If you’re like me, than quitting tobacco is one of the easiest and hardest decisions you can make. Smoking was killing me, so the easy decision was to stop doing it. However, I liked smoking. I enjoyed the feeling. The nicotine was relaxing it gave me a social time during my breaks at work. It gave me something to do when I was bored, something to focus on when I was stressed, and had been part of my life for so long most of the time that I didn’t even think about it. All of these things made the seemingly easy decision and action of quitting a much more difficult venture. A year ago I started looking into e-cigarettes. Specifically, I saw a Blu pack at my corner drug store and thought, “Great. Looks like a cigarette, feels like a really heavy cigarette, but doesn’t have the carcinogens. I’ll just pick that up instead of my pack of smokes and be on my way.” Yet, even though some of the aspects of smoking were present, I was still craving my smokes. I battled and eventually lost after a few weeks. I figured it was a nice thought, but not something for me. More power to those it works for, but I’m going to keep on not liking that I am sucking cancer into my lungs but wanting it to much to stop. Then, a few months ago I discovered vaping. Not using the cigalike that I found at the corner store, but true vaping. The difference for me is everything. The hardware is different, there are different choices of nicotine and flavor, and you can tailor the way the inhale feels by adjusting the propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine hit. All of these things help me to get that feeling that I received from smoking. The key was finding the right fit for me, and understanding how vaping really works. So, for all of you out there who are experiencing their own journey in the battle between liking smoking and trying to quit something deadly, allow me to share a few tips.
- Don’t Expect it to be like Smoking –
- *Flavor – No e-juice is going to taste exactly like the smokes you’re used to. Even with the best tobacco or menthol flavored e-juices, the flavor of a cigarette is from combustion, that is not replicable in a vapor. My suggestion, think of a flavor you normally associate with smoking. For instance, if you always smoke with your morning coffee, try getting a coffee flavor vapor to start. That will help with the psychological connection relating the taste to smoking.
- *The “feeling” after having a cigarette is the nicotine levels in your bloodstream. When you vape it takes longer for your body to absorb and process the nicotine, so if you just take a few puffs like you would with a cigarette, you will not get the satisfaction. You do need to vape longer to achieve the physical reaction to the nicotine.
- *Even the cigalikes are heavier than a cigarette and feel different when you inhale. The feeling of vapor being pulled into your lungs is ultimately going to be different than tobacco. However, there are different hardware versions and juice mixes you can get that come closer to replicating that feeling than others.
- Inform yourself before spending your money –
- *There are several different types of e-cigarettes, and each one has different pro’s and con’s. Research, ask questions, and make sure you are getting the hardware that will actually work for what you want before you buy.
- *Finding the “sweet spot” in your nicotine level for your juice. There are general guidelines based on how much you smoke that will help you find a good starting spot. However, if you find you’re vaping longer than you would smoke, but still craving an analog, your nicotine level may be too low. On the other side; if you are vaping and feeling nauseated, then you may have a nicotine level that is too high. Start with small amounts of juice to find your nicotine “sweet spot” before you invest in a large amount of e-juice.
- Understand that there is a psychological addiction –
- *If you smoke a cigarette, vape right after. This will help you associate vaping with that feeling that comes with smoking while you work on cutting out the analogs.
- *Understand which juices have a stronger “throat hit” closer resembling that of an analog and use those when the vaping isn’t completely cutting through the craving.
- *When you really crave an analog, go to the place you that used to be your smoking area and vape there. For me, when life got more stressful I would sit on my back patio to smoke while reading. Now, if I feel that pull from the stress, I sit on the back patio with my book and vape.
Keep in mind, there will always be questions. If something isn’t working for you, ask someone who has been successful in the transition. If you don’t know someone who has made the transition, look online. There are forums, blogs, and websites (I would suggest our website of course) that are bursting with information and answers. With the sheer number of people that have gone through this transition, the chances are, someone has experienced the same question or concern you are facing, and they may have an answer for you.
The bottom line: you have to want to quit. I know we’ve all heard this hundreds of times, but that doesn’t make it untrue. Vaping makes the journey easier by far, but if you don’t want to make the journey, you won’t. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer. Each person’s vaping journey is going to be unique, just like the person. There will be general ideas of what most often helps, but the only way to be able to truly make the transition is to find the hardware, juice, and nic level that works for you. Remember, just because one juice or piece of hardware may not work for you, that doesn’t mean vaping won’t work for you. One thing I can say for certain, you are not alone in your journey. Vape on!
Written by: Michelle Harnden