How to Quit Smoking with E-Cigs
What is in an e-cig?
E-cigs are electronic vaping devices that can be used in place of cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes allow you to gradually cut down on nicotine, making them a great tool for quitting smoking. Instead of burning tobacco leaves to produce smoke, “e-liquid” is heated until it turns into vapor. E-liquid comes in thousands of flavors, from tobacco and menthol to fruit and dessert flavors. E-liquid is made up of FDA approved food grade ingredients, such as vegetable glycerin, that have been safely consumed for decades. However just because these chemicals are completely safe to eat does not automatically mean they are completely safe to inhale. More on that later.
How E-Cigs can Help you Quit Smoking
Modern, high quality e-cigs can offer a realistic cigarette smoking experience. The taste, the temperature of the vapor, the throat hit, and the amount of vapor produced are all designed to be just like a real cigarette. Modern e-cigs allow you to quit smoking without relying on willpower.
Many smokers find the hardest part of giving up smoking is breaking the routine of smoking. If you always smoke at bars, on lunch breaks, or during stressful moments, then lighting a cigarette can be an almost unconscious behaviour. E-cigarettes shine in these situations as you can fire up your e-cig and vape away.
When you use an e-cig instead of smoking tobacco leaves you are vaping ‘e-liquid’. E-liquid is available with varying amounts of nicotine, from nicotine-free up to 2.4% nicotine. 1.8% corresponds to normal cigarettes and 1.2% corresponds to light cigarettes.
If you would like not just to quit smoking but also quit nicotine then e-cigs make it easy. Gradually taper down your nicotine level through 1.8%, 1.2%, 0.6%, 0.3%, 0.15%, right down to 0%. The beauty of this is that you can continue ‘smoking’ your e-cigarette just as much as before while you give up nicotine.
One of the major benefits of quitting smoking is the amount of money you save. E-cigarettes are much cheaper than regular cigarettes. Disposable e-cigs are the most expensive type and they cost about $10 if you buy one and about $5 if you buy packs of five.
E-cigs can look just like cigarettes, this type of e-cigarette is called a ‘cig-alike’. The most realistic cigalikes have a soft orange filter, paper wrapping, and an end that glows orange when you inhale. Most e-cigs however come in sleek silver or black finishes. They are the same size as cigarettes but do not attempt to closely mimic how the look.
The second type of e-cigs are larger and do not look so similar to cigarettes. They can offer longer battery life, greater e-liquid capacity, and better performance.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
Since e-cigarettes are relatively new there are no studies into the long term health effects of e-cigarettes. Using e-cigs means you avoid inhaling smoke and tar, 100 known carcinogens, and 900 suspected carcinogens. Since e-liquid avoids all of these things many people, including public health and medical officials, consider e-cigs significantly less harmful than cigarettes. Using e-cigarettes to quit smoking is therefore seen as a smart choice.
Due to the lack of long term studies public health organizations such as the WHO (World Health Organisation) have hesitated to recommend e-cigs as a means of quitting smoking. To avoid any potential health risks you can use e-cigs as a transitional step to give up nicotine and then gradually quit e-cigs.
Disposable VS Rechargeable e-cigarettes
Before deciding on the best e-cig for your specific needs, you should first familiarize yourself with the two main types of e-cigs on the market.
- They come in classic tobacco and menthol flavours and sometimes fruit flavors.
- Cheap way of testing out e-cigs but more expensive in the long run.
- Each one lasts as long as 1-2 packs of cigarettes depending on the brand.
- Usually cost between $5 and $10.
- Pre-filled or refillable cartridges.
- Thousands of e-liquids available in tobacco, menthol, fruit, dessert, candy, cereal, bakery, nut, coffee, and drink flavours.
- Bigger up front investment but cheaper in the long run.
- Better performance than disposables.
Most Realistic E-Cigs
- Looks like a cigarette
- Each e-cig lasts about as long as 1 pack of cigarettes
- Bold Tobacco (4.4% nicotine)
- Gold Tobacco (2.4% nicotine)
- Menthol (3% nicotine)
- Available in:
- Superior performance to disposables
- Cheaper than disposables (excluding the initial cost)
- Pre-filled or refillable cartridges
- Works with any e-liquid
- Long lasting battery
- Available in automatic or mechanical models*
- Available in 9 colors
- Available in 3 sizes
*Automatic means the e-cig automatically fires when you inhale, mechanic means you have to press a button each time you want to inhale. If you have just quit smoking then automatic mode is recommended.
For more on starter kits, be sure to check out our guide on the best e-cig starter kit for January 2017.