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There’s an old joke that goes: quitting smoking is easy – I’ve done it dozens of times. As one year rolls into another, we are once again at peak quitting season, and while the above quip might raise a smile, the challenge of giving up the cigarettes is really not a laughing matter.  

After all, nicotine is no less addictive than heroin. When you look at it like that, it should come as no surprise that only around five percent of serious attempts to beat the habit by going cold turkey end in the would-be quitter still being smoke-free six months later 

The vaping option 

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The good news is that there is a wealth of options available to help wean you off the cigarettes. Patches, gum, even hypnotherapy are all worth considering. But here in the 2020s, e-cigarettes have become the most common and successful tool for leaving the smokes behind with minimal withdrawal symptoms.  

Intuitively, this makes sense if you want to make the withdrawal gradually. With a vape, you can still achieve a nicotine hit, but without the additional toxins present in smoke. Then, over time, you can look to transition from nicotine to a herbal vape. For example, CBD vape juice is readily available and as well as being a substitute for nicotine, it is becoming a popular way to administer CBD, even among those who have never smoked before. 

Whatever might be in your vape pen, the indications are that vaping gives you a better chance of becoming an ex-smoker in 2021 that any other quitting aids. So what should you expect when you transition from cigarettes to vapes? 

Making the change 

Some people switch straight from cigarettes to vapes overnight, while others transition gradually, first substituting one, then two, then three cigarettes per day. There is no “right way” but if you take the former option, be aware that you will still experience some cigarette withdrawal, especially over the first week. Make sure loved ones are aware that you might be a little more short-tempered than usual! 

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If you take the second option, you should go at your own pace, but at the same time, push yourself to make the next step. Otherwise, there is a risk of simply becoming a dual smoker, which will bring few if any benefits 

Within as little as 48 hours of making the switch, you will notice your sense of taste and smell has improved. This is because the receptors in your mouth that have been constantly bombarded by the toxins in smoke are finally getting a chance to recover. It might sound counter-intuitive, but you are also likely to find yourself coughing more than usual. It won’t last for long, and is just brought about by your lungs clearing some of the toxic debris that has accumulated over the years.  

A vital step 

Vaping can, in itself, carry risks and you should be conscious of them. However, don’t let them disguise the fact that there is broad consensus than e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking. For thousands, they are a vital first step in kicking the nicotine habit and leading a healthier life.  

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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