Tips for using vaping to quit smoking
Electronic cigarettes were originally invented as a smoking cessation tool. In recent years, vaping has taken off to help people quit smoking and as a recreational alternative to traditional cigarettes, as they’re often more affordable and discrete. Some people use vaping as a way to curb their smoking habit in a sustainable manner.
However, switching to vaping doesn’t make cigarettes less appealing, and it can be difficult to stay the course rather than vaping full-time. Here are some tips for those who wish to use vaping to quit smoking for good.
Change the Flavor
One of the things about vaping that appeals to so many is the variety of flavor options, rather than the traditional choice of tobacco or menthol flavor with cigarettes. As smell and taste play a significant role in memory formation and habits triggering, changing the flavor can be an effective way to disassociate from the taste of a cigarette. This approach is similar to removing habit triggers like drinking coffee or alcohol during the initial quitting phase.
Try visiting a vapor juice store for all of your vaping needs, and choose a few flavors that appeal to you. It might take some trial and error to find one that works for you.
Start Scaling Back on the Nicotine
An alternative to changing the flavor right away is to stick with the tobacco flavor initially, but slightly decrease the nicotine dose. By doing so, you’ll start the difficult task of cutting back. While you may have the same amount of “smokes” per day while vaping, you’ll be weaning yourself off the nicotine addiction you’ve developed over the years without changing your routine.
Even though this change won’t be readily apparent, you’re still likely to feel the effects of this shift, however slight they may be. Stick with your new nicotine dose for two to four weeks before making your next change and lowering the dose again.
Habits have a way of sneaking up on people when they’re stressed or bored. Smoking, in particular, is heavily tied into stress-relief as it has a calming effect when the nicotine enters the bloodstream. During periods of boredom, it’s easier to start thinking about things that you don’t need, and don’t even necessarily want. This is comparable to late night snacking while watching television; the brain isn’t otherwise stimulated, and the mind starts to roam.
While quitting smoking, start to work on finding another outlet for stress and boredom. If you’ve wanted to start a new fitness regimen, now’s the time to take baby steps toward that goal. Find tasks to keep you busy during downtime, rather than letting your mind become too disengaged.
A lot of people find success by tricking their mind with physical cues that are similar to smoking, such as chewing on straws. This creates the physical sensation of having a cigarette in their mouth and helps offset the craving.
Start to Leave Your Vape Behind
Once you’ve created distractions to help offset your cravings and have achieved a low dose of nicotine in combination with a different flavor, it’s time to start making it more difficult to vape regularly. Start by skipping one of your usual vaping breaks, leaving your vape at home when you go to work or in the trunk of your car where it can’t be easily accessed through the day. Alternatively, if you’re going out for a night, leave the vape at home.
It’s important not to push yourself too hard with this step, as it can lead to relapse. This is especially important if you spend time with friends who are still smoking.
Vaping is healthier than smoking and more versatile in terms of what you control. When using a vape to help you quit smoking, create a plan and stick to it for the greatest chance of success.