When you quit smoking and start vaping, you embark on a journey of transition and potential health improvements by substituting traditional cigarettes with electronic vaping devices that deliver nicotine in a less harmful way. Over time, you may experience reduced exposure to harmful chemicals, improved lung function, decreased risk of smoking-related diseases, and reduced secondhand smoke effects.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU QUIT SMOKING AND START VAPING?
Smoking and vaping are two distinct methods of consuming nicotine: Smoking involves the combustion of tobacco or other substances, producing harmful smoke (1) that is inhaled into the lungs. Vaping is a relatively recent phenomenon that emerged in the early 21st century that involves the use of electronic devices, commonly called e-cigarettes or vapes, which heat a liquid (e-liquid or vape juice) to create an aerosol that is inhaled.
The shift towards vaping as a smoking cessation method has garnered significant attention in recent years. This transition is primarily driven by a growing awareness of the health risks associated with traditional smoking. Vaping offers a potential solution by providing a way to satisfy nicotine cravings without the combustion and tar associated with cigarettes and cigarette smoke. It has become an increasingly popular choice among those looking to quit smoking, as it allows for a more gradual reduction in nicotine intake and the option to choose from a wide range of e-liquids with varying nicotine levels.
In this blog we aim to explore the effects of quitting smoking and transitioning to vaping!
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF QUITTING SMOKING?
WHAT HAPPENS TO LUNG HEALTH WHEN YOU QUIT SMOKING?
One of the most profound health benefits of quitting smoking is the significant improvement in lung health. Smoking is notorious for wreaking havoc on the respiratory system, but when you quit, your lungs start to recover almost immediately.
The first noticeable change is increased lung capacity, allowing you to breathe more effortlessly. Over time, the cilia in your airways, which are tiny hair-like structures responsible for clearing mucus and foreign particles, begin to regenerate (2). This leads to a reduction in coughing and the ability to expel mucus and toxins from your lungs more effectively.
Moreover, quitting smoking dramatically lowers the risk of lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. It's a testament to the remarkable resilience of the human body that, with the cessation of smoking, your lungs can start the journey toward healing and improved function.
WHAT HAPPENS TO HEART HEALTH WHEN YOU QUIT SMOKING?
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, as it leads to the narrowing and hardening of the arteries, increasing the chances of blood clots and artery-clogging plaque buildup. However, when you quit smoking, your cardiovascular system begins to recover rapidly. Within just a few hours, your heart rate and blood pressure start to drop, reducing the strain on your heart.
Over time, your risk of heart disease decreases significantly. The improvement continues with lower levels of carbon monoxide and oxygen levels in your blood returning to normal, increasing your body's overall oxygen supply (3). All these positive changes reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, making quitting smoking one of the most powerful steps you can take to safeguard your cardiovascular health and enhance your overall well-being.
TRANSITIONING TO VAPING
WHAT IS VAPING?
Vaping is a method of inhaling and exhaling aerosol produced by an electronic device, typically known as an e-cigarette or vape. Vaping relies on heating a liquid, often referred to as e-liquid or vape juice, that usually contains nicotine, flavourings, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine. When heated, it transforms into an inhalable aerosol, simulating the act of smoking without the combustion and harmful tar associated with conventional cigarettes.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES AND COMPONENTS OF DIFFERENT VAPE KITS?
E-Cigarettes consist of several key components. Firstly, there's the vape battery, which powers the device and can be rechargeable or disposable. Connected to the battery is the atomizer, responsible for heating the e-liquid or vape juice. When the atomizer heats the e-liquid, it creates a vapor that users inhale.
Vaping devices come in various shapes and sizes, offering a range of options for those looking to transition away from traditional smoking or explore different flavors and nicotine levels. Some vaping devices have adjustable airflow and wattage settings to customize the vaping experience, whereas others have a single power setting and could be inhale-activated. Additionally, many devices include a mouthpiece for inhaling the vapor and a tank or pod to hold the e liquid.
The different vape kits can be categorised as follows:
- Cigalike E-Cigarettes are designed to look and feel like a tobacco cigarette and mostly use pre-filled refills. Great for beginners and smokers looking to quit.
- Vape pens are close in shape and size to a pen, though some can be fairly robust. These range from using pre-filled refills to having a refillable tank and some may offer adjustability where others may have none.
- Vape mods (also called box mods) allow the user to choose parts like the vape tank, the vape coils and the ‘drip-tip’ (mouthpiece) to tailor their vaping experience. These devices usually allow different power settings, have airflow adjustability and require the user to fill with e-liquid. These devices are known as ‘DL’ or ‘direct lung’ devices, meaning the user draws straight from the device down into the lungs, instead of the MTL vaping or ‘mouth to lung’ inhale technique used for smoking cigarettes and smaller vape devices.
- Pod vapes come in pre-filled and refillable varieties and refer to the ‘pod’ containing e-liquid placed at the top of the device – often the pod functions as the mouthpiece.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF VAPING IN SMOKING CESSATION?
Electronic cigarettes play a role in helping smokers quit by providing an alternative way to satisfy nicotine cravings without the harmful effects of tobacco combustion. Vaping devices allow users to control nicotine intake by selecting e liquids with varying nicotine levels, making it possible to gradually reduce nicotine dependency. Moreover, the act of vaping can replicate the hand-to-mouth habit of smoking, which can be comforting for those trying to quit.
Before the existence of vaping, smokers used other products known as ‘nicotine replacement therapy’ to replace the nicotine from smoking while they quit cigarettes. These products delivered nicotine in different ways – slow release by nicotine gum where the nicotine is absorbed through the mouth, transdermal nicotine patches that deliver nicotine through the skin, inhalator that deliver a concentrated burst of nicotine and the use of other medications that attempt to stop the mechanism of cravings themselves.
Recent evidence indicates that vaping could be up to twice as effective as these other forms of nicotine replacement therapy in helping smokers to quit, demonstrating the value of e-cigarettes and vaping as a smoking cessation tool.
*2024 Update - The largest review of evidence conducted to-date by Cochrane found that E-Cigarettes are more effective for quitting smoking than nicotine replacement therapy! (4)
WHAT ARE THE IMMEDIATE EFFECTS OF QUITTING SMOKING AND STARTING VAPING?
When you quit smoking, your body experiences a range of nicotine withdrawal symptoms (5). Understanding these symptoms can help you navigate the initial challenges of quitting.
Nicotine is highly addictive, and your body becomes accustomed to a regular supply of it when you smoke. When you quit, you'll likely experience intense cravings for nicotine. These cravings can be powerful and difficult to resist, making quitting smoking a daunting task.
Nicotine withdrawal can leave you feeling irritable and on edge. Your brain has grown used to the calming effects of nicotine, and without it, you may find yourself easily agitated and impatient.
- Mood Swings
Nicotine withdrawal can also lead to mood swings. You might find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, or even experiencing periods of heightened stress. These mood swings can make the quitting process emotionally challenging.
Vaping with nicotine can help to satisfy the cravings for a cigarette, as well as reduce irritability and mood swings as nicotine is still being delivered to the body!
WHAT ARE THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF QUITTING SMOKING?
WILL MY SENSE OF TASTE AND SMELL IMPROVE?
One of the remarkable and immediate benefits of quitting smoking or switching to vaping is the restoration of your sense of taste and smell. Smoking impairs these senses due to the damage it causes to the taste buds and olfactory receptors. Over time, you may not even notice the gradual decline because it happens so slowly.
However, within a few weeks of quitting smoking, you'll begin to notice changes. Food will taste richer and more flavourful, and you'll be able to savour the subtle nuances in different dishes. The world of aromas will also open up to you, from the scent of flowers to the smell of a freshly brewed cup of coffee (6). This enhancement of your senses can make the process of quitting incredibly rewarding, as you rediscover the enjoyment of your favorite foods and scents.
WILL QUITTING SMOKING REDUCE RISK OF SMOKING-RELATED DISEASES?
One of the most significant long-term effects of quitting smoking or transitioning to vaping is the substantial reduction in the risk of smoking-related diseases. Smoking is linked to a range of life-threatening conditions, including heart disease, stroke, various cancers, and respiratory illnesses such as COPD. By quitting smoking, you take a significant step towards improving your overall health and longevity.
WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF SWITCHING TO VAPING?
Quitting smoking not only improves your physical health but also your financial well-being. Smoking is an expensive habit, with the cost of cigarettes adding up significantly over time. By quitting smoking with a vape kit, you can save a substantial amount of money every year – around 70%-85% on what you would spend on cigarettes!
Vaping, while not entirely cost-free, can be more budget-friendly than smoking. Initially, there may be some upfront costs for purchasing a vape kit and e-liquids, but these expenses are typically lower than what you'd spend on cigarettes in the long run. Moreover, many people find that they consume less nicotine when vaping compared to smoking, which can further reduce costs.
DOES QUITTING SMOKING IMPROVE YOUR SKIN AND REDUCE WRINKLES?
Anyone looking to improve their appearance of their skin or searching for the best beauty hacks, quitting smoking or switching to an e-cigarette is one of the most important things you can do to delay the onset of wrinkles due to the damage that smoking does to elastin and collagen in the skin (7).
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO VAPING?
Transitioning to an E Cigarette can be a positive step towards a healthier lifestyle, but it's essential to approach it with the right mindset and information. Here are some tips to help ensure a successful transition:
- Do Your Research: Before making the switch, take the time to research vaping thoroughly. Understand the different type vape kits available, such as e-cigarettes and vape pens and vape mods, as well as the various e-liquid flavors and nicotine strengths. Knowledge is your ally in making informed choices.
- Choose the Right Nicotine Level: Selecting the appropriate nicotine strength is crucial. If you're a heavy smoker, you may want to start with a higher nicotine concentration and gradually reduce it over time. If you're a light smoker, a lower nicotine level might suffice. The goal is to find a level that satisfies your cravings without overloading your system.
- Experiment with Flavors: One advantage of vaping is the wide variety of e-liquid flavors available. Experiment with different flavors to find one that appeals to your taste buds. This can make the transition more enjoyable and help you distance yourself from the taste of tobacco.
- Seek Support: Transitioning away from smoking can be challenging, and having support from friends, family, or even online communities can make a significant difference. Share your goals with others who understand what you're going through and can offer encouragement.
- Set a Quit Date: Establish a specific date to quit smoking entirely and commit to it. This can provide a sense of accountability and motivation. Plan ahead by removing cigarettes and ashtrays from your home and identifying triggers that make you want to smoke.
- Monitor Your Progress: Keep track of your vaping habits, including the amount of e-liquid and the frequency of use. Gradually reduce the nicotine strength as you become more comfortable with vaping. Ultimately, the goal is to wean yourself off nicotine entirely.
- Stay Informed: Vaping technology and regulations are continually evolving. Stay informed about the latest developments and safety guidelines to ensure you're using vaping products responsibly and effectively. Regularly check for updates from reputable sources to make informed decisions about your vaping journey.
Remember that transitioning from smoking to vaping is a personal journey, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your successes along the way and remember: the aim is to improve your health and well-being by breaking free from tobacco addiction.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU QUIT SMOKING AND START VAPING - CONCLUSION
The harms from smoking are well known and e-cigarettes are proving to be an effective way to ditch tobacco products. The benefits when you quit smoking and start vaping kick in pretty quickly, so make the switch today to see some of these benefits as soon as possible!
At SMOKO, we believe in making the transition from smoking to vaping as easy as possible – it's stressful enough without having to worry about components for the larger, complex vape devices known as vape mods, and carrying around spare parts and e-liquid bottles wherever you go.
This is why the refills with our devices are pre-filled with our UK-made liquid: to make the switch as easy as possible! No mess, no fuss, just pop your refill on your rechargeable battery and draw on the E-Cigarette using MTL vaping technique and enjoy!
Check out the SMOKO E-Cigarette and Vape starter kit deals below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Written by Dan Overgage
Dan Overgage – is a former smoker of 10 years until he became a client of SMOKO E-Cigarettes. Dan started working with SMOKO 5 years ago after successfully quitting using our e-cigarettes and works across our Customer Service and heads up our content creation and research with a strong focus on all things quitting smoking. During his tenure with SMOKO, Dan has written countless blogs and consults with countless clients every day to help them to stay smoke-free.