If you are a smoker and want to know how to quit smoking with eCigarettes I’ll take you through in detail how I used eCigarettes to break my addiction. It might not work for you but if it works for one person then it’s worth it.
I’m a strong believer that quitting smoking with a vaporizer is so much easier because it allows you to continue to get the nicotine you crave and continue the habits of smoking while getting all the benefits of quitting.
A few years ago I was a pack a day guy. I had unsuccessfully tried to quit a few times and had basically given up trying. Through a friend I discovered eCigarettes and started using them just for fun. Using my eCigarette I realised that I didn’t feel the need to smoke as much and also started feeling better the less I smoked. I stopped smoking 3 years ago and now regularly use my vaporizer, often without nicotine.
To understand why I think this approach works so well I want to first go into the many facets of a cigarette addiction. I’ll use this to show why I think the usual techniques of quitting aren’t effective and why eCigarettes are.
Why is smoking so hard to beat?
Many ex-smokers say that quitting was the hardest thing that they have ever done. Breaking down the many aspects of what creates that addiction will help us to understand and change our behaviour.
Nicotine is a very addictive substance, it is as addictive as heroin. Once you are addicted to it and try to stop, your cravings turn into symptoms of withdrawal including headaches, anxiety, nausea and a craving for more tobacco.
Within 7-10 seconds of having a puff the nicotine reaches your brain, your craving is satisfied and you experience a high.
Nicotine causes a chemical called dopamine to be released into your brain, which triggers feelings of pleasure or well being. This is the nicotine buzz. Over time more and more nicotine is needed to reach the same level of pleasure.
When you stop smoking the cycle repeats and before you know it you’re unconsciously reaching for your next cigarette.
Nicotine also affects your mood, focus and thinking. Smokers often feel they need a cigarette to help them deal with stress or strong negative emotions.
Finally, smoking is extremely habitual. Places, times and situations become associated with smoking and these become triggers for unconsciously wanting a smoke. Habits such as taking breaks and socialising serve a deep need in us and smoking is often tightly linked to these needs.
Humans are creatures of habit and routine which drive the majority of our behaviour. Our resistance to change is also a powerful force which keeps us returning to things we know are bad for us.
Habits and routines can be changed, but only by making small incremental changes and sticking to them over a 1-2 month period.
As you can see smoking is challenging to beat because nicotine is an extremely addictive substance and smoking tightly weaves itself into the habits that form our day to day routines that we depend on.
Why is it easier to quit smoking with eCigarettes than using other methods?
Going cold turkey, using patches and gums all go against against the powerful forces of addiction & habit which we covered earlier. Drastically reducing the chances of them being successful.
Some of the reasons why I personally found it easier to quit using eCigarettes are:
I still got my nicotine I never went through any strong cravings or withdrawals that you get going cold turkey. I’ve done cold turkey and continuing to function and go about your day is virtually impossible. Keeping that up for weeks is not easy and lighting up is!
I got immediate health benefits I wasn’t losing my breath so easily. My coughing went away. For every cigarette I replaced I felt better until I wasn’t smoking at all and then having a cigarette felt disgusting.
No smell My girlfriend loved that I didn’t stink! lol
It’s enjoyable I enjoyed experimenting with the eLiquid flavors and the devices are a pleasure to use. The experience is very similar to smoking. I’ve bought 3 devices since the first and they’ve all been fun to use. I did have a few situations where the eLiquid leaked but those things went away as I became familiar with them.
I didn’t have to change my habits I like to have a smoke with my morning coffee and again at breaks during the day at work. During these break I would chat to other smokers. I didn’t change any of this, I still use my vaporizer in the morning and chat to everyone during these breaks.
I was saving money My eCigarette and eLiquid cost the equivalent of about 10 packs of cigarettes. Within a couple of months it had paid itself off and I was saving from then on.
I could control my dosage I used to find the patches and gum frustrating. After I used them then I would sometimes crave cigarettes if the nicotine wasn’t strong enough. With the eCigarette I went with a very strong nicotine eLiquid first and found that only a few puffs was more than enough to reduce my cravings. Over time I could reduce this and now I only use the lowest and often none at all.
It’s more socially acceptable Initially I was quite self conscious of using my eCigarette in public but not for long! eCigarettes are becoming more mainstream and accepted as an viable alternative to smoking. I am also able to use my eCigarette in places where smoking is banned although I usually check first so they’re ok with it.
So lets get to the steps.
Step 1: Purchase a Vaporizer
For quitting smoking you would probably want a pen vaporizer or something that is similar in form to a cigarette.
I started with an eCigarette and then purchased a vaporizer a few month after as they have a better design, they’re more discreet and more enjoyable.
When purchasing your vaporizer be sure to get e-liquids that have a range of nicotine strengths. When you start you will want to have too much rather than not enough.
Step 2: Don’t change anything!
I’m not kidding. I didn’t stop smoking, I just started carrying around my vaporizer with me. I kept smoking and was occaisionally using it but with no intention to quit. It was fun and there was no pressure.
Initially it felt awkward to pull it out in various places to use it. I got a variety of reactions from people so I just got used to dealing with them.
So the first step in this process it just to keep doing what you are doing, the only change is to start carrying your e-cigarette or vaporizer with you everywhere you have cigarettes and use it for fun and experimentation.
Step 3: Start replacing smoke with vapor
For myself I found that when I got used to carrying it around and using it occaisionally it became a habit. As I talked about earlier, creating and breaking habits is hard so while it seems like a small change it is really a major milestone.
Sometimes I would smoke a cigarette first and then use my eCigarette and other times I would use my eCigarette. Since the nicotine dosage was quite high I noticed that after my eCigarette the urge to have a cigarette diminished signifantly. I still felt like I wanted want a smoke but that was out of habit, not for the physical need.
For this step I recommend using eCigarettes more and more before having a cigarette. If you still want a cigarette so be it but be mindful that you should find it much easier to resist when you don’t have the physical cravings.
Over time replace more and more until you are only using eCigarettes.
Step 4: Quit Smoking with eCigarettes
You might think that this is a really hard step given how hard it is to quit cigarettes but I actually found it was quite easy.
The reason was that, after getting used to using my vaporizer more and more I became less desensitized to the smoke. It got to the point where I actually found the smoke quite repulsive and disgusting and was actively avoiding smoke and smoking.
Keep in mind I was using my vaporizer most of the time and was still smoking very occasionally but since it was so infrequently my body was getting used to not smoking and so each cigarette was quite noticable.
From here I just made the decision to stop using cigarettes at all and since then never had the urge to pick one up again.
If you can get to this point and then change nothing you will be 10,000% better off than if you just keep smoking.
Step 5: You’re in control
Once you are comfortable using the vaporizer and no longer using cigarettes you can start reducing the nicotine concentration. Mix in flavors and different strengths of nicotine and gradually reduce your nicotine over time.
If quitting smoking is important to you then you should really consider using eCigarettes or vaporizers to help. By understanding the powerful forces that are at play we can devise a strategy which gives you an opportunity to replace your smoking with vaporizing without having to change anything else. You can continue to get your nicotine fix and keep all your smoking related habits but without actually smoking.
I really value and appreciate you reading and contributing to this post. This what worked for me but I understand that quitting is very difficult so it might not work for everyone. If it helps just one person then it would be worth it.
What worked for you and what advice could you give someone for someone who wants to quite smoking with eCigarettes.