Is Vaping More Effective Than Quitting Cigarettes Cold Turkey?
So, is it finally time to quit smoking? Every year, aspiring quitters are among the largest numbers of those who make New Years Resolutions - for 2017 the website Statistic Brain counts it as the fourth most-popular, with 7.1 percent of the population (only 16.8 percent of Americans even smoke, according to the Center for Disease Control) vowing to put down the heaters, coffin nails, stink sticks, or whatever.
Still, quitting is one of the hardest things most people will ever do – just 7 percent of quitters are successful on their first attempt, and only 3.5 percent of "cold turkey" attempts are successful. Success rates are higher with counseling and nicotine replacement therapies like gum or "the patch," but many individuals still find themselves drawn to cigarettes.
Admittedly our advice here is biased, but we believe vaping is hands-down, bar-none the most effective tool to help you with your quit. And we're not alone – there are literally thousands of examples of anecdotal evidence from thankful ex-smokers, and science has suggested for several years that these users are right.
So, with all that said, we believe you can make this quit work! A few things to keep in mind:
- Start slow and taper. Remember that statistic about quitting cold turkey not working? Try consciously replacing a few cigarettes at a time with vaping sessions. If you feel like you need to smoke, try vaping for a few minutes first before giving in. After some time, reaching for your vape rather than a pack and lighter will become more and more natural, and you'll quit on your own terms – some of us didn't even realize we'd quit until it had been several days since our last cigarette!
- Have backups, and backups for your backups. You don't need to start out with a full arsenal of high-end vaping devices, but try to keep a spare set of batteries charged, spare coils if you're using a clearomizer with disposable inserts, and a pen-style device with backup tank just in case something goes wrong.
- Try different flavors. The number one complaint we hear from recent quitters is "I can't find an e-liquid that tastes just like my favorite brand!" The truth is that even the best tobacco flavors aren't going to taste like smoldering paper, ash, and the thousands of chemicals added to cigarettes. The vast majority of vapers find that they quickly transition away from tobacco-flavored vapes entirely, preferring fruity flavors or savory bakery/dessert types – many people enjoy switching things up rather than committing to life with just one flavor. Don't be afraid to try new things until you find what works for you.
- Vary your nicotine level. While it's likely you'll eventually transition to a low-nicotine liquid after a period of months or years, don't be afraid to have one juice with a bit more than your typical dose – it'll come in handy to fight off particularly strong cravings, especially early in your quit. Try not to lean on this one too much late at night, though, as nicotine is a stimulant that can keep you awake.
- Count the ones you don't smoke, not the ones you do! Some people are able to throw out their pack and lighter hours after their first vape setup arrives, most of us aren't that lucky. Remember that you're making a conscious effort to do something better in your life, and don't beat yourself up over setbacks – focus on the times you successfully chose not to smoke, and celebrate those small victories. Before long they'll start adding up!
*The author and his wife both smoked for over 15 years, consuming as much as a pack a day. They both tried and failed to quit numerous times using clinical nicotine replacement therapy, quitters' support groups, and sheer willpower. This July will mark four years since either of them have touched a cigarette.*