STOPTOBER: QUITTING SUCCESS STORY
STOPTOBER: QUITTING SUCCESS STORY!
Hi everyone, October 1st marks the start of the NHS’s Stoptober campaign, which was launched in 2012. I thought what better time to speak about my experience with Stoptober - how it works and the rewards you get out of abandoning the cigarettes and switching over to vaping.
INTRO INTO MAKING THE SWITCH
This is my personal vaping journey and I would like to share how Stoptober helped me become smoke-free for 11 years and I'd like to give some helpful tips on how to quit smoking for good.
As an ex-smoker for 12 years, I completely understand the smokers mindset and how the nicotine cravings can feel like a weight from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep. I used to feel the same way, but I decided to utilise tools provided by the NHS’s Stoptober campaign and incredible products and knowledge that vape companies like Vape Shop offer, to kick the 20 a day habit.
HOW MY SMOKE-FREE JOURNEY BEGAN
On the 1st of October 2012, I decided (after a lot of deliberation) to quit smoking and switch to electronic cigarettes. I was aware that smoking was really damaging to my health, and I could feel the effects it was having on my body, but it was extremely difficult to give up. Back then, there weren't as many vape kit styles as there are today, and most of the products on offer were eGo style batteries with 2ml plastic clearomizers. The older vape kits that were available were very basic, and Sub-Ohm tanks weren't yet available.
GET THE BEST VAPE KIT FOR YOU
To get started, I had to ensure that I had the right nicotine strength compared to my smoking habit, so that my nicotine intake didn't drop dramatically. I started on an 18mg nicotine strength and bought two very different flavours. I chose a dessert vape juice and fruity vape juice because I wanted something that didn’t replicate the taste of cigarettes, but still gave me the nicotine hit that I craved.
The first couple of weeks going smoke-free were the hardest and I found that every so often I wanted to slip back into the old habit of smoking. However, ensured I kept my vape kit with me wherever I went, so that I could keep the craving at bay, without giving in to my old bad habits. What I then started to realise was that the selection of flavours were also a lot more enjoyable, and that want for the tobacco flavour started to subside.
In the past I had tried nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine gum, nicotine patches and nasal inhalers, however, none worked for me. That is until I started vaping.
After about 3 weeks, I had completely transitioned from a smoker to a proficient vaper. The change was by no means easy, and I found the best thing about vaping was that although the nicotine habit is still there and the action of vaping and smoking is very similar, the health benefits of vaping by far outweighed the other, and this was becoming clearer to me as I started feeling healthier from the inside out.
HOW E-CIGARETTES HAVE EVOLVED IN HELPING TO QUIT SMOKING
Over the years, as new vaping products were hitting the market, I adapted my vaping style to use a Sub Ohm vape kit, which offered flavour like I have never experienced before. I also had a go at rebuilding my own coils, using mechanical mods with a rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA), and even tried making my own e-liquids at home.
Both aspects had varying results in terms of performance but it allowed me to gain a better understanding of how the tools I was using worked and as a bonus, I managed to reduce my nicotine intake. I decided to leave it to the pros and quickly returned to using pre-made e-liquid from incredible manufacturers such as Bar Works, WizMix and ULTD, as the flavour is always fantastic, and they provide a wide variety of flavours within their ranges.
THE MORE YOU KNOW, THE BETTER
Having a clear understanding of different vaping products and the effects it was having on my body was really important to me. I spent a lot of time researching information on the internet as the vaping industry is always evolving and new products hit the market weekly. There are some amazing resources available from charities such as the British Lung Foundation and British Heart Foundation that include information on the benefits of quitting. Their research into the benefits of vaping compared to smoking continues to study the long term effects of vaping and how it affects your health over a longer period. There has also been a study by the Royal College of Physicians which found that vaping is 95% healthier than smoking. Public Health England (PHE) has widely promoted the Stoptober campaign too.
DON’T BE SCARED TO ASK FOR ADVICE
I visited my local vape store and answered various questions surrounding my smoking habit, which allowed them to recommend some fantastic vape kits and suggested the right nicotine strength for me. Once I switched to Sub Ohm vaping, I was using 6mg nicotine which was perfect for me and gave me a similar nicotine sensation in the Sub Ohm Kit as the 18mg did in the vape starter kit.
Over the years, I have probably tried more than 400 different flavours and have also decreased my nicotine intake to 3mg using a Sub Ohm vape kit with newer mesh coils to enhance the e-juice flavours.
I have now been smoke-free for 11 years and no, the journey was not been the easiest but utilising the different tools and products that the industry have to offer, as well as campaigns such as Stoptober, I was given the support and help I needed to succeed.
WHERE WILL MY JOURNEY GO NEXT?
My next step will be to become completely nicotine free, and as a start, I have started to reduce my nicotine strength again. Once I have gotten accustomed to using 0mg (nicotine-free) e-liquids, I will be looking to stop vaping altogether and live a healthier, nicotine-free lifestyle without the cravings I have suffered for so many years.
I wanted to tell you all my story, not for any congratulations or a pat on the back, but to simply show that if you have the right tools, information and willpower, you can also go down a similar path to me and stop smoking for good.
The long-term effects have been very evident that I did make the right decision all those years ago. I no longer suffer with waking up in the morning in fits of coughing and wheezing, that smoke smell that used to cling to me and my clothes is gone and I feel way more fitter and healthier now.
If you are a smoker looking to switch to vaping, I highly advise you to visit one of the Vape Shop stores. The highly trained staff will help you on your way and offer fantastic support on your journey. They may ask you many questions about your smoking habit, but this is not to be intrusive, it's to find out the right amount of information to recommend the best products for you.
YOU TOO CAN SUCCEED!
We are all different, so it might take you more or less time to switch from smoking to vaping and the transition process can differ person to person, but don't let it dishearten you, keep working on that willpower and stay strong and don't forget to reach out for support!
I wish you all the very best of luck on your vaping journey and would love to hear about your success stories too!
Enjoy Stoptober, and enjoy living a smoke-free lifestyle!
Bye for now!
Dave Smith (a vaper of 11 years)