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Guide to Quit Smoking

Guide to Quit Smoking

June 11, 2019
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Quitting smoking is a challenge but it’s also one of the best things you can do for your health, your family as well as your bank balance. Throughout the UK, one person makes a quit attempt every 80 seconds. While this equates to a huge number every year, there are still plenty of relapses and a lot of people are still using the “cold turkey” method. At E-Cig Tests, we’re all ex-smokers. Some of us quit on the first go, others it took a few attempts. We found the best way to put the cigarette packet down and leave it alone for good was with vaping.

There are plenty of things to help motivate you when you’re quitting smoking. From the health benefits to the money you’ll save – not to mention the longer life expectancy you’ll have once you’re smoke free. Recent statistics show that in England only 30% of smokers will make a quit attempt every year. With current quit success rates that’ll mean we’ll take until 2043 to get smoking down to 5% (which constitutes as being smoke free). If 50% made a quit attempt every year, that estimate would come back to 2029⁽⁵⁾.

Motivation to quit smoking:

The biggest motivating factor to remember when you’re trying to quit is that smoking is the number one cause of cancer in the world. It’s not just your lungs that are at risk but everything from your mouth and throat through to your liver, reproductive organs and kidneys⁽¹⁾.

Another thing to remember is that it isn’t just you who’s affected. Second hand smoke can increase the risk of heart disease, COPD and cancer of the throat and lungs. Children exposed to cigarette smoke are also at higher risk of things like respiratory infections, asthma, bacterial meningitis and cot death.

The benefits of quitting smoking:

  • Breathing is easier. Your lungs will start to clear out as soon as two days after you stub out your last cigarette⁽³⁾. Once this happens even things like running up a flight of stairs or carrying the groceries in from the car will get easier.
  • You’ll save money. If you’re a pack a day smoker that’s around £10 a day. Each year you’ll be spending around £3650 on cigarettes. If you can quit or switch to something like vaping to help you quit, the amount you stand to save is huge.
  • The appearance of your skin and teeth will improve. After you’ve quit smoking, there won’t be a constant build up of tar on your teeth and your skin will be excreting less toxins, meaning you’ll have a healthier complexion and be less prone to lines and wrinkles.
  • Your mood will improve. Research has shown anxiety and depression are higher in those who smoke and once an individual had quit they experienced a more positive mood and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression⁽²⁾.
  • Your sense of smell and taste will get better. Smoking affects your taste buds and nasal passages. Your sense of smell and taste work together so when you’re no longer inhaling smoke that affects both of these things, food will taste better and your sense of smell will improve too.

Different methods to quit smoking and their success rates:

You have a few options for quitting smoking. Most people find the nicotine is the key part they miss when they quit and you can supplement your body with things like patches, gum, inhalers or vaping. Recent studies have found that e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective for smoking cessation than patches, gum, lozenges and sprays⁽⁴⁾. The thing with quitting smoking is it’s often the act of inhaling and exhaling and the tangible feeling that goes with it that smokers also miss. Vaping will deliver nicotine into your system quickly, as well as providing that familiar feeling without all the harmful toxins.

18 in every 100 people who used vaping had quit smoking entirely after a year compared to 10 in 100 who used other methods⁽⁴⁾. At E-Cig Tests we’ve all used vaping to quit smoking, so we can give you an idea of things to keep in mind if you’re trying vaping yourself.

Using vaping to quit smoking:

If you want to try an e-cigarette, you’re in good company because there are now over 3 million fellow vapers in the UK. To start off with, we’d generally recommend going into a reputable vape shop so you can actually try a few difference devices and juice flavours so you can figure out what you like best.

There are a few things you’ll want to know and keep in mind before your visit. The first thing is to consider how many cigarettes you smoke a day. Once you know that, it’ll be easier to figure out what strength of nicotine you’ll want in your e-liquid.

E-cigarette/device selection:

The kind of device you’ll use may also vary, many people start out with what’s called a mouth to lung kit. The name stems from the way you use it – by pressing a button to activate the battery and inhaling the vapour into your mouth then down into your lungs. There are also direct to lung devices which are generally better for those using a lower nicotine strength as they’re usually higher powered and will create more vapour.

Vape liquid strength and PG/VG ratio:

Vape liquid has four key ingredients – propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), flavouring and nicotine. None of these are considered harmful when used in an e-cigarette, the worst you might experience is a head rush if you use too high a nicotine level. PG is what helps carry the flavour of your juice while VG is what produces vapour. Flavours are incredibly broad and while there are tobacco and menthol flavours, many transitioning smokers are starting out with a fruit flavour these days. Going into a shop and trying a few will help you decide which you like best – you can always get a few to use throughout the day if you want some variety. Finally the nicotine is there to alleviate cravings you get for a cigarette. You may want to get a couple of different strengths to try until you know the best one for you.

There are two kinds of nicotine, freebase and nicotine salts. Freebase nicotine is the traditional format and gets into your system within a few seconds of inhaling it. It’s best for those who smoke socially or only have a few cigarettes a day. Nicotine salts are typically a higher concentration and will get into your system at the same speed as a conventional cigarette. They’re usually recommended to smokers who get through a pack or more a day and want something stronger to get rid of cravings super quickly.

Things to remember on your quitting journey:

  • Quitting is a challenge but it’s one worth taking on. Keep in mind the things that trigger your craving for cigarettes. You might want to make substitutions to things like your usual alcoholic drink for example to help break the association of drinking a beer and having a cigarette.
  • Make sure you keep your vape charged and keep enough e-liquid on you to last the day. One of the main reasons people seem to slip up on nights out especially is not always that they’re tempted to smoke, it’s that their vape has run out of battery or e-liquid. Having a stronger nicotine strength for the time of day you typically smoke more can also be a good idea.
  • Choose a start date – Monday works best for most people as weekends are often when you’re out drinking which can trigger a craving for a lot of people.
  • If you’ve tried to quit before, look at what made it difficult last time and if you have a friend who wants to quit too, it helps having someone to talk to about cravings.

Once you start, it won’t be long before you start to see the results and improvement on your life that quitting can have. Better health, more money in your pocket and a longer life expectancy are just a few of the benefits. You might use vaping to reduce your intake initially before you stop smoking entirely. There may be the odd day you have a cigarette too. Take these days as learning curves and remember why you wanted to quit in the first place – quitting is a process and it’ll be different for everyone.

References:

  1. How Does Smoking Cause Cancer – cancerresearchuk.org
  2. Anxiety and Depression More Common Among Smokers – cancerresearchuk.org
  3. What Happens When You Quit – nhs.uk
  4. E-cigarettes almost twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapies for quitting smoking –  cancerresearchuk.org
  5. The End of Smoking – ash.org.uk
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