This real-world guide – written by vapers – about how you can use e-cigarettes to help quit smoking and the switch to vaping is really like.
With New Zealand’s new vaping regulations in place and the government fully on board with the shared goal of using vaping to help our nation meet the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 mandate, you’re likely to hear a lot more over the coming year about vaping and what it can do to help you quit smoking.
When you begin to research what vaping is and how it works, though, you’re quickly going to learn that not everyone shares our government’s progressive attitude. Other nations such as the United States suffer from well-funded misinformation campaigns designed to give people the false belief that vaping isn’t actually less risky than smoking. News from the United States filters through to the rest of the world, and other forward-thinking governments – such as the government of the United Kingdom – have had a difficult time assuring citizens that vaping definitely does not carry the same level of risk as smoking.
We’re here to clear up some of that misinformation and help you gain a better understanding of how to switch to vaping successfully and give up smoking for good.
This article is a comprehensive real-world guide – written by actual vapers – about how you can use e-cigarettes to help yourself quit smoking and what making the switch to vaping is really like.
Let’s start at the beginning!
What Type of E-Cigarette Is Best for Quitting Smoking?
We think that the best type of e-cigarette for quitting smoking is a pod vaping system that uses pre-filled pods and has a high nicotine strength. The most popular nicotine strength among new vapers is 5%, which has a nicotine delivery profile similar to that of a tobacco cigarette.
We suggest buying a pod system that’s sold as a full starter kit. All pod vaping devices include the required charging cables or cradles, but only a full starter kit will include your first few pods. A pre-filled vape pod typically lasts about one day, so it’s a good idea to add a pack or two of extra pods to your cart before checking out.
As there are so many different products to choose from, we’ve put together a Quick Smoking Starter Kit category with starter kits from two of the most popular brands; Juul® and myblu®. We think they are a great place to start if you’re looking for an e-cigarette system to use as part of a plan to quit smoking.
Choose the Juul® kit which comes in either a 5% or 3% nicotine strength (as we mention above the most popular nicotine strength among new vapers is 5%, which has a nicotine delivery profile similar to that of a tobacco cigarette).
How to Use Your First E-Cigarette
In this section of the guide, we’ll assume that you have selected a pod-based device as your first e-cigarette. You can also find cigarette-shaped e-cigarettes called cigalikes in many stores. Cigalikes don’t deliver nicotine quite as efficiently as pod-based systems, but if you happen to have purchased that type of device, you’ll find that this guide applies to virtually any type of beginner-oriented vaping product.
- When you receive your e-cigarette, remove the battery and charger from the package. Connect the battery to the charger and connect the charger to your computer. Don’t connect an e-cigarette battery to the mains adapter for your tablet or mobile phone. A vaping battery usually has an LED light that indicates the battery’s current status. When the battery is fully charged, the light will change colour or turn off. Remove the battery when the charge cycle is complete.
- Remove the protective cap from a pod and place the pod inside the top of the battery. Push until the pod clicks or snaps into place.
- Puff gently on the e-cigarette to vape. Your e-cigarette has an airflow sensor, and it generates vapour automatically when you inhale. To avoid getting e-liquid in your mouth, you should puff more gently on your e-cigarette than you would puff on a tobacco cigarette. You’ll get used to it very quickly.
When you use an e-cigarette with pre-filled pods, you only need to do two things to keep your device running. You need to charge the battery, and you need to exchange the pod periodically.
- When the battery is dead, the indicator light will blink. You may also notice that the vapour production of your e-cigarette decreases noticeably when the battery is nearly dead. Eventually, you may find it helpful to buy a second battery, so you can charge one while using the other.
- When the pod is empty, you’ll notice a lack of flavour when vaping. Since most vape pods are translucent, you can also see how much e-liquid you have simply by looking at your pod.
How to Make the Switch to Vaping as Easy as Possible
Around the world, tens of millions of people have used e-cigarettes to quit smoking successfully. That doesn’t mean, however, that quitting smoking with vaping is easy; it’s just easier than it would be with traditional smoking cessation methods. We’ll explain some of the challenges shortly. Before we do that, though, we’ll give you the one tip that we believe will make your switch as easy as it can be.
Make the commitment that you will stop smoking completely and switch fully to vaping the moment you have your first vaping device in your hand.
You can definitely do this. Not only does vaping supply the nicotine that you require, but it also delivers nicotine to the body almost as efficiently as a cigarette and far more efficiently than conventional nicotine replacement products.
We believe that it is important to make the commitment that you’re going to stop smoking when you receive your first e-cigarette because buying an e-cigarette represents a major decision that’s going to alter the long-term path of your life in more ways than you might realize. Stopping smoking when you receive your first e-cigarette underscores the symbolic importance of that decision.
In addition, your first e-cigarette is something that’s new, novel and even fun. The novelty is going to make it easier for you to get through the challenging initial days after you quit. If you decide that you’re going to vape and smoke concurrently, on the other hand, it’s going to be difficult to stop smoking later because you won’t have something giving you that sense of novelty and keeping your mind occupied.
We also strongly recommend vaping is only part of an overall smoking cessation plan. There are many great organisations and resources available in New Zealand to help you put together a program. A great place to start is the Ministry of Health websites Vaping Facts and Quit Strong.
What It’s Like to Switch to Vaping? The First Few Days
Let’s talk a bit about what the experience of switching fully from smoking to vaping is actually like.
Vaping has some significant benefits compared to other forms of nicotine replacement. It certainly tastes better, and it’s also infinitely more satisfying. It’s more satisfying than other nicotine replacement products both because you inhale it – which promotes quick absorption – and because e-liquid is much higher in nicotine than products like nicotine gums and patches.
While vaping replaces the nicotine that you get from smoking, though, it doesn’t replace the thousands of other chemicals in cigarette smoke. In other words, while you may still be getting your nicotine, you may not feel completely normal in the first few days after you quit smoking and start vaping. That’s because you’ll need a bit of time to detoxify from the chemicals that you’re no longer getting.
We recommend that you get through this period by pushing through and by vaping as often as necessary to keep your cravings under control. Remember that of the many chemicals in cigarette smoke, nicotine is by far the most addictive – and you’ll still be getting plenty of that. You’ll start to feel normal again in fairly short order if you do not smoke a cigarette.
People commonly report coughing during the first few days after they quit smoking. You may, in fact, cough up some pretty unappealing stuff. You should consult your doctor if this concerns you. However, coughing that subsides after a few days is one of the most common symptoms reported by former smokers who have just quit. Mayo Clinic has some useful information about coughing when you quit smoking.
What It’s Like to Switch to Vaping? The Long-Term Benefits
You have a better idea now of what the first few days will be like after you switch to vaping. What’s the long-term outlook? No matter how much you might think that you like the flavour of tobacco, you’ll quickly learn that vaping tastes infinitely better. There are probably thousands of different e-liquid flavours in the world today, but a cigarette can only ever taste like a cigarette.
Of course, switching to vaping is about much more than just being able to enjoy some tasty flavours. There’s also the fact you’ll stop waking up in the morning with aching lungs. There’s the immense boost in self-confidence that comes with knowing you no longer smell like smoke. You can also look forward to having significantly more money in your pocket.
What If You Break Down and Buy a Pack of Cigarettes?
After you’ve quit smoking and switched to vaping, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll eventually have a moment of weakness and buy a pack of cigarettes. It might happen in the first few days, or it might even be weeks after you’ve made the switch. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just about every new vaper experiences that same moment of weakness; even with vaping, quitting smoking is hard. You’re still going to think about cigarettes from time to time. The likelihood is that your dalliance with tobacco will be self-limiting, though, because it’ll only serve to remind you of how terrible cigarettes really taste.
What if You Try Vaping for the First Time and Hate It?
Vaping is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. If you don’t enjoy it, something is definitely wrong – and if something is wrong, that means you can fix it. So, let’s suppose that you receive your first e-cigarette. You charge it up, drop in a pod and take a puff – and you hate it. What should you do?
- If you don’t like vaping because you’re getting e-liquid in your mouth, you’re puffing too firmly. You should puff much more gently on an e-cigarette than you would puff on a tobacco cigarette.
- If you don’t like vaping because you get a burned flavour when puffing, wait a few seconds between puffs. It’s likely that you aren’t waiting long enough for the wick in your e-cigarette’s pod to refresh itself with more e-liquid.
- If you don’t like vaping because it irritates your throat or makes you feel jittery, the nicotine strength of your e-liquid is too high. Try the next lower strength.
- If you don’t like vaping because you don’t enjoy the flavour, try a different flavour. A tobacco e-liquid will not taste like a cigarette, but you can find e-liquids that offer very convincing renditions of fruit, candy, dessert and beverage flavours. There is a virtually endless variety of e-liquid flavours on the market, and you will definitely find many flavours that you love if you keep looking.
What if You Can’t Handle Your Cigarette Cravings?
As we mentioned above, your body is going to need a few days to detoxify from the thousands of chemicals in cigarette smoke other than nicotine when you first switch from smoking to vaping. For most people, those first few days aren’t that difficult. Just vape when you need to, and the cravings will subside.
What should you do, though, if your cravings don’t subside when you vape? E-liquid comes in an enormous variety of nicotine strengths, with the most common strengths ranging from 0.3% to 5.0%. If you find your cigarette cravings intolerable regardless of how often you vape, your nicotine strength is almost certainly too low.
How to Make Vaping as Enjoyable as It Can Be: Final Tips
We hope that you enjoy your first experience with vaping and that you will soon join the many millions of people around the world who have used e-cigarettes to quit smoking successfully. Some people continue to vape after quitting smoking, and there are now many people in the world who have been vaping for more than a decade. For others, switching to vaping is just one step along the road toward eventually becoming completely nicotine free. If you decide to continue vaping, we have two tips that can help to make your experience as enjoyable as it can be.
- Don’t ever stop trying new flavours. The variety of flavours is an enormous part of what makes vaping so enjoyable.
- After you’ve been vaping for awhile and are completely used to the routine of charging your device and swapping out old pods you may consider switching to a new vaping device with a refillable pod. Having a refillable pod means that you can begin buying bottled e-liquids, which are cheaper and offer a wider variety of flavours.
- We recommend vaping is only part of an overall smoking cessation plan. There are many great organisations and resources available in New Zealand to help you put together a program. A great place to start is the Ministry of Health websites Vaping Facts and Quit Strong.
At Premium Vape, we are committed to helping adult smokers transition to the reduced-harm alternative of vaping and to furthering New Zealand’s goal of becoming smoke free by 2025.
Vaping products contain nicotine which is addictive, adult smokers and vapers over 18 years of age only.
If you have any questions please get in contact with the friendly team at Premium Vape, we’re here to help.