Giving up this Stoptober

Superior Vapour

The Stoptober health campaign aims to encourage and assist 9 million adult smokers in the country to finally quit smoking through the help of a positive mass quitting trigger, personal support and a variety of resources.

Despite the well-established risks and range of tools for quitting (including vaping), plenty of smokers still struggle to kick tobacco. If you find yourself in this camp then read on as you may well find the advice or even motivation to help you make that first step.

History of Stoptober

Since its inception in 2012, Public Health England (PHE) has been running the nationwide Stoptober campaign to give smokers the chance to be completely smoke-free for 28 days. Its premise is based on numerous psychological studies that point to 28 days as a crucial window to quit any addicting habit.

More than saving money (the average cost of a cigarette pack in the UK is £10.40 with sectors calling for price hikes), quitting smoking will also reduce your chances of getting various cancer strains and cardiovascular diseases.

On top of that, you’d also stop exposing those around you to second-hand smoke, which is shown to be a lot more dangerous. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a ‘safe level’ of second-hand smoke.

The very first Stoptober campaign, in fact, saw a 50% increase in quitting attempts in October 2012 compared with other months of the same year. This translates to an additional 350,000 smokers attempting to quit that year, as well as saving 10,400 discounted life years.

Over the course of six years, Stoptober has led over one million quit attempts and is the biggest mass quit movement in the UK.

Stoptober 2018

This Stoptober 2018, PHE provided various support to help you quit smoking. This includes Facebook groups, an app, as well as in-person support from stop smoking services in your area.

You will also find information on getting nicotine replacement therapy products. On top of that, you’ll get to read various success stories from those who stopped smoking with the help of Stoptober.

thank you for not smoking

How Vaping Can Help You Quit

Apart from going to support groups and relying on sheer willpower, you are also encouraged to use alternative forms of nicotine. This can be in the form of gums, patches, or e-cigarettes—all of which can help manage any withdrawal symptoms through the use of nicotine sans the toxic chemicals.

It may surprise some to know that Public Health England backed vaping for the first time in 2017, saying that over 50% of smokers used it to quit smoking the year prior. After this, vape kit sales increased by 29%. The consensus towards backing vaping as a very effective and comparatively safe way to quit smoking has truly shifted and this move (which was hugely under-reported) is significant.

This can be attributed to the fact that PHE found vaping to be 95% safer than smokingAnother study even encourages the daily use of e-cigarettes to completely stop smoking, as opposed to using it infrequently. Refillable tanks are more recommended, as these could deliver higher doses of nicotine.

There is also no risk to bystanders, according to Public Health England, who are exposed to vapour smoke. Tobacco levels are found to be lower in vapers and almost at par with that of non-smokers.

It’s not just PHE that backed vaping. The London Fire Brigade also urged smokers to use e-cigarettes, citing that smokers are at risk of causing fire 266 times more than vapers.

Although the National Health Service is yet to officially prescribe vaping, various health organisations—including the Cancer Research UK, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the British Medical Association—have all pushed for its use as an alternative to smoking.

If you want to successfully kick the habit through the use of vaping, here’s a step-by-step guide that you can follow. Note that the idea here is to wean you off over time:

Step #1: Know how to use an e-cigarette

There are a lot of vaporiser models out in the market, especially since it’s been around the UK for the past 10 years.

Giving up smoking is a huge investment in your health, which is also why you need to invest time and resources in picking the right gear for you. However, buying the newest and coolest looking vape with an e-liquid flavour that you think you might like may not cut it.

You need to have a plan in place to make sure you’ll be able to deal with smoking urges each time they kick in:

  • Figure out the number of puffs you need to get the amount of nicotine that your body craves. Keep in mind that one cigarette puff contains more nicotine than one puff from an e-cigarette.
  • Understand the various components of vaping. This includes vape kits, pod kits, e-liquids, how the entire device works, the varieties available, and many more. We have written a number of guides on our blog to help you out.
  • Go to your local vape store and ask the staff who work there for information.
  • Scour the internet for information, but make sure the sources are reliable.
  • If you feel like vaping is fake or artificial, go for a vape that resembles a cigarette. Oral fixation is often a reason behind smoking, so a kit that’s shaped like a cigarette can satisfy that.
  • Start with a higher nicotine level to make sure you get the hit that your body is looking for (more on this later).
  • Manage your expectations, as you may need to go through a few devices to settle with the one that’s right for you.

It may sound tedious, but researching goes a long way in making an informed choice when buying your first vape. If you skip this step, you risk reaching out to the nearest cigarette stick just as fast as you bought your first vape kit.

Step #2: Start with a stronger nicotine content

Nicotine is actually not the content that’s dangerous for smokers; it’s burning tobacco that releases toxins which then causes health problems down the line.

The good thing about vaping is that you can control its nicotine content, depending on your body’s needs. If you’re serious about quitting smoking, you can’t start with a nicotine-free e-liquid (unless you have the willpower to quit cold turkey).

We suggest that you start with an e-liquid that contains the strongest, highest level of nicotine strength. Once you use this, you will see that too much nicotine is a lot better than not getting enough of it (which will cause you to reach for a cigarette).

Additionally, the more you associate vaping with nicotine, the more you will see it as your primary source of a hit instead of cigarettes.

Step #3: Gradually lower the nicotine level of your e-liquid

So you’ve done your research and picked the right gear for you. You are also now vaping an e-liquid that contains the right amount of nicotine that satisfies your cravings.

When you’ve vaped for a while and you feel more comfortable vaping, start to consider dropping your nicotine level. While this may set off an internal panic alarm, know that it will help you in the long run. Just so you’ll know what to expect, you’d feel the difference in nicotine level the same way as you’ll feel the difference in smoking a lighted cigarette.

The key here is going at your own pace. Some vapers who used to smoke lowered their nicotine level after a month of vaping, while others take longer than that. Whatever timeline it is that you feel comfortable with, go with that. If you rush, you’ll feel agitated and risk falling off the wagon.

Step #4: Get e-liquids with low nicotine

Once you get over the hurdle of lowering your nicotine level, you’ll find it easier to go nicotine-free or quitting vaping altogether.

You will realise this when you start ‘forgetting’ to bring your vaping kit or you can go for long periods of time without craving for it. You’ll also feel less agitated when you find yourself in a situation that you don’t have easy access to vaping.

When you’re at this stage, you can start leaving your e-cigarette at home. A couple more months and you’ll feel ready to go from nicotine-free e-liquids to not smoking at all.

Step #5: Talk to people and have the right mindset

In the beginning, you may feel like zero nicotine is a scary thought. What we found to have helped a lot is to talk to those who have successfully kicked the habit—much like a support group.

When you find out how difficult it was for them, as well as the tips and tricks they employed to get over nicotine cravings, you’ll learn how to apply that to your own life.

Your mindset plays a huge role in quitting smoking. Focus on your goal, whether that is to be healthier, to save more money, or both. Know what triggers your smoking urges—lunch breaks with fellow smokers, lighting up after meals—and avoid these situations until such a time that you feel stronger. Each person has their own timeline. Quitting altogether may be too much to ask of your body, so focus on taking baby steps instead.

Lastly, don’t be scared of failing. Find the method that works for you, whether that’s quitting cold turkey or gradually slowing down. If you relapse, take that as an opportunity to figure out what was the cause of the relapse so you’ll be more conscious of it the next time it’s triggered.

Road To Being Smoke-Free

Asking for help goes a long way in quitting smoking. You can go to a family member, a friend, or even an online forum to make sure you’re surrounded by supportive people. To find out more go to the 2018 Stoptober NHS website.

And if you’re thinking that vaping could be your best chance of quitting smoking, then feel free to email us at info@superiorvapour.com or give us a call on 01179 669309. We’ll help you pick out your first vaping kit and e-liquid.

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How Did You Quit Smoking?

Superior Vapour

I think we’re all aware by now that, like swimming in shark-infested waters in a meat dress, nothing good can come from smoking.

Half of all smokers will die as a direct result of their addiction, and the lethal combination of tar, nicotine and tobacco accounts for a quarter of all cancer deaths in the UK each year.

But even though we know it’s bad, that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to stop. In the UK alone there are there are 10 million of us still smoking, with an average of 3-4 million attempting to stop at any one time.

How did you quit smoking

Quitting Smoking, or Stopping?

One of our main issues with quitting smoking is the word, ‘quit’, itself.

The word quit implies that smoking is something that can be casually thrown away on a whim when the reality is wildly different.

Even if you decide to stop abruptly, which some studies show could be the best thing for long-term cessation, it still takes a lot of strategy, thought and willpower.

And that’s partially because of the way nicotine actually interacts with our brains.

The Science of Nicotine

That’s right, we’re about to drop some knowledge.

We tend to frame the way we think about nicotine the same way we think about most addiction. That, in order to stave of withdrawal symptoms and stay normal, our bodies need to ‘ingest’ it in some form - but nicotine addiction isn’t that simple.

When we smoke cigarettes the part of our brain that makes us do things receives a rapid hit of nicotine, creating an association between smoking and whatever action we were performing at the time.

This new association is what ends up creating the powerful urges that make us need to pick up a cigarette. Whether you usually smoke a cigarette right after a meal, or you’re a weekend warrior after a few pints, nicotine alters your brain to think of these two actions as a whole.

That’s why you get that gnawing feeling to buy a pack of cigarettes every time you have a couple of pints down you. And that’s why, even if you hate smoking, or only have a couple a week, it is so difficult to stop.

But don’t worry, this is by no means irreversible.

How to Quit Smoking

Look, the fact you’re already on an e-commerce vape site is a very positive step.

We’re assuming that you’re here because you’ve heard that we’re a damn good cessation technique. Which, not to big ourselves up, we are - even the NHS thinks so - and we’ll get back to that in a bit.

But simply buying a brand new vape isn’t enough, you need to have a well-constructed plan in place as to how you’re going to deal with those urges when they kick in, and the real drive behind it to enforce it.

Why vaping works

Why Vapes Work

Vaping has risen in popularity over the last few years, to the point that there are around an estimated 2 million people are vaping in the UK alone.

Whilst reducing the amount you smoke actually has an extremely small health benefit, evidence has shown that more smokers who do reduce the amount they intake will have stopped for good a year on. And if they do it with another nicotine product, they’re even more likely to stop.

Vapes can contain a small amount of nicotine - which is controllable by you - without burning tobacco, which is what releases the deadly toxins. In fact, vapes are more than 100 times safer than smoking a tobacco cigarette

Moreover, the more nicotine you get from something that isn’t a cigarette, the weaker the association between smoking and the nicotine hit becomes.

In reality, there are many different tried and tested methods to stop smoking, and you might end up burning through a lot of them before you end up finding the right one for you.

One of the things that we’ve found has helped people to stop over the years, is to talk to people that have managed to actually kick the habit. Acting as a posthumous support system, hearing about the hurdles ex-smokers have faced and the tips and tricks they used to get over them, can really help to reaffirm your resolve to do the same.

So, because we’re nice like that, we’ve rounded up a few ex-smokers and found out the strategies they used to stop for good.

How Did You Quit?

Kimberley Jones, Ex-Smoker of 8 years

“The thing I found most detrimental to quitting smoking for good was that ‘only one more’ mentality. I can’t count on both hands the number of last cigarettes I had. The best thing I did was to tell everyone I was stopping, that way I was held completely accountable, not only by myself but by my friends and family too. It made it way harder to break the fast.”

Mark Daughtrey, Ex-Smoker of 20 years

“My problem was that I always associated smoking with positive experiences, mainly after a meal or worse of all, going out for a drink. Every time I had a pint I’d get the urge for a drink and I was ending up smoking more on one Saturday than the rest of the week put together. What broke it for me was starting to associate smoking negatively. The old elastic band on the wrist trick worked for me - every time I smoked I’d snap the band. A bit sadistic but it worked!”

Andy Bowen, Ex-Smoker of 4 years

“I know I’m still a bit green, but keeping busy was what stopped me from going back to the habit. I actually stopped smoking once before but had a relapse on a lads holiday. What worked this time was having set plans in place every time I got the itch. Even if it was just doodling, or busying myself with work, I made sure to have a contingency plan in place to keep my mind and hands busy.”

Chloe Simmonds, Ex-Smoker of 15 years

“As soon as I made the decision to stop, I literally just attempted everything possible. Nicotine patches and gum, hypnotherapy, I burned through it all in one go and I just kept falling off the bandwagon. I realised that I was not the kind of person who could just give it all up in one go, I lacked the willpower! I found vaping really helped. I could still get a nicotine fix and go and not feel like I was missing out - a lot of my friends still smoke - on a weekend. Gradually I’ve even managed to lower my nicotine levels down.”

Elias Sukkar, Ex-Smoker of 25 years

“Keep at it. Stopping smoking is pretty difficult, but the good thing about quitting smoking is that the more times you attempt to quit, the better you become at it. Each time you try to quit, there is some action or something that makes you fail - whether it be you get drunk, you bum 1 cigarette from a friend, or whatever the reason. Each time you quit and fail, you learn a lesson on what to not do the next time. Eventually, you will succeed.”

 

If you’d like to learn more about how vaping can help you to quit smoking, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01179 669309.

Or, better yet, if you’re a Bristol local, stop by our store on East Street (BS3) and chat to one of our super friendly team members.

If you’re curious about vaping itself, but don’t know whether you want to commit - we know what you’re like - check out our blog for more guides and articles on the who, what and why of vaping.

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How to Quit Smoking

Superior Vapour

It’s that time again. You’ve already hashtagged #newyearnewme over so many Instagrams of salads you barely recognise yourself. I mean, it’s three weeks into January and you’re still making the most of that gym membership you signed up for on the first, and honestly, we’re so proud to see it.

How to quit smoking

One of the most popular, and one of the hardest resolutions to stick to every year is to quit smoking for good. Kicking the habit is definitely something you should consider if you haven’t already, with evidence that smoking is directly linked to almost 90% of all lung cancer cases. But, as you and an annual 2.5 million smokers know, it’s not that easy. Although smoking cessation rates were at an all-time high in 2017, only 20% of those that vowed to stop in the first half of 2017 actually quit.

We believe in you though, and that’s gotta count for something right?

But if it’s that not enough, have you ever considered vaping?

Vapes have become Britain’s favourite method of quitting smoking, and with a much higher cessation rate than smokers attempting to quit without the aid of e-cigarettes.

If the New Years resolution you’d like to keep this year is to quit smoking, read on for our best strategies for kicking the habit with vaping.

The Stoptober Campaign in a Nutshell

If you’re unaware of the Stoptober campaign, it’s an annual campaign headed by the Public Health England office that encourages smokers to at least go for a month without smoking. As research shows that if you stop a habit for at least a month, you are more likely to quit for good. The government agency has done this campaign before, but the latest Stoptober campaign was the first time that they’d recommended vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking.

Unsurprisingly, it went well. Vape sales all over the UK shot up by at least 29%, and health officials have predicted smoking statistics will be at a record low in 2018, in part due to the prevalence of vaping.

With the government now backing vaping, we’re hoping that the industry will lose some of the unfair social stigma attached and more people will be able to utilise it to phase out of the life-threatening habit. Plus, if Leo DiCaprio can vape on a beach surrounded by supermodels, it can’t be that bad.

Mind Over Matter

If you’re thinking of quitting the cigarettes, you have to go into it knowing that this is it. No one last drag every other Monday and drunkenly scrounged rollies from the smoking area on a Saturday night. Ya dun. That’s not to say you probably won’t trip up at some point, and that’s okay, as long as you get straight back on the narrow the next day.

The point we’re making is that you need to be sure that you’re all in. And that goes for starting vaping too.

Giving up smoking is a serious investment in your health, so it makes sense that you should invest in your vape gear in a similar way. This isn’t us telling you need to buy the most premium vape gear on the market in order to quit, instead what we’re saying is that you need to do your research before you commit to buying.

There are so many ways to vape, and so many vape kits on the market, you want to make sure that you’re not making the wrong choices and ending up back on the fagas faster than you can say February.

What are vape kits? What are juices? How do vapes work? What varieties are there? Are just some of the questions you might want to find out the answers to before you start checking out your goods (hint: you can find most of them on our blog, here).

And don’t be afraid to stop by your local vape store and ask the guys behind the counter any questions. With the number of resources available both online and instore, there’s no reason why vaping should fail you.

Vaping to quit smoking

Third Time’s The Charm, Maybe

The average smoker takes an average of 30 attempts to quit for good, so it makes sense that the same might be said for using vaping to quit smoking. Although smokers that use vape devices do have a higher cessation rate, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to quite straight off the bat. No matter how good your intentions are.

The main reason for this is that you may not understand what exactly the main driving force behind why you smoke is. If your crutch is nicotine, then vaping with a nicotine free e-liquid isn’t going to persuade you to drop the habit.

Another reason why people smoke is because they have an oral fixation. Some people with this fixation bite their lips, others chew on pencils, while others smoke. While the feeling of smoking and vaping is similar, other people find it artificial and fake. Some even stated that it felt closer to using an inhaler than smoking an actual cigarette. If you feel uncomfortable with vapes because of this reason, then try getting a vape that resembles an actual cigarette. Vapes come in all shapes and sizes, so a change in kit could be the answer to your problem.

Remember, just because it doesn’t stick, doesn’t mean you should immediately go back to smoking cigarettes. Try out different brands, and test different juices. Most of all, figure out why you liked smoking in the first place.

Mix and Match Smoking Cessation Aids

If you run into any problems while trying to quit smoking through vaping, remember that although vaping is currently one of the most recommended options for people who want to quit smoking, it is not the only one. If you feel the constant itch to go back to smoking even if you’re vaping happily, why not join a support group? Talking about your problems with people who are going through the same thing, or have even beat it, is bound to provide some additional support and inspiration.

Also, remember that going cold turkey is never good. If switching is difficult for you, start slow. If you smoke around 3-5 sticks per day, reduce it to 1-2 per day for a while as you get comfortable with vaping. Then do away with smoking altogether while using vaping kits that contain nicotine or tobacco. until you’re happily puffing nicotine free.

The number of adult smokers in the UK has been decreasing gradually over the last few years. In 2016, Cancer Research UK stated that only 8.3 million adults smoked, a massive improvement from the 10.2 million count back in 2007.

If you’ve been struggling to quit smoking for a while, or even if you’ve just decided this year is the year, there is a lot of evidence out there to suggest that you can do it, despite the inevitable road bumps. Vaping is one of the most effective ways to quit smoking, and while we may be a little biased, the NHS is not.

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STOPtober increases sales in vape kits by 29%

Superior Vapour

Despite being dogged by strict government regulation and social stigma, the vaping industry has been effectively and efficiently aiding people to kick their smoking habits for several years.

Health organisations have long been conducting studies on the relative benefits of vaping in comparison to smoking, but now it seems as if they’re finally acknowledging the advantages of vaping as a method of smoking cessation. As such, in 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) officially advocated vaping as a viable way to quit smoking as part of their annual STOPtober campaign.

Vaping and the STOPtober Campaign

What is the STOPtober campaign?

STOPtober is a yearly campaign set up and spearheaded by the NHS in England that takes place throughout the month of October. The campaign is focused on the idea that if someone stops smoking for at least a month, they’re 5 times more likely to quit smoking for good.

In previous years, the NHS has advocated the use of nicotine replacements like gums, inhalers, patches and other medication to stop cravings. They have also offered several support programs, from one to one therapy sessions to free mobile apps to help you stay on track.

This year, the organization has included vaping devices as one of the recognised “stop smoking options” listed on its website. This came as a surprise to many, as vaping in England and the rest of the United Kingdom is under the restrictions of the Tobacco Products Directive which heavily regulates all nicotine products, including e-cigarettes. Although vaping is not illegal in England, these regulations are meant to discourage vape use.

Vaping and the STOPtober Campaign

So with the current tough regulations in England regarding vape use, why was it included in the campaign? There are several speculatory chains of thought regarding this, but many believe that this move resulted from this year’s smoking statistics. According to recent studies, 2017 has seen the sharpest decline in smoking rates in over a decade, and, for the first time ever, more than half of the estimated 2.9 million people in the UK who use e-cigarettes have given up smoking tobacco for good.

In fact, if you check out the official STOPtober campaign website, the website cites studies that show users who have combined vaping with smoking cessation therapy have the highest quitting rates in the country. Similar evidence has been around for years, with vaping advocates repeatedly citing these studies, especially during the height of the TPD outrage, but it seems that regulatory health bodies are only just beginning to acknowledge their validity now.

Of course, championing e-cigs as the primary option for smoking cessation will also benefit the NHS financially. Each year, the NHS spends around £2 billion yearly due to tobacco and smoking-related problems. And, although smoking rates have been decreasing slowly over the past few years, a large part of the population is still smoking or struggling with stopping. Finally adopting what is a rather successful component in the effort to quit smoking is a wise move by the NHS, and will hopefully further decrease the number of active smokers in the UK.

Vaping devices

Effects of the STOPtober Campaign

For the vaping industry, the STOPtober campaign was a huge success. As a result of the government’s promotion of e-cigarettes, vaping kit sales have increased by around 29%, indicating the success in the promotion of, and education about, vaping as a viable method to quit smoking.

Although official smoking rates for 2017 have not been released, both the NHS and the vaping industry are certain that it will follow the general downward trend over the last few years and hit below the 15-16% percent smoking rate from 2016. This would mean that the number of people smoking in the UK will be at its lowest since records began. In 1974, over 50% of men in Britain were smokers; which has fallen to just 19.1% in England in 2015. Similarly, just over 40% of women smoked back then and last year research shows it was only 14.9%.

Hopefully, with the continuation of vaping being promoted as a successful method to quit smoking, the number of adults, currently at 9.4 million, smoking in the United Kingdom will decline equally as rapidly - if not more so.

The Future of Vaping

So what does this say about the future of vaping in England and the rest of the UK? For the vaping industry, the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the NHS campaign is a huge step, one that will hopefully eliminate the stigma associated with vaping. The majority of the general public drastically over-estimate the health risks of vaping, but with the inclusion of vaping in the NHS campaign, and continued government support afterwards, the stigma and amount of wild misinformation surrounding the industry should reduce.

Now that the government has officially acknowledged the effectiveness of e-cigarettes, it may, in the future, mitigate some aspects of the Tobacco Products Directive. Since the number of e-cigs actually containing nicotine make up only a small part of the industry, and do so, on the whole, in order to wean people off their addiction, rather than sustain it. We hope that the government in seeing the success of their campaign long-term will acknowledge that the vaping industry and the tobacco industry are in fact two separate entities, with two completely disparate goals. And, in doing so, will create a separate set of regulatory legislation for it, that encourages the growth of the vaping industry, rather than stifling it.

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Nicotine, Quitting and a Little Bit of Science

Superior Vapour

Nicotine, E-Juice and You

Nicotine is a word that is synonymous with smoking and all the serious health related risks that it entails. Whilst it there is no debate that it is the ingredient in cigarettes that causes addiction, it is by no means the most damaging ingredient (tar and formaldehyde are both produced through the combustion of tobacco and are far more harmful).

Regulations due to come into force in November 2016 has meant UK distributors will be limited to 20mg of nicotine per milliliter (previously this could be as high as 36mg). Many manufacturers will advertise their e-juice as low, medium or high strength but the actual nicotine level this equates to will obviously vary. The following tends to act as a rough guide though:

No Nicotine E-Juice

Some e-liquids contain no nicotine whatsoever. Many vapers who have weaned themselves off nicotine entirely don’t want to give up vaping and this is the perfect option for them.

Low Nicotine Level E-Juice

Low doses of nicotine are usually between 6-8mg. This is often the last stage in the process of quitting nicotine altogether.

Medium Nicotine Level E-Juice

Medium levels can vary but are generally between 10-14mg. This is a common level for ex-smokers who used to smoke light cigarettes.

High Nicotine Level E-Juice

High levels of nicotine could be anything from 16-18mg. This will tend to suit people who have just quit smoking or former heavy smokers who have turned to vaping.

Very High Nicotine Level E-Juice

The highest level of nicotine available in the UK will be capped to 20mg by the regulations that come into effect in November 2016. Generally speaking though, e-liquids with 20mg of nicotine or more could be considered very high.

The nicotine concentration you opt for in your e-juice will largely depend on when you quit smoking and how much you used to smoke. Heavy smokers for example will probably want a higher level of nicotine when vaping to give them a comparable hit to real cigarettes (dubbed ‘analog’ cigarettes by the vaping community). After a period of time though it becomes easier to switch down to lower nicotine concentrations.

Vaping and Quitting

People quit smoking cigarettes in different ways and at different paces. Whilst some people are able to quit overnight, for many it’s a much more challenging process. Nicotine patches have been used for many years as a method of quitting and in some ways vaping isn’t that different.

The main difference with vaping is that, because it imitates the act of smoking, it provides ex smokers with the mental stimulus as well as the nicotine fix associated with cigarettes. This may sound trivial to non smokers but it can often be a crucial aspect of quitting, as smoking is psychologically addictive as well as physically addictive. Many ex smokers will admit that they miss the physical ritual of lighting, holding and dragging on a cigarette, as much as the actual nicotine hit itself. Vaping provides this, whilst offering a far less damaging means of consuming nicotine.After making the transition from analog to electronic cigarettes, the ex smoker can then gradually start reducing their nicotine intake by switching to e-juices with lower levels.

It’s important however to get the nicotine dosage right from the outset. If you are a heavy smoker then transitioning to a low level nicotine e-juice may not be providing you with the nicotine hit (or throat hit) your used to and you could quickly compensate by smoking again. Conversely, a light smoker transitioning to vaping with a high nicotine level e-juice may actually be taking on more nicotine than they’re used to. Both these scenarios can end up with the ex smoker giving up on vaping and going back to cigarettes. It’s important therefore to find the nicotine level that’s right for you.

What the Science Says

It would be an understatement to say that vaping has caused controversy since it’s popularity has exploded. The word ‘vaping’ itself is a relatively new word to enter the English lexicon but has already become incredibly divisive, with the power to evoke both ebullient enthusiasm and scathing criticism in equal measure. Whilst we at Superior Vapour do not deny which side of the fence we sit on in this debate (we are in the vaping business after all) we do believe in the need for a frank, open and honest conversation about vaping in the UK. We also believe that this conversation should focus on the facts and the scientific research, instead of knee jerk reactions and prejudice.

Before we start talking about vaping, let’s just put it in context and talk briefly about smoking. In the UK alone, there are 9 million adult smokers and around 100,000 of them die every year as a result of smoking. Despite numbers falling, smoking is still the single greatest cause of premature deaths in the UK. Smoking related illnesses costs the NHS approximately £2bn per year, although public health body Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) puts the the total cost to society (including employers and the environment) as a staggering £13.9bn per year.

There are around 2.8 million adult vapers in the UK according to ASH, with only 9% using e-liquids with more than 19mg of nicotine. Perceptions of harm caused by vaping has grown to an all time high with just 15% of those surveyed believing electronic cigarettes are less harmful than smoking.

Let’s now take a look at some of the science and research concerning vaping.

Vapour vs Smoke

One of the most common misconceptions around about smoking is that it’s the nicotine in cigarettes that do most the damage. Although nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco, it’s certainly not the most harmful to your health. The damage from tobacco comes down to the nature in which it is consumed. The act of burning tobacco releases thousands of dangerous chemicals, many carcinogens and also tar. It is these substances that are linked to the diseases and illnesses associated with smoking like heart disease and lung cancer. Many of these chemicals have still to be identified. Electronic cigarettes on the other hand create a vapour by heating a liquid. Because we know what’s in the e-liquid (see previous chapter) we know what’s in the vapour.

Research and Studies into Vaping

There are numerous studies into the health effects of vaping but the evidence is pretty unequivocal: vaping is far safer and less harmful to humans than smoking cigarettes. In fact a 2015 review by Public Health England and published on the UK Government website states that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than smoking, based on current evidence. If you’re a regular smoker then that’s a pretty stark statistic. To put it a far blunter way, smoking will likely kill you, whereas vaping will not. As if the PHE report wasn’t enough, a subsequent report from the Royal College of Physicians found that e-cigarettes were ‘likely to be beneficial to UK public health’ and ‘smokers should be reassured and encouraged to use them.’

There have been countless other studies into the health effects of vaping, as well as the efficacy of vaping as a cessation method. Despite the continuing negative press vaping seems to attract, the body of scientific research suggests that vaping is far safer than smoking and the risks associated with it are negligible when compared to the harm from inhaling tobacco smoke. More to the point, many studies conclude that, far from a risk to society, vaping has the potential to save many lives and should be actively promoted. US vaping company Vapex has put together this excellent archive of just some of the international research undertaken.

Diacetyl and Popcorn Lung

There has been a lot of media attention of late around the notion that vaping can cause a pretty horrific lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans (or popcorn lung as it’s commonly known). This is caused by a chemical called diacetyl which is found in e-liquids. There are two very important considerations to this however, that much mainstream media reporting has largely ignored.

The first is that there is far more diacetyl in cigarette smoke than e-cigarette vapour. In fact most research suggests cigarette smoke is between 1200 and 2000 times more toxic than e-cigarette vapour and contains far more diacetyl. In other words, you’re far more likely to develop popcorn lung from smoking than you are from vaping.

The second important aspect that much reporting has failed to acknowledge is that many e-liquids do not contain diacetyl at all. In fact if you stick with the most reputable e-juice manufacturers, then there’s no reason to come into contact with diacetyl at all.

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