Cutting Down on Smoking: A Guide for New Vapers
Cutting down on smoking or quitting using e-cigarettes is why most vapers get started, but accomplishing it isn’t easy. Smoking is very addictive, and even though vaping offers you the nicotine you’re looking for, it is still a challenge for most vapers to successfully quit smoking. Vaping is a fantastic tool, but it isn’t a “magic bullet” solution to your smoking addiction. You’ll still need willpower, and you’ll still need to plan your approach carefully to give yourself the best chance of success, from your choice of vaping device and e-liquid through to handy little tricks and tips to give yourself the most chance of kicking the deadly habit.
Tips for Cutting Back on Smoking Using Vaping
The most important tips for cutting down on cigarettes using an e-cigarette relate to your setup and how you vape. There are many different pieces of advice floating around, but for maximizing your chance of quitting smoking or cutting down, here is a selection of the most important ones:
Choose Your Device Carefully
One of the biggest challenges, when you’re starting vaping, is finding a suitable device for quitting smoking. Many smokers want something simple and possibly with a similar appearance and operation to traditional cigarettes, but these aren’t always the best option when it comes to getting the nicotine you’re looking for. In general, bigger, bulkier devices are more effective at delivering nicotine to you and giving you a more satisfying experience.
But you shouldn’t completely ignore simplicity in your vaping device. When you’re cutting down on smoking, the last thing you want to do is mess around with fancy settings and menus on a high-end mod. But there are many options that balance simplicity with much better performance. For example, the the eGo One by Joyetech, the Innokin Endura T18 and many other devices offer excellent performance without making the vaping experience needlessly complicated. We have more tips on finding the right vaping device for your needs here.
Vape Every Day
Research has shown that you have more chance of quitting if you vape every day. While you may not get into vaping right away, or even may cough when you vape at first, it’s really best to try to stick with it if you can. For one, the side effects of vaping usually fade with time, so if you cough a bit at first, this won’t happen as much when you get used to vaping. And if you try vaping every day, it helps you get more used to it as a habit, and can lead to you cutting down on cigarettes without even intending to.
Use Your E-Cig When You’d Smoke, but Vape for Longer
This is a simple point. One of the key benefits of vaping for quitting smoking is that you can just vape when you would have smoked when you’re trying to quit. Patches give you nicotine over several hours, so they don’t do a good job of matching a smoker’s periodic nicotine cravings, and medicines are taken on a regular schedule. But vaping allows you to relieve your cravings on-demand, in a way that’s already second-nature to you as a smoker.
The only issue is that e-cigarettes generally don’t get you as much nicotine as cigarettes do. This means that if you just vape for five minutes, you’re unlikely to get the same amount of nicotine as you would do with a cigarette. So you need to vape for a lot longer to balance it out. A study showed that you’d have to vape for 35 minutes (vaping as much as you like) to get the same amount of nicotine as you’d get from five minutes of smoking.
More modern devices are likely to be more effective than this, but the research often lags behind the technology on things like this. So it might not be as long as 35 minutes, but you will still need to vape substantially more than you’d need to have smoked.
Plan Ahead and Stock Up
Although vaping is much cheaper than smoking, you do have to spend quite a bit of money at first, especially if you’re trying to replace smoking entirely. For example, it’s often tempting to get a single battery to save money, but if you can’t vape while it’s charging, this means you have nothing to use for a couple of hours each day during charging. Plus, if you go out and your battery dies, you’re stuck without nicotine, and could be tempted to smoke. Getting a spare battery solves both of these problems.
The same goes for coils and e-liquid: if you’re trying to cut down on cigarettes, you need to make sure you have plenty of vaping gear to keep you going. You can’t vape at all if you run out of e-juice, and if you don’t have enough coils, you’ll have a lot of problems with “dry puffs” until you get a new one.
But when you just start you don’t want to spend too much. So what should you do? At first, we’d suggest getting a small supply of coils for your tank (five is a good number), and a little selection of e-juices (more on this below), and then place another order when you get an idea of if you like vaping and your preferences.
Learn to Inhale Like a Vaper, Not a Smoker
Another study into how much nicotine vapers get when they vape found that long-term vapers are better at getting nicotine than smokers trying vaping. The main difference they found between the groups was that long-term vapers took longer puffs than smokers.
Cigarettes are simple: the more you inhale; the more smoke you get. Smokers can take a quick, sharp puff on their cigarette and still get a satisfying amount of smoke, so puffing slowly and softly doesn’t offer much benefit. But with e-cigarettes, the amount of vapor you get isn’t affected much by how sharply or quickly you inhale. It’s mainly down to your setup (the tank you’re using and the power you’re vaping at) and how long you hold the button down for.
[Tweet “While cigarettes favor quicker, sharper puffs, e-cigarettes favor longer, softer ones.”]
This is a valuable lesson for a new vaper hoping to cut down on smoking: use slower, gentler and longer puffs than you would from a cigarette.
Cut Down on Cigarettes at Your Own Pace
Not everyone wants to quit abruptly and all at once. For some smokers, gradually reducing the amount you smoke is a more appealing solution, and if that’s what you want to do, then that’s what you should do.
[Tweet “There is no right or wrong approach, so just take it at your own pace.”]
Similarly, having the occasional lapse and smoking a cigarette really isn’t a big deal. Smoking a cigarette or two doesn’t mean you’ve “failed,” it just means you – like most smokers – have some hurdles to overcome on your way to being smoke-free.
[Tweet “The important lesson is to count the cigarettes you don’t smoke, not the ones you do.”]
General Tips for Cutting Back on Smoking
The tips above relate to specifically using vaping as an approach to cutting down on smoking, but there are still many useful tips from more general sources that can help when you’re trying to quit. Here are some of the best ones to keep in mind when you’re trying to smoke less:
Set a Quit Date
This might not seem like it would make a big difference, but choosing a sensible “quit date” ensures you have time to prepare for quitting and don’t put it off indefinitely. Choose a date within a month, and feel free to tell people about your intention. You don’t have to tell people, but if people know about it, the desire not to “let people down” gives you more encouragement to stick with it.
Identify Your Triggers
“Triggers” are situations or emotions that give you a particularly strong urge to smoke. For example, you might always have a cigarette with your morning coffee, when you’re feeling low or after you’ve eaten a meal.
[Tweet “Regardless of what your specific triggers are, knowing what they are is essential to making a plan for quitting.”]
Regardless of what your specific triggers are, knowing what they are is essential to making a plan for quitting. This is easier with vaping as a method for cutting back smoking, because you can just replace the old habit for the new one, but it’s still useful to know when your cravings peak.
Whether it’s from professional counselors, friends and family, stop smoking helplines or other services, online communities or your fellow vapers, it really does help to reach out to somebody for support if you’re struggling to stop smoking. People who’ve quit smoking themselves often have plenty of useful insights and advice, but anybody can give valuable encouragement and support.
If you’re cutting back on smoking using e-cigarettes, places like the E-Cigarette Forum, Planet of the Vapes and many others are full of people with experience doing exactly what you are. If you have a problem with your e-cig or you’re struggling to switch, many people there will be happy to give you some advice and support.
Choosing an E-Liquid for Cutting Down on Smoking
Finding the right e-liquid is a big part of using e-cigarettes as part of your plan for cutting back smoking. Not only does the e-liquid contain the nicotine, it also contains the flavor and determines the “throat hit” you get when you vape. So how do you make sure you get the right juice?
Finding Your Nicotine Level
This is a complicated issue (and we have more information on it here), but the basic rule is that when you’re starting, you should use as high a nicotine strength as you can tolerate. If you don’t get enough nicotine from vaping, kicking smoking will be much harder. However, if you get too much, you can start to feel nauseous after a short period of vaping, and it can also give too harsh a throat hit.
Your choice of atomizer and e-cig also impacts on the decision. Many vapers reduce their nicotine level when they switch to sub ohm tanks or rebuildables, because these are more efficient at getting you nicotine. For these types of devices, 0.6 % or 1.2 % are the best options for a smoker cutting down cigarettes. For simpler, lower-power devices, either 1.2 % and 1.8 % will probably be the ideal level for you. However, if you can’t try vaping out before buying, the best advice is to get two different nicotine strengths and see which works best for you.
Choosing the Right PG/VG Ratio
When you’re cutting back smoking, finding the right nicotine level for your e-juice is only part of the challenge. Another aspect to consider is the PG/VG ratio. Since e-liquid is primarily composed of two key ingredients – propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) – how much of each ingredient is used has an impact on your vape. In short, VG produces thicker vapor, but PG is better for giving a cigarette-like throat hit when you inhale.
When you’re getting started, a 50/50 (or any roughly even) ratio is the best choice, unless you have a strong preference. This balances both ingredients and gives a good mix of vapor and throat hit, and that’s why we use a 50/50 ratio at Black Note. However, if you do want more vapor production or more throat hit, you can switch to higher-VG or higher-PG liquids, respectively.
Choosing the Right Flavor for Cutting Down on Smoking
Finally, e-juice comes in a wide range of flavors, and when you’re cutting back on smoking, these flavors are really important. Finding the right flavor can make the difference between enjoying your vaping experience and just going right back to the familiar taste of cigarettes.
When you’re trying to quit smoking by vaping, tobacco flavors often have an important role to play. Finding an excellent tobacco e-juice smoothes the transition between smoking and vaping, and
[Tweet “Black Note’s naturally extracted tobacco (NET) e-liquid comes about as close to the genuine taste of tobacco as you’ll find in any e-liquid.”]
We use real, hand-selected tobacco leaves in the production of our e-liquid, and allow the flavors to infuse into a mixture of PG and VG over a period of six to eight weeks. This produces a nuanced, complex mixture of authentic tobacco flavors.
Once you’ve made the switch to vaping, though, it’s important to explore some of the other options available too. Tobacco e-juice can remain part of your regular rotation, but the huge variety of flavors available is one of the most enjoyable things about vaping. You should get the most out of the options available and experiment a little, especially when you’ve managed to kick tobacco.
Vaping is a Useful Tool for Cutting Down on Smoking, But You Need to Know How to Use it
Cutting back on smoking is challenging no matter which approach you use, but you can do it. Vaping has the advantage that it’s a straightforward replacement for cigarettes – you vape when you need nicotine and that’s about it. It’s a tool that you have an instinctive idea of when it’s time to use. The only challenge is learning how to use it to get the most out of your e-cigarette. It’s not too difficult, but taking a little bit of time to get to grips with your e-cig and planning ahead for the tough times gives you the best chance of successfully kicking smoking.