Going Smoke Free in 2023
As the new year approaches, our minds turn to what we can do to make improvements to our lives. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to quit smoking for good, and see vast improvements to your health (and your bank balance), then we’re here to help. Switching smoking for vaping could just be the single most important thing you do for yourself in 2023.
New Year, New You!
The start of a new year is an exciting time. It marks a fresh start, and an opportunity for us to become a healthier and happier version of ourselves. That’s why we make New Year’s resolutions - as a promise to ourselves to continue doing the things that work well for us; to change our traits and behaviours that we deem undesirable; and to accomplish personal goals.
If one of your personal resolutions for 2023 is to become completely smoke free, then you should be applauded and encouraged. However, it’s important to set realistic goals so that you can have the highest chance of success.
Switching smoking for vaping
A 2014 study into New Year’s resolutions found that 35% of participants who failed to achieve their goals had been unrealistic to begin with. Another study from the University of Bristol found that resolutions are more successful when small and measurable milestones form part of the overall goal - e.g., ‘lose a pound a week’, rather than simply ‘lose weight’.
When resolving to do something as important as quitting smoking, this advice is especially important. Simply stating that you will never smoke again for the rest of your life, starting at midnight on January 1st is unrealistic and liable to set you up for failure. Willpower is important, but the nature of addiction means that you’ll need more than just a strong will in order to succeed.
Quitting cold turkey doesn’t work
We’ve all seen the supposed ‘success stories’ People stating that they just decided to give up smoking, so they did; and then questioning why everyone can’t do the same. Accusing us of being weak willed if we don’t simply quit with no treatment or support.
In fact, rather than being in the majority, these successes are firmly in the minority. Relying on willpower alone is highly unlikely to work. According to Dr. J. Taylor Hays, the Director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Centre, research over the last 25 years has shown that if 100 smokers try to quit cold turkey, fewer than five of them will stay quit for longer than six months.
In other words, while ‘SOME’ people can quit this way, at least 95% of people can’t.
Vaping is a proven quitting method
According to ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), electronic cigarettes have played a significant role in helping the UK achieve the second lowest smoking rates in the EU.
A major UK clinical trial published in 2019 found that, when combined with expert face-to-face support, people who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were twice as likely to succeed as people who used other nicotine replacement products, such as patches or gum.
Public Health England’s seventh independent report on vaping in England published in February 2021, found that nicotine vaping products are now the most popular aid used by smokers trying to quit. It estimated that more than 50,000 people stopped smoking with the help of a vaping device in 2017, who would have otherwise continued to smoke.
Furthermore, smokers that switch to vaping as part of their quit efforts have some of the highest long-term success rates - between 59.7% and 74% in 2019 and 2020.
How does vaping help you quit smoking?
Some of the key benefits of vaping, compared to tobacco smoking are:
§Independent research from Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians in 2015, concluded that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking
§Vaping offers the 'oral fixation' simulation to smoking along with the nicotine and throat hit found in smoking
§The hand-to-mouth action replicates smoking, unlike other nicotine delivery systems
§Vaping allows you to inhale nicotine without most of the harmful effects of smoking
§E-liquid contains only three components plus nicotine. The three components are vegetable glycerine (VG), propylene glycol (PG), and flavourings, all of which are often found in food products
§Modern e-cigarettes deliver nicotine more quickly and effectively than cigarettes
§E-cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality by the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)
How should you start your vaping journey?
Firstly, congratulations for even getting to this point. You’ve made the decision to quit smoking, and are looking for information and support for your next steps.
We’ve been advising smokers on the best way to start their vaping journey since some of the first commercial vaping products came to market. The vaping products may have changed, but our advice remains the same.
1. Start with something simple
Smoking is easy, let’s face it. You get a craving for nicotine, you light a cigarette, your craving is temporarily sated. Therefore, when making the switch to vaping, you need to find something equally simple. That’s where disposable vape bars come in.
With disposables, there are no settings or buttons. You just have to draw on the mouthpiece to activate the vapour and get your hit of nicotine. Start with the 20mg (2%) options to make sure you nail those cravings properly, so you’re not tempted to slip back into smoking. Also, take advantage of the many many options on offer to find your favourite type of flavour.
2. Start reducing your nicotine intake
Once you recognise that you aren’t reaching for your disposable quite as often, it’s time to start reducing your nicotine content. Most disposable vape bar ranges are available with multiple nicotine strength options, so try dropping to 10mg (1%) and see how you get on. If you find that you’re thinking about cigarettes again, or can’t put your vape bar down, you probably need to repeat step one.
3. Change to a refillable MTL kit
Now that the worst of your cravings are under control, it’s time to make a change to a greener and more cost effective alternative to disposables.
Disposables are a fantastic way to transition from smoking to vaping, but they shouldn’t be your long term solution. The cost to the planet is one concerning factor; but the cost to you is something that can be massively reduced by switching to a refillable and rechargeable device.
Refillable starter kits are nowhere near as expensive as you might think, and ongoing spend on e-liquids and coils will be far more cost-effective in the long run. One 10ml bottle of premium e-liquid can be purchased from as little as £2, and gives you the equivalent volume of vape juice as five disposable kits, which would set you back £20!
Continue using a nicotine salt vape juice in your new kit, as you will still need a high-ish nicotine content at this stage, and you’ll still be vaping in the mouth-to-lung (MTL) style that most closely resembles smoking.
4. Consider changing to a DTL vaping style
This step isn’t essential. You could quite happily continue vaping MTL for evermore (I certainly have). However, if your ultimate goal is to stop smoking AND vaping, then you’ll need to reduce your nicotine intake even further.
The best way to achieve this is by changing your vaping style to direct-to-lung (DTL).
DTL vaping doesn’t feel natural to newbie vapers, which is why we recommend you get used to vaping first before you give it a try. You’ll need to upgrade your kit to one with a higher wattage output, and adjustable airflow. The DTL (or sub-ohm) kits of old used to be far more complex than they are today, so don’t be put off by thinking you’ll have loads of bells and whistles to contend with. There are plenty of uncomplicated DTL kits available today.
Switching to DTL also means switching to a high VG vape juice. High VG e-liquids usually use freebase nicotine instead of nicotine salt. Freebase is harsher on the throat, so a low strength is advisable. This is perfect for when you’re weaning yourself off nicotine altogether, and aiming to vape a 0% juice.
5. Stop vaping altogether!
Give yourself a huge pat on the back. Once you’ve reached this step, your addiction to nicotine is no longer in control. You could continue vaping zero nicotine juices at this point; maybe just keep your kit handy for social occasions where the hand to mouth action of vaping is more habitual.
Ultimately though, you’ve achieved your resolution to quit smoking, and you’ve done it in a safe and sensible manner. If you never vape again, that would be ideal; but you’ll certainly never need to smoke again - which is the perfect outcome!
Your vaping journey in summary
1.Start with disposables for simplicity and craving satisfaction
2.Reduce the nicotine content of your disposable when your cravings are under control
3.Transition to a greener, more cost effective MTL kit with nic salt e-liquid
4.Consider changing vaping style to DTL so you can reduce your nicotine content even further
5.Stop vaping altogether!
Quit smoking for good this year
It’s never too late to quit smoking, and you’ll notice the health benefits faster than you think. Whatever your reasons for wanting to quit, the key to quitting successfully is to not rely on willpower alone. The very nature of nicotine addiction will set you up to fail, and who knows how long it will be before you’re ready to try quitting again. All the experts agree that using e-cigarettes as your nicotine replacement system gives you a much higher chance of success, and will set you on the path to a smoke free future.
We're here to help you quit smoking for good
We pride ourselves on being responsible vaping advocates. We keep up to date with all of the latest news and studies; we supply high quality TPD compliant vaping products; and we are always on hand to offer helpful and honest advice about vaping. Please get in touch if you have any questions for our team.