Welcome to Vaping vs Smoking
As a smoker for nearly 30 years I have spent the last 22 years trying to quit and particularly so over the last five since my son was born. I have had some success over the years here and there and have tried everything, the best success I had was with Champix, I quit for 3 months without too much fuss, unfortunately as soon as I was taken off the drug it made me very ill and all the cravings came back pretty much overnight. Although I ended up smoking again the 3 months did give me a little taste of what it would be like to be an ex smoker, I was infinitely fitter (regularly running 5K), I could breath easier, I slept better and felt ten years younger! I have also tried Zyban (which I had a bad reaction to), lozenges and gums (which mess up your stomach and give you chronic wind), patches (which give you a rash and an itch) and inhalators (which are pretty much like sucking air!). Basically I’ve tried it all and although I can often give up for anywhere from a week to a month it never lasts long, alcohol is normally my Achilles heal and I have reached the point where I have pretty much given up giving up!
Although I have tried e-cigs in the past they have been the ones you can buy in the supermarket in the UK, if you suck them hard enough for long enough you can get a bit of a hit, somewhere between an inhalator and a silk cut extra mild but generally they only served as an extra top up when using other forms of NRT. Whenever I have tried to use them instead of cigarettes I have failed far worse than any other type of nicotine replacement I have tried.
My interest in e-cigs was rekindled after a conversation with a friend at work who used a different type of e-cig, unlike the supermarket version they look nothing like a cigarette and instead of having disposable cartridges they use a refillable liquid chamber, after assurances that these ‘work’ I embarked on a fact finding mission on the Internet to see if this really could be the answer to me finally quitting smoking?
There were two questions I really wanted answering . . .
1. Can electronic cigarettes really help me quit smoking for good?
2. Are electronic cigarettes really as harmless as it is claimed?
As it turns out it is very hard to find reliable information on electronic cigarettes as virtually every site you find has an agenda, they are either trying to sell e-cigs or are completely anti smoking and therefore completely anti e-cig! After much searching and comparison of opinions and data however I finally found the answer to both questions . . . and the answer to both is unfortunately no!
1. Chances are electronic cigarettes will not help me quit smoking . . .
2. Electronic cigarettes are not harmless . . .
That’s not where the story ends though as what did become apparent was . . .
1 . Although electronic cigarettes may not help me quit smoking they are an excellent (not to mention vastly cheaper) substitute and are relatively painless to switch to .
2. Although electronic cigarettes are not harmless they are fair less harmful than conventional cigarettes
The conclusions I have drawn are . . .
. . . firstly that if you do not smoke then don’t believe the hype, e-cigs are not a harmless way to relax, they are addictive and, just like normal cigarettes, contain carcinogens and poisons, tobacco companies are always looking to recruit new users of their products and creating a myth that e-cigs are a healthy and cool alternative to smoking is just bullshit! If you really have to vape then make sure you always use a 0% nicotine free liquid, even then it won’t be harmless.
. . . finally, and most importantly, if you are like me a smoker that can’t kick the habit then you will see vast improvements in your health and savings in your pocket by switching to an electronic cigarette, although it won’t directly help you quit your can cut down liquid strengths just like switching to lighter cigarettes and it’s one good step in the right direction.
The information I have used to reach these conclusions plus much more info on vaping, the equipment, the health risks and financial comparisons are the subject of this blog site, I will also be keeping a diary of my experiences.