How Easy Is It to Give Up Smoking with A Vape?
Did you know around 18% of the UK’s population is smoking cigarettes in 2023? And per the stats by the House of Commons Library, at least 506,100 people were admitted to hospitals due to smoking-related illnesses in 2019-20, resulting in 74,800 deaths.
Though there’s been a slight decrease in smoking percentage this year, the vaping ratio of ex-smokers has risen to 13.5%, bringing up the most asked question: is it easy to give up smoking with a vape? And let’s not forget the additional concerns like what are the side-effects of vaping if we quit smoking, or is vaping entirely safe?
What Are the Health Risks From Smoking
While having a discussion on giving up smoking, it’s normal to question the health risks related to this prolonged habit of many people or what makes it hard to quit. Though we’ll get to the next half of the question in a while, here’s a list of common health risks related to smoking;
- Respiratory Issues
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Reproductive Issues
What makes quitting smoking hard? For starters, the tobacco combustion in cigarettes causes severe nicotine addiction. Therefore, if a person has started smoking 1 cigarette a day, it wouldn’t take much for them to consume 2 to 4 cigarettes or a complete pack in a day.
Other than this, when a smoker tries to quit, they often experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, increased appetite, and intense cravings for nicotine. Plus, there’s also psychological dependence, as smoking is believed to lessen stress, anxiety, or other emotional challenges.
Lastly, many people indulge in such habits due to social peer pressure. Since many people have normalised the habit for years, it has become a part of the social acceptance every young adult craves.
What Is Vaping & How Does It Work?
Since vaping has become a new alternative to smoking, let’s discuss its working process briefly. In simple words, vaping is a process of inhaling a flavoured vapour forming upon heating a nicotine-filled liquid inside.
Vaping simply works with a vape device, or e-cigarette. This particular device has a battery, flavoured e-liquid, a cartridge, coil/atomiser head, and a mouthpiece to inhale the vapour. Further, vape devices are pretty easy to use and have rechargeable batteries and refillable cartridges for convenient use.
Difference Between Smoking & Vaping
As we’re discussing switching to vaping from smoking, here’s a brief on how both things work;
- Combustion Vs Vaporisation
While smoking involves the combustion of tobacco and the release of thousands of harsh chemicals, vaping heats an e-liquid or vape juice to produce vapour, involving no combustion or smoke tar.
- Chemical Composition
Vape devices use fewer chemicals compared to traditional cigarettes, and the ingredients of e-liquid include Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerine (VG), nicotine, and flavours.
- Nicotine Delivery
Further, smoking draws nicotine through tobacco burning, which is later absorbed through the lungs and goes into the bloodstream. On the other hand, vaping draws nicotine through the inhalation of an aerosol, which is similarly inhaled through the lungs. But here, nicotine strength can vary from person to person as most vapers get to choose their preferred levels of nicotine.
- Odour & Residue
As commonly known, smoking produces a strong and unpleasant odour while leaving residues on surfaces and clothing. Vaping has a mild flavour-scented odour and leaves minimal residue. However, some people are also sensitive to vaping scent.
- Smoking Cessation
Lastly, traditional smoking cessation methods include replacement therapy or prescription medicines. However, most people use vaping as a smoking cessation method and work on minimising the nicotine strength gradually.
How Can You Give Up Smoking with A Vape?
Though giving up smoking immediately is almost impossible, switching to vaping first can help you manage the symptoms at first. Thus, we’ve listed a few starting points you can check out;
- Set A Date
Pick a date from the calendar to make a switch. This will help you prepare mentally for the transition and give you a clean slate.
- Vaping Device
Before getting into vaping, it’s better to take some time and figure out the perfect vaping device you can choose. From cigalikes to disposables, pods, and advanced mods, the options are limitless.
- Nicotine Level
Since e-liquids have different nicotine concentrations, you can start with the one that aligns with your current smoking strength. This will stop you from experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and after some time, you can lower the nicotine strength.
- A Vaping Routine
You can also make a vaping routine similar to your smoking habits. This can help battle the behavioural aspect of smoking and make the transition smoother. For example, if you typically smoke after meals, vape at those times instead.
When you feel the urge to smoke, use your vape instead. Vaping can provide a similar hand-to-mouth action and satisfaction associated with smoking.
- Stay Hydrated
Vaping often has a mild dehydrating effect. So, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, which can also help alleviate some common side effects associated with quitting smoking.
- Monitor Progress
Keep track of your progress. Note the reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked and celebrate milestones in your journey to becoming smoke-free. Also, no matter what happens, don’t give up!
- Other Cessation Methods
Some people try to quit smoking through vaping with other smoking cessation methods, such as counselling, support groups, or nicotine replacement therapies.
What Happens When You Switch from Smoking To Vaping?
So, you have made a switch; that’s great. It’s normal to experience signs when you withdraw from a habit buildup for years or months. Initially, you may experience a decrease in coughing and notice improved breathing as the respiratory system starts recovering from the smoke damage.
The absence of tar and harsh chemicals will then improve your lung function. Also, since many smokers complain about losing their sense of taste and smell, you may get it back.
However, as anything excessive results in unpleasant situations, it’s necessary to lessen the nicotine strength and vaping habit after a while.
Beginner Vaping Guide for an Ex-Smoker
We understand the nicotine strengths or PG/VG ratios, and e-juices can confuse anyone new to vaping. So, for better insight, we’ve listed a few tips you can remember;
- If you’re an avid smoker and consume more than 1 pack a day, opting for a nicotine strength of 18mg or even 24 would be the right choice.
- For someone who smokes one pack, the concentration of 12mg e-liquid is preferable.
- Now, 6mg of nicotine strength is perfect for a person smoking less than 10 cigarettes a day and 3mg for a light or once-in-a-blue-moon type of smoker.
PG/VG Ratios & Vape Devices
While PG is of thin consistency and helps with flavour and throat-hit features, VG is thicker and produces puffy clouds.
Since ratio blends are often confusing, you can opt for a 50/50 PG and VG blend if you’re looking for a smoking-similar throat hit. The compatible vape devices with such ratios include standard kits having 1 or greater ohm coils.
However, if you’re looking for puffy clouds with a mild throat hit, blends like 70 Vg/30 PG, 80/20, or even 100% VG would do the trick. For such preference, opting for devices having coil resistance less than 1 would be better.
The Best Vape Juice Flavours
This is probably the most fun part of being a vaper. Since the list of e-flavours is limitless and has various exquisite categories like;
- Tropical berries and fruits
- Desserts and candies
- Menthol and spearmint
- Classic Tobacco
You can try each flavour depending on your preference. However, most ex-smokers prefer classic tobacco categories for a similar taste to traditional smoking with less harm.
What Are the Side Effects & Potential Health Risks of Vaping?
Though vaping is considered a safer alternative to smoking, there has been a rise in related health risks such as;
- Nicotine addiction
- Potential respiratory issues
- Heart palpitations
Further, there has been a rise in youth vaping. Per the stats by ASH, the ratio of vaping has increased from 15% in 2017 to 39% in 2023, including children aged between 7 and 11 years. Additionally, since vapes are super convenient and have appealing features like disposable ones (requiring no recharge or refills), the sudden rise in vaping is a serious concern.
Lastly, as the health risks related to vaping are still being studied, we will have to wait for a while to know the actual damage.
What Is the Future for Vaping
While the debate between smoking and vaping is going on, the UK’s government has released a consultation report on vaping to limit the habit. The main features include age restrictions, advertisement policies, allowed nicotine strength, and increased prices on disposable vapes to restrict underage individuals from vaping.
Further, the government is planning a smoke-free environment by 2025, so there’s a possibility of restricting vaping within. However, we still have to analyse the effect of the new report, which will end on 6 December 2023, to determine the future better.
So, is giving up smoking through vaping easy? With our suggested tips and advice, it sure is! However, make sure you’re aware of the basics of vaping before starting the habit right away, including the nicotine addiction. And the road is long and tough; stay persistent, and don’t give up!