Simon's guide to making a successful switch from smoking to vaping
This blog is based on my own experience and the experience of helping friends and family make successful switches from smoking to vaping. Much of this blog is about preparation, the better you prepare the more chance you will have of switching successfully and making it a fairly easy and stress-free experience.
If you don't prepare well the slightest little hiccup could send you right back to smoking and back to square one. Most of the preparation I will recommend is practical stuff, like making sure you have what you need. Some of it is about preparing yourself mentally. I hope this guide will help you in both areas. I know it has worked for others and I'm confident that much of the advice will work for you too. It's important to consider that we are all different and we all have different lives, however, so please treat this blog as guidance for you to consider and think about, rather than a set of instructions.
It's a Date!
It's good to plan ahead, so pick a date that you are going to switch and try to stick to it. Make sure you have time to buy all the things you'll need and prepare yourself. It's not the best idea to just switch to vaping e-cigarettes on a whim. I believe the better prepared you are the better your chance of success. I planned to switch two months ahead on my Daughter's birthday, my brother in-law decided to switch on his own birthday a month before. I would recommend choosing a date at least a month in the future, so you have time to prepare for your big day.
If possible, try to clear your diary for a few days, if you can take a couple of days off work that might be good, especially if you have a stressful job or won't be in a position to use your e-cigarette when you need to. I switched on a Sunday and took Monday and Tuesday off work, knowing that I had three full days to relax at home, vape when I needed to and not really have anything else to think about enabled me to focus on stopping smoking and feel more relaxed about making the switch to vaping.
Support from friends, family and online
If possible, get yourself some support, a friend or family member who has already switched is ideal. Many of the people I've helped have had questions during the first couple of days. A lot of the time they just want reassurance on something they are uncertain about. A supportive partner, sibling or friend is also of great benefit. Just telling someone “You are doing great, well done” is really helpful in keeping your spirits high. Tell people what you are doing and encourage them to encourage you!
If you need to find your support online then the UK based forum 'Planet of the Vapes' is highly recommended, I'm a member there and I found it an invaluable place to get help and advice during my first year especially. Remember you aren't ever alone, there are thousands of people who have made the switch already. If you need help, just ask. Try and plan some support before your switch date, it will help you later.
Buying the things you will need
Don't buy an e-cigarette that hasn't been recommended in some way. There are sadly a lot of poor performing products on the market, there are also many unsuitable products for new users. It's important that you have something that will work for you, seek advice from My Vape Box, other vapers, blogs, your local vape shop or from online forums. While you might decide you prefer a certain kit later on at least with some good advice and a little knowledge you will have a good, well-made e-cigarette kit that won't be a total disaster.
For many people the e-liquid flavour they enjoy in an e-cigarette may come as a surprise. My brother in-law who recently switched to vaping found cherry and cherry cola e-liquid flavours were what he enjoyed the most and using mainly those flavours he has managed to quit smoking a large packet of tobacco every two days! I've always preferred something richer, tobaccos, coffee, bakeries. There really isn't any logic or reasons I can think of that explains this, so all I can really recommend is that you have a small but varied selection of e-liquid flavours from the start. It was presumed by many people for a long time that people 'needed' something close to the taste of the cigarettes they were trying to replace but experience has told me it's far from always being the case. Be daring and try some e-liquid flavours you might not expect to enjoy!
I've talked about this before but it's important that you are getting enough nicotine from your e-cigarette. If your e-liquid is too low in nicotine for the device you are using it will not be effective and you will struggle with nicotine withdrawal, the very thing we are trying to avoid by stopping smoking using an e-cigarette. Make sure you have a range of nicotine strengths to try including higher nicotine levels. For the vast majority of people nicotine replacement is key to switching successfully. Check out my previous blog 'Which e-liquid nicotine strength should I get?' for more thoughts on this.
I would also highly recommend having two e-cigarette devices from the start. There are several reasons why this is a good idea even if your second device is simple pod-system or pen type. It means you can have two different e-liquids ready to vape, that could be a different flavour when you fancy a change or a different level of nicotine for different times of the day. It also means you have a spare if you lose or break one of them. If you have a secondary or back up vaping device, then hopefully you won't ever be in a position where you don't have an e-cigarette handy. It's also a good idea to have a small stock of vape coils, your e-cigarette is useless without one.
I realise this all costs money but everything you buy will very quickly pay for itself once you stop smoking. I paid about £70 for my first e-cigarette device and e-liquids from a local vape shop, what I used to spend on tobacco every two weeks. For most people whatever you buy will be paid for within a month, the second month you will start to feel the monetary gain of switching.
You can do it!
Try not to worry, you will have the greatest chance of success if you are confident and feel positive about the change you are making. You've set the date, you have everything you need and people around to give you some support. It may take you a few days to adjust to vaping, but don't give in at this early stage. There are reasons you've decided to switch from smoking to using an e-cigarette, very good reasons. Don't forget them.
Simon - My Vape Box