How NOT to Switch From Smoking to Vaping
The world seems to be brimming with advice on what to do to give up smoking. But what about what NOT to do? Here are my top tips on how to side-step the pitfalls on your journey to becoming smoke free.
Rewarding Yourself with a Cigarette
This may sound painfully obvious but, in fact, a lot of “quit smoking advice” suggests keeping certain cigarettes in your routine to start with and cutting out the “unnecessary ones”. I tend to disagree. If you genuinely want to quit cigarettes full-time, you need to make a commitment from day one. Keeping that one morning smoke may be a comfort but, guess what? You are still a smoker. Speaking from personal experience, three of my multiple failed attempts to give up smoking incorporated a “bedtime smoke” to reward myself for getting through the day cigarette-free. That’s like doing an intense work out and rewarding yourself with a trip to the chippy – you are just not going to see results. It was not until I committed to vaping for all of my nicotine replacement that I finally succeeded in living without the need for smoke.
Vaping is, by far and away, the most satisfying and painless way to give up cigarettes. But don’t expect your very first puff on an e-cig to transform you in an instant. There is still will power involved at the beginning. Smokers are often quick to say, “I tried that and it didn’t work for me”, having given it a half-hearted go just the once. Stick with it. Everything deserves a fair chance to prove its value, right? It could be you have not yet found the right device or flavour so experiment. Just don’t throw in the towel too soon because it works. Trust me. It works.
The beautiful thing about vaping is that there is an entire community surrounding it. You are never alone in your switching journey because the vaping community is there to welcome you with open arms. Whether it’s for hints and how-to’s or just a bit of moral support, there is an expansive (and ever-expanding) list of online forums, help groups and tutorials so, even if you don’t know anyone else making the switch, there is no need to go solo.
Blaming Health Issues on Vaping
Everyone who gives up smoking experiences health issues in the first instance. Hell, in the interest of full disclosure, when I finally made the switch I suffered acute bronchitis. This is good. This is your lungs thanking you for giving them a fresh start, and ridding themselves of all the mess you have lumbered them with. Allow your lungs to have a clear out. They deserve it. It won’t be pleasant but, rest assured, it won’t last for long. Celebrate every unsightly substance you cough up – because it is out of you now. Your mind and body clearly want the same thing and you are giving them that. So cough up the bad stuff. Better out than in, right? My chest pains and bronchitis lasted three weeks. Thanks to vaping, I did not have to tackle nicotine withdrawal at the same time. But this is your body getting on board. You’re a team now. You respect each other. Act like it.
Keeping an “Emergency” Stash
Big no no. As long as you commit to vaping there will be no emergency. You will not need a cigarette. You may want one, of course, but that is a different thing entirely. The amount of times I have heard people say ‘so long as I know I have them, I won’t smoke them’. You know when you’re really not going to smoke them? When they aren’t there to smoke. Come on, now. Who are you trying to kid?
Yes, everyone's quitting journey is different. If there is a mistake to be made, I have made it. Did I mention it took me over ten attempts to give up smoking for good? All of the above were hurdles I failed to clear. So, take it from someone who knows and I promise, the finish line will soon come into sight.
For more on what to expect when you make the switch read my post What Happens To Your Body When You Quit Smoking.