With a rise in the popularity of e-cigarettes in recent years, it’s estimated that more people are vaping to help them quit smoking – of the 2.6 million e-cigarettes users in the UK, 1.1 million are understood to be ex-smokers.
To help those looking to cut down or quit completely, we look at how to use e-cigs to move away from standard tobacco cigarettes.
Decide to quit – and stick to it
When deciding to quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes, it’s important to start off on the right foot.
Throw away any old packets of tobacco cigarettes, and use your e-cigarettes as your only nicotine source. Using cigarettes alongside an e-cig is not recommended, and can make it much harder to quit successfully.
Understanding e-liquid strengths
E-cigarettes are not the same as a nicotine replacement therapy inhalator, which are available on the NHS, but slowly reducing the amount of nicotine in e-liquid may help smokers to quit over time.
Before you start using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, it’s important to understand the different strengths of e-liquid:
6mg (0.6) (low) – up to 10 cigarettes a day
12mg (1.2) (medium) – up to 20 Cigarettes a day
18mg (1.8) (high – up to 30 cigarettes a day
24mg (2.4) (very high) – up to 60 cigarettes a day
Using the wrong strength of e-liquid can induce a nicotine overdose, symptoms of which are nausea, headaches, insomnia, and many other side effects. Alternatively, using a nicotine strength that’s too low might not satisfy nicotine cravings.
Try to start with an e-liquid with similar strength to your current smoking habits, then reduce over time.
Choose the right device
E-cigarettes come in a variety of different devices, from ‘cigalikes’ to refillable pens, so it comes down to personal choice when you decide to make the switch.
For many smokers, the action of smoking is missed when they decide to quit. And so they might benefit from a ‘cigalike’ device, which mimics the look and feel of a tobacco cigarette. However, cigalike devices do need to be refilled and recharged more often.
Others may find that a refillable device – which looks nothing like a traditional cigarette – is right for them, as it can feel like a better transition away from smoking.
Do some research online, read user reviews and take advice from friends and family who may have quit through e-cigarettes, to help choose the right device.
Be aware of your location
While cigarettes have been banned in public places since 2006, this law doesn’t apply to e-cigs.
However, when quitting smoking with an e-cig it can be beneficial to only smoke in the same places you would be allowed to smoke a regular cigarette.
Make the switch to zero
E-cigarettes have been shown to increase the chances of success when compared to quitting without any additional nicotine replacement products. You can reduce your intake of nicotine by switching to lower-strength e-liquids over time, and eventually moving to zero.
Try buying a set of zero nicotine strength e-liquids and keep them alongside your regular refill bottles. Once you are ready to quit completely, they will be there to help you make a smooth transition, as they can have the same flavour and feel of an e-liquid with nicotine.