The electronic cigarette can be of crucial help as an aid in stopping smoking and weaning yourself off tobacco cigarettes. The switch can also be the start on the way to becoming a non-smoker. However, the effectiveness of the e-cigarette as a smoking cessation aid also depends on each person themselves – and on their previous smoking behavior and the associated rituals. You should also know that there are two ways to use an e-cigarette: on the one hand, liquids WITH nicotine can be used and, on the other hand, vaping aromatic liquids WITHOUT nicotine. However, the latter are rather unsuitable for a successful switch from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes. The question often arises as to whether and how the nicotine-containing liquids can really function as a fully-fledged nicotine substitute, so that the harmful tobacco cigarette can actually be put aside permanently. Because a long-time smoker who is used to his daily dose of nicotine will hardly be satisfied with an alternative that cannot guarantee him a full replacement. The answer is a little more complex and opinions sometimes differ widely. But we have put together a few facts and tips for you to successfully switch to e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are not a traditional nicotine substitute
Since you can consume both nicotine-free and nicotine-containing liquids with e-cigarettes, you cannot speak of a conventional nicotine substitute. However, if you were a heavy smoker beforehand, nicotine-free liquids will, at least initially, hardly work as a full replacement for weaning. Many people switching to vaping see the greatest benefit of vaping for quitting smoking somewhere else:
You can dose the liquid strength or the nicotine content (there are liquids of different strengths and you can also dilute with distilled water) – in contrast to conventional nicotine replacement products such as nicotine patches or chewing gum, you can gradually get used to lower doses, until you finally maybe even switch to nicotine-free liquids.
The toxic by-products that are produced when a tobacco cigarette is burned are eliminated when vaping an e-cigarette. And these are, after all, the greatest health risk that one exposes oneself to when smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes. There is also more information on the supposed health effects of e-cigarettes on our blog.
The look and feel of some e-cigarettes are strongly based on normal cigarettes, which should make it easier for smokers to switch. You also continue to inhale a smoke-like mist that has been proven to be less harmful than tobacco smoke. In this way, you can stick to your usage habits and rituals – despite weaning yourself – while still reducing the health risk. Above all, this makes it easier to quit smoking itself, less the need for nicotine.
This is particularly exciting when you know that the greatest health risk from smoking does not come from nicotine, but from the substances that are produced during combustion. The function and components of an e-cigarette prevent this by not inhaling the nicotine in the form of smoke, but in the form of a dense cloud of vapor that is created when the liquid hits the heated heating coil in the evaporator head of the e-cigarette. Basically the same thing happens when you drop water on a hot pan. Thus, the electronic cigarette is above all a good tool and an effective support, on the one hand to reduce the nicotine bit by bit and finally to leave it out completely, and on the other hand not to have to forego the rituals of smoking and the taste. Since the look and feel of some e-cigarettes (so-called ciga-likes) are very similar to conventional cigarettes, it is much easier to get rid of cigarettes and nicotine. At least that is the argument of one side. Of course, it is also clear that this similarity to cigarettes cannot be seen as an aid in stopping smoking in every situation and depends heavily on the type and previous smoking habits.
Does the feel of an e-cigarette promote or reduce addictive behavior?
The opponents of the “e-cigarette as a means of stopping smoking” take up exactly this argument and say that this very similarity to the addiction-typical behavior in relation to nicotine consumption makes the final and actual exit more difficult and is therefore not recommended as a conventional means of smoking cessation could become. However, the critics ignore the fact that, despite the lack of long-term studies, there are already indications that the e-cigarette works much better as a support on the way to quitting smoking than nicotine chewing gum or nicotine patches. Because they all neglect the fact and the power of learned social behavior patterns in connection with the cigarette, e.g. reaching for a cigarette in stressful situations or after a cup of coffee. A band-aid or chewing gum doesn’t come close enough to this pattern of behavior.
Admittedly, the available and representative amounts of data on e-cigarettes that deal with smoking cessation and long-term effects can still be expanded. Nonetheless, many test subjects accepted an e-cigarette as a nicotine replacement significantly better than a patch or gum because they can maintain their usual rituals while vaping. Addiction experts, on the other hand, warn that it is precisely these rituals that further intensify addictive behavior and thus make long-term smoking cessation even more difficult. Who is right will be decided in the long term by the long-term studies and reports that are not yet available and, of course, by your own experiences. A generally valid answer cannot be given here. But we already have a few tips for switching from cigarettes to vaping electronic cigarettes.
This is how it works: Switching to e-cigarettes
Make the right decision – old or new models
The look and feel of the first generation of e-cigarette models was very reminiscent of conventional cigarettes (so-called cigalikes). But since they basically have nothing in common, the second generation appeared in box and tube form, which differ greatly from the typical “fake stick”. What is right for you depends on your requirements. The models that are most similar to tobacco cigarettes make the switch easier, according to the proponents, because they allow the ex-smoker to continue to hold on to the old rituals. However, the new models are much more powerful, since they are not based on the cigarette, but on the optimal and most efficient form for the pure function of an e-cigarette. The box-like shape leaves more space for larger batteries and liquid tanks, for example.
The first e-cigarette – purchase criteria
In any case, it should meet a few specific criteria so that the enjoyment is not left behind when you switch. 1. Good steam development should be guaranteed, because the steam also acts as a flavor carrier. 2.The battery should be powerful enough so that you don’t have to charge it every few hours, but one charge should last at least a day with normal consumption. Because if the battery fails exceptionally quickly, you should quickly lose your desire to vape again.
Pay attention to pulling technique
Even with the first puff on the new e-cigarette, it should be clear that there is a big difference to the cigarette, regardless of the look. Here, the slow, leisurely and continuous drawing leads to the optimal taste. The jerky drawing, as with the tobacco cigarette, is a thing of the past. Reason: the e-cigarette does not burn, but vaporizes, whereby pulling on the mouthpiece causes the liquid to hit the heating coils. The shorter and more jerky you draw, the less time the liquid has to evaporate. The subsequent inhalation is up to your personal feelings. Some vapers collect the aromatic mist in the oral cavity before then drawing it into the lungs, while others prefer continuous lung puffs.
Provide variety & test liquid flavors
So you won’t get bored during the switch, while there is also the positive side effect that you can see a big difference to cigarettes: the variety of flavors, whether with nicotine or without. Many newcomers to e-cigarettes initially use tobacco-flavored liquids, probably out of habit. But it usually doesn’t take long before they feel their way to fruity aromas or special flavors such as bubble gum and cola.
The liquid strength – how much nicotine?
Many switchers make a crucial mistake, especially if you see the e-cigarette as a nicotine replacement. You decide on a liquid variant that contains less nicotine than the normal cigarette. Actually logical, because you want to be weaned in the long term. But both critics and beginners forget a crucial detail: compared to the smoke of normal cigarettes, e-cigarette vapor only releases 1/3 of the amount of nicotine into the body. Thus, the hoped-for effect does not materialize and one often begins to doubt vaping to give up smoking. You can prevent this by starting with liquids with a higher nicotine content. Also, always keep in mind that the greatest harm from smoking comes from combustion, not nicotine, before you reach for that fag again.
What about e-liquids without nicotine?
First, we must point out that vaping e-liquid without nicotine is not a completely healthy alternative to smoking. The reason for this is not that the health risk of vaping has already been proven, but only that the experience from long-term studies is not yet available. And of course caution comes first. What is certain, however, is that vaping, whether with or without nicotine, produces 95% fewer pollutants than burning tobacco. Because an e-cigarette simply contains no tobacco; including all associated by-products and waste products. If you are a smoker who wants to switch to e-cigarettes instead of light cigarettes or nicotine patches, you should initially opt for liquids with nicotine and then slowly reduce the amount. In contrast to many other nicotine replacement products, the nicotine content is variable.
Conclusion: We can answer the question of whether one can give up smoking with the support of electronic cigarettes without nicotine with “yes”, as long as it is implemented as part of a supplementary cessation strategy. However, vaping e-cigarettes alone, without an accompanying strategy, is by no means a guarantee and, above all, not a significantly easier way to quit smoking, since, like any other nicotine substitute, it must also be accepted by the consumer as a fully-fledged substitute. And above all, behavioral patterns and the degree of addiction have a major say. Because a smoker will also fall back into old behavior patterns if chewing gum or liquid contains the usual amount of nicotine, but he does not associate it with the same experience and the same rituals as with the fags. So the e-cigarette is not a blanket replacement for nicotine; a help for those who want to reduce the nicotine dose while maintaining their habit, but yes.
If you have questions feel free to contact CAK, we would love to hear from you.