof, and if you think there’s even a slight possibility that you may return to smoking if yours was to stop working, you should be prepared with some form of back-up to avoid this.
Just like you would if you ran out of battery.
My first back up e-cig cost me just £12 ($18), and at the time it helped me on a couple of occasions where my e-cig needed some sort of repair.
I can’t stress the importance of this enough, especially in your early months of quitting.
Once you’ve found an e-cig that you’re happy with and have your back-up you’ll want to find an e-liquid that you like, and a nicotine strength that satisfies your craving.
This can be tricky at first. We’re all different, some of us smoke or smoked more than others so this will be more down to trial and error.
When you first start out, you’ll want to experiment with higher different flavours. You’ll have a lot to choose from, including tobacco, menthol, fruity and desert flavours.
Once you know what category you prefer you’ll then want to find at least one particular e-juice flavour you enjoy vaping.
Again, this is really important if you want to drastically improve your chances of quitting.
One of the biggest reasons some people find it easy to make the switch to vaping is because they find flavours they love.
If you love what you vape and it satisfies your craving you will not feel the need to smoke, so don’t take this part lightly.
Spend some time ‘flavour shopping’ and trying anyone’s that you know.
Try not to be put off vaping by flavours you don’t like. If you prefer fruity flavours, try one that you don’t like, try another and another until you find a good one.
There are so many to choose from, many of which I love and many I find vile!
You’ll also need to determine what nicotine strength you will have in your e-liquid. They vary from 0mg (nicotine free) and can go as high as 40mg +. Here’s a guide that will help steer you in the right direction when choosing the right nicotine strength.
If you’re vaping on a cig-a-like, you’ll want to vape a higher nicotine strength since they are much less powerful.
If you’re vaping on a vape pen or a MOD, you’ll want to vape at a much lower nicotine strength.
Once you’ve started vaping you’ll be in a position to decide whether you intend to continue vaping with a nicotine content that satisfies your cravings or if you’re going to try and wean yourself off the nicotine completely.
If you decide that you want to reduce your dependency on nicotine you should work at a pace that you’re comfortable with.
I started on 18mg. Higher than I needed, admittedly, but at the time there wasn’t much info about what strength to start on and most e-liquids ran at higher nicotine strengths.
Instead of dropping straight to 12mg I decided to buy a 12mg and an 18mg, mix the two 50/50 to bring myself down to 15mg before I eventually worked myself down to the 12mg e-liquid.
I followed the same technique with 12mg and 6mg, mixing the two evenly before getting myself down to 6mg. This process has worked well for me.
Years later, and I’m now happily vaping at 3mg and my cravings are satisfied.
Now it goes without saying that this method won’t work for everyone. But if you really want to reduce your dependency on nicotine it should help you to reduce it’s strength slowly and over a lengthy period of time.
My goal is to overcome my dependency on nicotine and just vape 0mg nicotine.
I really enjoy vaping my e-juices, and I have no plans to stop vaping even if I manage to free myself from nicotine completely.
WHAT IF I START VAPING AND GO BACK TO SMOKING?
If you’ve tried to give up using an e-cig and don’t succeed on your first attempt try to understand exactly what it was that stopped you from continuing to vape.
From here you can take the necessary steps to reduce the chances of this happening again next time.
My first failed attempt was simply running out of battery.
I didn’t go back to vaping immediately, but when I did I had a back up battery and was much more successful.
Also keep in mind that there are other substitutes.
If vaping isn’t your thing, look into the many other alternatives that help millions of people kick the habit every day – let’s face it, most substitutes will be better for your health than a toxic cigarette!
What methods, if any, have you tried to quit smoking?