Vaping 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Quitting Cigarettes

Do you remember the first time you attempted to quit smoking? You might have started out really motivated and enthusiastic, only to throw in the towel in the first few days. Since then, you’ve had a brush with it all – nicotine gum, patches, hypnosis, cold turkey, motivational programs.

In the last decade, all of this has fallen away in favor of e-cigarettes. Yet when it comes to reading and understanding much of the research concerning vaping, as well as choosing how to begin, it all comes down to the two biggest variables.

The Liquid

If you’re brand new to the concept, you should read a comprehensive guide to vaping. In short, vaping is a new way to deliver nicotine to the system and satisfy the hand-mouth desire smokers have. You should vape in lieu of smoking cigarettes, tapering down on your nicotine usage until you no longer need to smoke or vape.

The nicotine in an e-cigarette is contained in a liquid. Nicotine levels in an e-liquid can be customized based on your current or desired dependency. Typically, these will go no higher than 24 mg, even though most smokers will be fine starting with a liquid that offers 12 to 18 mg of nicotine.

The nicotine makes up a small percentage of the liquid itself. The two most popular ingredients making up the bulk of the liquid are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. Vegetable glycerin is considered healthier than propylene glycol, although it is thicker.

E-liquids also come in an endless range of flavors. Always check the ingredients of your liquids, and avoid flavor additives like diacetyl, which is currently rarely used, but still potentially harmful in the long term.

When choosing a liquid, always bear in mind that the whole goal is to improve your health, not trade one harmful vice for another.

The Device

Secondary to the e-liquid is the device you use. Most of these are an l-ion battery with a tank or cartridge with a mouthpiece that screws on top. When you read studies concerning the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes, always consider that a range of devices and liquids are being used.

Shopping for your first e-cigarette can be a little intimidating, but there are a few helpful tips that can make it a lot easier. The first is to avoid “mods”, which are frequently very large variable voltage devices with removable, rechargeable batteries inside.

Mods are usually for people who view vape culture as a serious hobby, not a cessation method. They also pose a greater risk in terms of battery failure and malfunction.

The second is to buy a starter kit which includes everything you’ll need to begin. Look for a kit that offers a simple, pen-style battery and cartridge for the liquid, as well as replacement coils and a charging cable.

Research is still forthcoming, but one thing is for sure: vaping contains a tiny fraction of the chemicals we’d find in the average cigarette. It’s also proving to be a more reliable, less smelly way to quit tobacco for good. If you’ve tried it all, but still can’t put that pack down, e-cigarettes are the next stop on your journey to being smoke-free.