Tips For Your “Smoking to Vaping” New Years Resolution
With Vape being Oxford’s word of the year and popularity of the devices skyrocketing, it’s likely that there’s more than a few people hoping to quit smoking with the help of electronic cigarettes and vapor devices. While companies remain unable to make claims about the products and their potential as cessation options for smokers, the evidence is mounting that e-cigs do work to the end of smoking cessation.
A little on that first. A number of studies have found that e-cigs are more successful than current accepted methods of quitting. Even more promising, those that don’t manage to quit smoking entirely still show a significant decline in tobacco cigarette use. In all ways, the existence of electronic cigarettes on the market appears to cut smoking rates and reduce overall harm of nicotine consumption. Experts believe the devices to be easily 95 to 99% less harmful than smoking. So any amount of smoking replaced with e-cig use is a really good thing. Some even argue that a lifetime of nicotine consumption via electronic cigarettes may be no more harmful than several months of smoking (not unlike our caffeine addictions).
Here’s a few tidbits on making the transition from smoking to vaping a little easier and more likely.
Educate yourself. Learning a little about the industry, the science, and the products is an important step. It help you understand why they work and better make use of them. It also helps when people start spouting off the pseudo-science alarmist crap local news stations regularly push about e-cigs. Here’s some really quick points that may come up while you try to make the transition.
- The smoke from cigarettes causes about 99% of the total harm they do. Without smoke, electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine with very little harm by comparison — but they are not harmless and no one is trying to say that they are.
- Lingering smoke remains for about 20 minutes while lingering vapor remains for less than 15 seconds. Some experts do believe that secondhand vapor does not cause any harm to bystanders.
- Overuse of nicotine is not uncommon in those attempting to quit smoking using electronic cigarettes. They might “power vape” for hours and no be aware of how much nicotine they are actually consuming. It can cause a feeling of the jitters as well has trembling and nausea.
- It is not uncommon to get a heavier cough or come down with a cold when making the transition. Most smokers’ bodies aren’t used to living without a ton of smoke in them and the sudden change can be not unlike a second puberty (including increased sex drive).
- Because of health regulations, e-cig companies and sellers are not allowed to claim anything about e-cigs with regards to health or cessation ability. If you have questions, your best sources are often online communities and other vapers — but these are not experts. Actual studies are not difficult to find. I also suggest following certain pro-vaping scientists.
Aim for the first 48. Many ex-smoker vapers I’ve chatted with made the transition in a very stark and immediate way — in 48 hours. The common story is that they stocked up on a lot of e-cig supplies and used the device or devices to a ridiculous degree for about 48 hours straight (managing to avoid cigarettes for the entire time). In just that amount of time, their sense of smell and taste would come back to such a degree that a single cigarette tasted absolutely vile. Many even found that their flavor preference by the end of that time would change dramatically. Beyond that first 48, some vapers never need to look back to smoking.
Diversify and stock up. Unlike many “approved” cessation methods, electronic cigarettes are not that expensive. Add in that approved methods rarely work (9-12% success rate and nearly 99% remission rate after a long enough time), and they can seem like quit the money furnace. While one could easily spend hundreds on vaping stock, the ultimate cost per puff is quite low. In particular, it may be worth picking up a wide variety of flavors. The moment one starts getting tired, switch it out for something new. If you have a vape shop in your local area, many of them will let you try nearly their entire stock to find flavors you’re happy with. The last thing you want is to feel that your only option for nicotine is a pack of smokes from the convenience store down the street.
Don’t go alone. Making the transition is not easy, but having support can always help — especially from other vapers and those that have already succeeded. Not only can they offer support and encouragement, but discussing flavors, devices, vaping toys, and more can make the habit into more of a hobby. Show off your favorite flavors, sport cool accessories, and more. Have fun! Embrace vaping! Don’t cling to it!
Don’t get discouraged. Quitting smoking is the hardest thing some folks have ever done. But if smokers in their 60s, 70s, and 80s can break 1, 2, and 3 pack a day habits with the help of e-cigs, you should have a pretty good chance too. Even if you don’t completely quit, again, any amount of vaping instead of smoking will be better for you. Will it be the same? No. Is it preferable? Not for everyone. Will it have an almost immediately positive effect on your health, social life, finances, and mood if you can make the change? Most likely.
All in all, it’s probably worth taking a shot.
Disclaimer: The information above is based on personal experience. I am not a medical professional. I’m barely a professional. Factual statements are based on studies I’ve read and experts I’ve spoken with.