With Christmas behind us and the New Year just beginning, ‘tis the season for change. We’ve all done it – “I’m finally joining that gym!”, “No more pints for me in the week!” – New Year’s resolutions are always made with the best of intentions but the reality can be quite the contrary; life has it’s ways of tempting us back into our old ways before long.
Indeed, one of the most challenging resolutions to hold fast is giving up smoking. For many, the addictive nature of the smoking experience is one of the hardest things to overcome, with many quit attempts failing within a short period of time.
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
It’s not all doom and gloom, there are lots of methods and support for people to explore when it comes to smoking cessation. Patches, gums, sprays and other nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) have been around for a long time and have helped many on their journey away from tobacco. In recent years however vaping has entered the fray and has been reported to have a significant impact on quit attempts.
In fact, according to Public Health England (PHE) in their February 2021 update to their ongoing e-cigarette evidence review, vaping was the most popular way for smokers to quit. 27.2% of smokers were found to be using e-cigarettes, while only 18.2% utilised the traditional NRT described above. In 2019 and 2020, the NHS found that people who used vaping as part of a quit attempt in local stop smoking services had some of the highest quit success rates – between 59.7% and 74% in 2019 and 2020.
Finding an alternative to smoking doesn’t mean you have to choose vaping, it’s better to understand all your options so you can make a decision that works for you and your lifestyle. You can explore the positives and negatives of each approach alongside carefully researched, impartial facts and guidance in our comprehensive guide: Finding the Right Alternative.
If your mind is made up however, and this New Year you want to commit to giving vaping a try in favour of cigarettes, we’ve got your back! Read on as we share our top tips to help your resolution stick.
Ollie’s Top Tips For Making the Switch
Your humble author (that’s me, Ollie!) was once a heavy smoker, in fact I got through almost 30 a day at my worst! Now though after a long and challenging road, I’m proud to say I’ve been able to kick the habit. Vaping was my chosen alternative and has been the biggest reason I’m able to manage my cravings.
Everybody has a different journey and different needs though, and while vaping helped me there is no guarantee it will work for everyone who tries it – it’s important to remember that when making your quit attempt and not dwell on it; the right alternative is out there and you will find it, you can achieve your goals.
With that said, below is some advice beyond simply vaping that I found really helpful, and certainly true while on my own journey – I still practice these methods even now to help keep temptation at bay!
Positivity is Key
As with many of the vices in our lives, the first steps towards overcoming them are taken in our minds. Keep thinking positively and embrace the challenge; If you start your journey from a place of negativity, you make it that much harder to succeed.
Even if you have tried and failed before, don’t let that hold you back. Look back at why you failed, learn from it, and then take positive action to make sure that doesn’t happen again – treat failure as a lesson, not a defeat.
Think Ahead, Small Steps Can Go a Long Way
Life is unpredictable at the best of times, and we know it can be hard to make a plan and stick to it. That being said, it can really help to keep ahead of your cravings by planning ahead wherever possible.
Try to set manageable, achievable goals; perhaps set a date to reach without having a single drag. If that is too extreme, then set a limit on the number of cigarettes you consume per day or week, and then reduce that number periodically. By keeping your goals small and achievable, you will receive a much more regular sense of achievement and progression. This can give a massively positive mood-boost that in-turn will naturally spur you on, fuelling your continued quitting journey.
Don’t forget to be mindful of the events in your calendar too. If you have a party coming up and you know there will be increased temptation, plan accordingly. Your life doesn’t need to stop because you’ve stopped smoking but making sure you have the tools you need to hand ahead of time can make a vital difference between resisting or succumbing to those cravings.
Keep an Eye on Your Diet
This is something that people might not consider but can actually have a big impact on your quitting journey. It’s a common stereotype that one might enjoy an after-dinner cigarette more than at any other time, making smoking after meals highly habitual behaviour that we really struggle to snap out of.
There is actually a reason for this, as revealed by a study conducted in the US. The findings suggested that certain types of food can actually increase the perceived satisfaction of smoking a cigarette. Particularly those who had consumed meat-heavy dishes found smoking afterwards far more satisfying than smoking by itself. Conversely it was also found that certain foods like vegetables, fruit and cheeses have a negative impact on the taste of an after-dinner cigarette.
The same can also be said of beverage choices. The study found that fizzy drinks, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee all make cigarettes “taste better”, where water and juices had the opposite effect. Considering this, making a change to your diet could in fact help you lessen those cravings and break old habits a little easier.
The simplest things can kick off a nicotine craving but one of the most common is the need to actually feel something in your hand. The very action of raising a cigarette, taking a drag and lowering again becomes deeply ingrained in our minds and becomes muscle memory.
Getting over this can take a bit of extra help, usually in the form of a cessation device like sprays, lozenges or gums. Of course, vaping is one of the closest alternatives to this sensation; having a vape in hand can keep your cravings at bay and stop your hands wandering back to their old ways!
Keep On Moving
It doesn’t take much, a light walk or even a simple stretch. Multiple scientific studies tell us that just 5 minutes of exercise a day can help cut cravings. Not only is the act of exercising a great distraction, but there is even evidence to suggest that the endorphins and other chemicals released by your brain during physical activity can actually have anti-craving effects!
We know it’s not new advice but exercising really can improve your wellbeing and keep your quitting journey heading in the right direction.
Top Tips For A successful Vaping Journey
The advice above can apply to anyone, regardless of their chosen alternative to smoking. If you have chosen vaping, there are a few specific things you should take note of to help ensure your journey is a successful one. You can learn everything you need to know about starting vaping in our guide: How to Vape Properly, but we will explore some of the basics below.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle is a major factor in determining the best vape for your needs. Those with an active routine involving regular travel for example may prefer smaller, more compact pod-style devices over some of the bulkier alternatives. Others however may fancy there chances as a cloud-chaser, which would naturally steer them towards a high-power, sub-ohm device and thick HVG e-liquid.
Considering these defining factors ahead of time will instantly narrow your options and help refine your decision, as well as increase the chance of it being a successful one.
Choosing the Right E-Liquid
E-liquid is the substance we vapourise in e-cigarettes to deliver the nicotine containing vapour we then inhale to satisfy our cravings. They come in a variety of different formats with varying properties suited to different vaping styles. Pairing the right liquid with the right device is a key step in ensuring you are starting your journey properly.
Think About Your Nicotine Strength
With a range of strengths to choose from here at LiQuid, and indeed beyond, it can be difficult to know where to start! When starting out, it’s important to consider how much you used to smoke before deciding to make the switch – if you were a heavy smoker, then you will likely get more satisfaction from 12mg or 18mg e-liquids, or even 20mg nic salts. Those who did not smoke as much may find these too harsh, and so a lower strength like 3mg or 6mg would be better.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different strengths to find the one that works best for you! Doing so will help ensure you enjoy your vaping experience and will find it easier to stick to as an alternative!
With all that said, we’d like to wish you luck! It’s not always an easy journey but with the right tools, help and support you can achieve your goals – we believe in you!