When you think of quitting smoking there is usually a reason as to why you need to quit. Now we all know that smoking is bad for you, and it's most likely going to kill you sooner rather than later if you decide to smoke 20 a day from your youth until you retire. There won't be much enjoyment during your retirement that is for sure! You will most likely be coughing your lungs up every morning, and won't be able to take that lovely afternoon stroll with your significant other without having trouble breathing.
To avoid this horrible slow death that each and every smoker has somewhere drilled in to their subconcious, there are many different ways you can attempt to quit smoking, and it really is a case of trial and error to see which method works for you. This can be said for many things in life! In this blog post I am going to cover some of the ways you can trial to make the switch away from smoking cigarettes.
This is probably the most popular alternative to smoking cigarettes. We first saw e-cigarettes enter the smoking cessation space around 2007/2008 with brands like Gamucci, Nicolites, HALO E Liquid, Vapestick and 10 Motives, however vaping didn't really take off in the United Kingdom until around 2009/2010. It didn't really hit mainstream until about 2011, and you started to see the first e-cigarettes hit supermarket shelves around 2012-2013. So, why has vaping become a major player within smoking cessation? The simple answer to this is that it is 95% safer than smoking (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review), and it works... for most people.
My Personal Experience With Vaping
I found out about vaping in 2011 when I joined a vape company, and started to sell their products. This was back when vaping products weren't all that good, and they had a high price tag. You could easily spend upwards of £250 on a vape kit, and in today's market they would be considered as a very low end piece of hardware. You wouldn't expect to pay more than £19.99 in today's market. Alas, this was a new product, and to a lot of people this was the new way out of smoking! It didn't quite work out for me the way it was supposed to shall we say. I found it extremely difficult to kick the habbit, and it actually took me 8 years of duel smoking/vaping to eventually rid myself of wanting to smoke.
In the first few years I would still find myself smoking 3/5 cigarettes per day alongside vaping throughout the rest of the day. I think the reason for this was because I didn't want to miss out on the social aspect of smoking, which for me was the most enjoyable part of smoking. I'd easily find myself smashing through a 20 deck of cigarettes on a night out, and then having a reality check in the morning with myself as I coughed my lungs up. As time went on I would make a decision only to smoke when I was out socialising, which felt like a big treat to myself, and I was super happy with myself when I could finally have that smoke. On reflection, this is probably why I was a dual smoker for 8 years. I was lying to myself.
Then came Nicotine Salts. A new form of e-liquid, where the nicotine was alot smoother, and the nicotine was delivered more like a cigarette. If you vape freebase nicotine it gives you a rush of nicotine, which then falls off pretty quickly. Nicotine Salts changed that by using science to replicate the nicotine dose intake.
Once I started using nicotine salts in my vape devices, I went from being a dual user to becoming a fully fledged vaper. I haven't smoked a cigarette now for 8 months. So if you are using e-cigarettes at the moment, then I would highly recommend trying out nicsalts if you haven't already.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT is a medication that provides you with a low level of nicotine, without the tar, carbon monoxide and other poisonous chemicals present in tobacco smoke. It can help reduce unpleasant withdrawal effects, such as bad moods and cravings, which may occur when you stop smoking.
NRT's come in the form of:
- Skin patches
- Chewing gum
- Inhalators (which look like plastic cigarettes)
- Tablets, oral strips and lozenges
- Nasal and mouth spray
Patches release nicotine slowly. Some are worn all the time and some should be taken off at night. Inhalators, gum and sprays act more quickly and may be better for helping with cravings.
There's no evidence that any single type of NRT is more effective than another. However, there is strong evidence to show that using a combination of NRT's is more effective than using a single product. Often the best way to use an NRT is to combine a patch with a faster acting form of NRT such as a gum, inhalator or nasal spray.
Treatment with NRT usually lasts 8-12 weeks, before you gradually reduce the dose and eventually stop.
If you are not familiar with the term 'Cold Turkey', it simply means to quit without using any smoking cessation aid to help you do so. The probability of you achieving this is slim to non, however it can work for some people who have a strong enough determination or reason to quit.
The potential side effects of going cold turkey are:
- Intense cravings for cigarettes
- Feeling Down
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Trouble Concentrating
- Increased Appetite
- Cough or Sore Throat
- Changes in Bowel Habits
I would highly recommend either using Vaping or NRT as a way of quitting, as the side effects listed above can lead to other problems in your health and wellbeing.
If you are considering vaping as an option, you can purchase from an online vape shop as this is where you can find the best deals.