Ask yourself this question: Why do you want to be a vaper and not a smoker?
Is it for:
- health reasons
- being fed up of standing in the rain to light up
- not wanting to smell like an ashtray
- a combination of the above?
Write down all the reasons you want to make the switch. Once you’ve done that, you’ve established your motivation. If you ever crave a cigarette, reach for your e-cig and then look back at that list.
It can also help if you identify your craving triggers.
Is it when you wake up and have your first coffee? After eating? When you are driving?
Once you have identified when you are most likely to want to smoke, you can start to anticipate and head off the cravings before they start.
It’s important to be prepared for the cravings. Make sure you won’t run out of e-liquid, your battery is charged and you have your e-cig with you. When you get those nicotine cravings, simply reach for your e-cig instead of lighting a cigarette.
As ex-smokers, we have to battle against ‘euphoric recall’ and for some this never goes away. It’s the warm fuzzy feeling when you think back to that first cigarette of the day, but it is a false memory. We know smoking is bad, but our addiction tricks us into thinking we will enjoy it – and forget the negative feelings that go along with it.
One of the best ways to give up smoking is to adopt the mantra ‘Not one puff’. However, if you do struggle to do that, you can take heart from the fact that many vapers do take time to switch 100% to vaping. Research shows that many dual users end up switching completely to vaping within one year, so don’t be discouraged if it takes you time to make the switch.
An alternative approach, and one adopted by some stop smoking services, is to start using electronic cigarettes before your quit day. Your aim is get used to them, learn how to use them and nail the inhaling technique. Once you have mastered vaping, you can set your quit date and adopt the ‘Not one puff” mantra.
How can you avoid these ‘triggers’?
Research shows that vaping is one of the best ways to quit smoking.
As long as you have your e-cig with you, you can alleviate cravings with a puff of your vape.
One reason they are so effective is because they address many of a smoker’s habits, behaviours and sensations:
Hand to mouth action: The movement of vaping is the same as smoking. You lift something to your lips and back again. This hand to mouth action is a habit that can be hard to break and ex-smokers can struggle to keep their hands busy.
The sensation of inhaling: Smokers inhale smoke from a cigarette, vapers inhale vapour from an e-cig. This means that you don’t miss the sensation of inhaling.
The release of exhaling: Exhaling that plume of smoke and feeling the release that comes with it is something ex-smokers going cold turkey can struggle with. Vaping, on the other hand, replaces that feeling.
Nicotine delivery: People smoke for the nicotine but die from the smoke. Vaping allows you get the nicotine you need without the tar and carcinogens that cause smoking diseases.
Throat hit: This is difficult to describe to a non-smoker, but as a smoker, you will probably understand. Vaping gives you a sensory response in the throat like the one you are used to from a cigarette. That warmth/tingling/tightness that you feel in your throat and chest as you inhale. Vaping is unique, because you can adapt the throat hit you receive to your individual needs.