Replacing tobacco cigarettes with a vape pen is one of the best things I have ever done. Having been a 20-a-day smoker for the best part of four decades, I was so sick and tired of waking up and coughing my lungs out. Every day I felt tired and lethargic, and could barely climb a flight of stairs without feeling out of breath. My teeth were irrevocably yellowed and I couldn’t bare the way my breath, fingers and hair stank. It seemed no matter how many times I brushed my teeth at night, I’d still wake up with a mouth like an ashtray.
With e cigarettes, it is the opposite. I no longer cough, as they contain none of the lethal tar, I don’t smell as they give off very little odour and I no longer feel constantly out of breath.
I’ve now been tobacco free for 8 months thanks to e cigarettes, and although it is by far the most effective way I’ve found to quit, there are still a number of tips every smoker should take on board before making the switch to vaping, to give you the best chance of quitting possible.
1. Find a nicotine level which is appropriate for you.
You can buy e-liquid in a wide variety of different nicotine strengths, ranging from nicotine free to 2.4mg strength. Stopping smoking is all about replacing your source of nicotine, as it is not actually the nicotine in cigarettes which is harmful, rather the many deadly chemicals released when burning tobacco.
Therefore, you need to find an e-liquid with enough strength to curb your cravings so that you don’t immediately revert to tobacco cigarettes. There is a good guide here which will help you match nicotine strength to your past vaping habits.
2. Find a flavour that suits you
As a smoker, when I first started vaping I spent ages trying to find a flavour which matched the Marlboro Golds I was so used to smoking, but to no avail. Unfortunately, there are very few e liquids out there which really nail a specific flavour, so I think it is definitely worth exploring the thousands of different vaping flavours out there!
Fancy a Tiramisu flavour vape? You can get it! Peanut butter and banana? There’s an e-liquid out there that tastes just like it.
You can browse a huge range of amazing e juices online, or even go to your local vaping shop where you can try out loads of different flavours.
3. Invest in a Good Clearomizer
Yes, it is possible to buy a vape pen (or worse, a ciga-like) for under £10 at your local corner shop, but this doesn’t mean that it will be good at all. One of the main reasons many people revert back to cigarettes from vaping is because they bought a poor quality e-cig and were given a bad impression of vaping.
With bad clearomizers, the atomizer is likely to burn out quickly, which will make your vape taste like burning and give it an intolerable harsh edge. You’ll be using your new e-cig a lot, especially if you were a heavy smoker, so it is imperative that you buy good gear which is reliable and will last.
4. Invest in A Good Battery
A good battery is just as important as a good tank, as a weak, low powered batter will not give you enough electricity to produce good vapour. Even worse, a poor battery will not have enough longevity to last a full day of vaping, which could mean having to buy cigarettes when you run out.
Get a battery with at least a 4v output (variable voltage batteries are even better) and with at least a 900mAh rating, which should last through a day’s normal vaping.
5. Always Carry a Spare Battery
When out and about, you won’t always be able to find a place to charge your battery, which means that on nights out or long days away from home you will inevitably run out of charge sooner or later. If you are unable to vape, it makes the chances of you smoking tobacco much higher, so always carry a spare battery, or a portable charger with you, to avoid this scenario.
6. Find a Nearby E Juice Retailer
I prefer to buy my e-liquid online, as it is often much cheaper, but it does mean that you need to wait for it to be delivered, which can take as long as a week. In an ideal world, we’d all be organised enough to buy e-liquid long before we run out, but I know I have certainly forgotten in the past and been left dry.
For this reason, it is important to find either a local vape shop, or even a corner shop which sells e liquid, to tide you over if you do run out. While the e liquids sold from corner shops will not be of the same high quality as dedicated e liquid brands you find online, they’ll do fine when in a tight spot.
7. Keep Track of How Much Money You’re Saving
Vaping is significantly cheaper than smoking, and as I stopped, I found it a great motivating exercise to keep track of how much I was saving by switching to vaping. I worked out how much I spent on tobacco products a month, and then kept track of my e-cig spending. Some months I’d save as much as £50, which I would then put towards a night out and dinner with my wife, or a special treat for the kids!
8. Learn How to Change Atomizer Before you Need To
Over time, the atomizer in your ecig will need to be changed as the coil and wick will burn out. You’ll notice a decrease in vapour production, flavour and perhaps even a subtle burnt taste.
For an average vaper, they’ll need to replace the atomizer once every fortnight or so. It is important that you understand how to do this properly and how to prime a new head, as failure to do so can burn the atomizer out before you’ve even started using it!
9. Join Online Communities
Learning how to get the most out of vaping can take a while, and it is quite a steep learning curve with so much high-tech gear out there. I found it super useful to find good communities and forums online where experienced vapers can help answer questions and guide you.
As well as this, they are an excellent place to pick up recommendations on new ejuices and good gear.
I recommend www.reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette
10. Try Just One Drag of a Tobacco Cigarette After a Month
I knew that I had finally broken smoking’s hold on me when, after a month of not smoking and only using an ecig, I drunkenly had a toke on a friend’s cigarette at the pub.
I could not believe how awful it tasted and how ill it made me feel, even though I was taking in just as much nicotine as when I smoked. It just hammered home just how full of toxins and pollutants cigarettes are.
I found it impossible to take another drag on his cigarette because it tasted so bad!
So, after having not smoked for a month or more, I urge you to try for yourself to see just how bad cigarettes taste in comparison – it was a big motivator for me to not smoke again!