Weaning yourself off nicotine with e-cigarettes
Find out how using an e-cigarette can help you quit smoking and kick your addiction to nicotine.
Let's be honest; nobody really wants to be addicted to nicotine. It is a highly addictive substance, and cigarettes are a lethal delivery system for it.
There are many benefits to vaping vs smoking, one of which is weaning yourself off nicotine using e-cigarettes. Read our guide on nicotine addiction, and how you can beat it with e-cigarettes.
Nicotine changes the balance of dopamine and noradrenaline in your brain, making you feel temporarily more relaxed, less anxious and stressed, and giving you a rush of pleasure. When you smoke you can quickly become dependent on the feelings that the nicotine gives you, and become addicted. The more you smoke, the more nicotine you need to get the same pleasurable feelings, which means you need more and more toxic cigarettes in order to feel the nicotine high.
When you try to quit smoking, the nicotine withdrawals can be very hard to deal with, making you depressed, worried and irritable. You may also miss the sensation and action of smoking after years of the habit.
Because nicotine addiction is so strong the cravings can be hard to deal with when you cut it out, and it's almost impossible to quit through willpower alone. To be in with the best chance of quitting, you need a stop smoking system that will help wean you off cigarettes and nicotine for good. This is where e-cigarettes come in.
E-cigarettes and e-liquid
E-cigarettes heat up flavoured liquid in a small tank and turn the liquid into vapour for inhalation. E-liquids contain flavourings, vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, and nicotine liquid (or no nicotine, if you want a nicotine-free vape).
E-cigarettes deliver nicotine in a way that it is least 95% safer than regular tobacco cigarettes. They also mimic the action of smoking and can give a 'throat hit' that many smokers find similar to tobacco smoking.
Over 2.8 million people in the UK currently use e-cigarettes, most of them smokers who are cutting down tobacco, or people who have given up smoking cigarettes. The NHS has found that e-cigarettes can be an effective stop smoking method, especially when combined with their stop smoking service.
There an enormous choice of e-liquids that you can buy for vaping, in hundreds of flavours and different nicotine strengths. E-liquid is cheap, especially compared to cigarettes. If you smoked about 20 cigarettes a day before, you'll normally find you only use a 10ml bottle of e-liquid in a week – costing you as little as £5 a week, compared to around £27!
E-liquid nicotine strengths
When it comes to vaping vs smoking you need to know what nicotine strength to go for in your e-liquids. Nicotine % is marked on e-liquids, so you just need to compare this to what you were smoking before.
- Heavy smokers: if you smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day, you should start on a high nicotine % like 2.4%
- Medium smokers: if you're coming from a regular 20 cigarettes a day, go for a 1.8% nicotine count
- Mild smokers: if your smoking habit took in about 10 cigarettes a day, try a 1.2% nicotine e-liquid.
Over time, you can adjust the strength of nicotine that you use to vape with, eventually moving down to a 0.6% solution, and then a nicotine free vape. Many people find that they can step down to 0.6% within 6 months, then a nicotine free vape, and stop relying on nicotine for good.