Our music writer, Jen Adamson, took the vape challenge to see if a week of swapping roll-ups for a vaporiser would help her to cut her smoking habit down and eventually help her quit. We asked her to keep a smoking diary, here’s how she got on….
I’m a smoker and for every health reason under the sun, I need to and should cut down. I think with the realisation that I’ve now smoked heavily for a good 10 years, it’s high time that I give it a go and at the very least try for a week to quit. Drum roll please…
My challenge is to cut back with the help of a vaporiser. I smoke a maximum of about 10 thin roll ups a day. I personally think I’m a heavy smoker, although I have already changed my smoking habits. I used to smoke normal cigarettes before I started smoking roll-ups. One day I would like to completely stop smoking, for good.
“First let me explain how the electronic vaporiser works: they are battery powered devices that produce a water vapour that resembles smoke. The vaporiser that I tried was on the large side, being around 5 inches long compared to a roll up which is around 3 inches in length. The vaporiser unscrews in the middle so that you can drop some of the refillable e-liquid inside. While smoking you press a blue button on the side of the tube at the same time as you inhale. It was really easy to use and simple to re-fill. I used nicotine infused e-juice in a pomegranate flavour.”
I work in a bar and today I’m doing the day shift. During these shifts I usually smoke five roll-ups spread out to break up the work. As it’s the first day I’m really making an effort to smoke the vape, I even sat and smoked it inside the office, but the vape isn’t giving me the satisfaction that I’d normally get from cigarettes.
As well as smoking the vaporiser yesterday I also smoked three roll ups. I’m trying not to change my routine too much and the cravings are starting to kick in. I enjoy rolling cigarettes and having five minutes to myself outside. I want to smoke the vaporiser during the times I usually smoke, opposed to smoking more during the day because I have the vape. Today has been stressful and I’ve smoked five roll ups.
Today I have the day off, Hurrah! I’ve started to smoke the vaporiser inside my house, which feels really unnatural and weird. I don’t smoke inside my home and my daughter doesn’t like me smoking the vape inside either, even though it doesn’t smell and the smoke isn’t harmful. Back on the doorstep for me! My cravings are easing a little and I only had three roll ups today.
I’M CHEWING THE END OF THE VAPE! I’m trying hard not to smoke roll ups but I just don’t feel I’m getting the nicotine hit that I need from the vaporiser. I’ve also smoked three roll ups today.
I cracked today! I went out with some friends who also smoke, so I did too. It is just so hard to say no when everyone around you is smoking. I’ve finally realised that I have no will power, something that you need in large supply if you want to cut down smoking. I tried to use the vaporiser as well, but I can’t get used to smoking it inside, personally I think it is a little bit rude to vape indoors. I’ve still gone down from 10 to four or five roll -ups a day but the vape hasn’t left my mouth!
I figured out today that it’s the ‘hit’ that the vape isn’t giving me. When inhaling it doesn’t give that ‘drag’ feeling that you get when you inhale on a cigarette. I think the vaporiser I have is much too mild. I thought because I smoke quite thin roll ups that I wouldn’t need a strong vaporiser, that I would be fine on a milder one. In reality I think it would be easier to cut down if I had a stronger one, but I guess it is all trial and error where vaping is concerned.
Day Seven, the last day!
I haven’t given up yet! The one thing the vape has really done has helped me to cut right back! I haven’t stopped smoking completely; smoking is a hard habit to break. I think the vaporiser is a way for me to replace one harmful habit for another not so harmful one. I think one of the reasons I find it so hard to quit is that I enjoy having a moment to stand outside and take a break. The vaporiser is not a cure for smoking, but a way to replace cigarettes, the pressure shouldn’t be put on them but on you. Willpower is the biggest thing, but undoubtedly they do help. I’ve liked having fingers that don’t stink of smoke and clothes that don’t reek of it either. A colleague at the bar did notice that I smell less of smoke now and, to be honest, I didn’t even take that into consideration!
I’m going to carry on using the vape, as a replacement, so that I can lower my nicotine intake by decreasing the amount of nicotine juice I put inside the vaporiser. Hopefully I can progress to just smoke the flavoured juice and hopefully I can stop smoking roll-ups all together. Baby steps…
Tips for Swapping Tobacco for Electronic Cigarettes
We’ve asked online vaping and e-liquid specialists VapeClub.co.uk what advice they could give to a newbie just starting out in their transition from smoking to vaping. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Try a few different devices and pick one that suits your needs
Some people want the look and feel of a tobacco cigarette so they’d be more suited to ‘cig-a-like’ devices. Other people want the improved performance of the second generation devices that don’t look much like a cigarette but provide a better throat hit or ‘drag’ experience. Have a go on a few different models and find the one that will work best for you.
2. Choosing the right nicotine strength:
The nicotine strength in electronic cigarette usually ranges from 24mg (Very High) to 0mg (Nicotine free). Finding the right strength for you is going to take a little bit of trial and error. Vaping is not 100% efficient many smokers find that when they make the move to vaping they actually use a higher nicotine strength than they imagined they would need.
3. Prime it for full effect.
A few primer puffs will allow the atomiser to get up to full heat before you start to inhale and allow the device to work at its full potential.
4. Do not be afraid to experiment with flavours!
It’s very common after even just a short while vaping for people to realise just how much they don’t enjoy the flavour of tobacco.
5. Get involved in the community and learn as much as you can!
As a new vaper it can be a bit daunting. Don’t worry, we have ALL been there, and there is an ever growing community of vapers both online and in real life who are more than happy to give you tips and advice and help you learn everything you need to know.
Hang in there… Anything that is important to you is worth fighting for. Good luck and Vape on.