Stoptober: Quitting Success Story!
How I Stopped Smoking
Hey everyone, October 1st each year marks the start of the NHS’s Stoptober campaign, which launched in 2012, I thought it would be a great opportunity to provide you with my insight into Stoptober, how it works and the rewards you get out of kicking your smoking habit and transitioning over to vaping.
Intro to Stopping Smoking
This is my personal experience of vaping and I would like to share how Stoptober has helped me become smoke-free for 11 years and give some self-help tips to quit smoking for good.
Let me start by saying that I completely understand the mindset of a smoker and that when you wake up, the first thing you think about is where you left your packet of cigarettes to get the nicotine fix that you crave so badly. I also used to be like this, but I utilised tools provided by the NHS’s Stoptober campaign and incredible products that vape companies like Ecigwizard offer, to end a 20 a day habit that had spanned over 12 years.
How my Smoke-Free Lifestyle 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, but it was extremely difficult to give up. Back then, there weren't as many fancy vape kits 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 pretty basic, and Sub-Ohm tanks were not yet available.
Getting The Best Vape Kit For You
I had to ensure that I started with the correct nicotine level for my habit to ensure that my nicotine intake wasn’t dramatically affected. I started on an 18mg nicotine strength and bought two very different flavours of blueberry and caramel. 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 I craved.
The first couple of smoke-free weeks were the hardest and I found that every so often I would want to slip back into the old habit of smoking, but ensured I kept my vape kit with me wherever I went. This kept me on the straight and narrow and the selection of flavours was also a lot more enjoyable, in addition to being a healthier alternative to smoking.
After about 2 - 3 weeks, I had completely transitioned from a smoker to a fully-fledged vaper. This change was difficult, and I had tried nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum and nasal inhalers, however, none worked for me. I found the best thing about vaping is 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 outweigh the other.
How E-cigarettes Have Advanced in Helping to Quit Smoking
Over time and as new products were released into the market, I adapted my vaping to use a Sub Ohm vape kit, which offered flavour like never before. I also dabbled in rebuilding my own coils, using mechanical mods with a rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA) and even attempted to make my own e-liquid at home.
Both of which had varying results in terms of performance but also managed to help me reduce my nicotine level, slowly but surely. I quickly returned to using pre-made e-liquid from incredible manufacturers such as Forbidden Island, WizMix and Bar Works, as the flavour is always exceptional, and they have a wide variety of flavours within their ranges.
The More Information You Know, The Better
I researched information on the internet to learn more about the different types of vape products available, as new technology was (and is) released almost weekly. There are fabulous resources available from charities such as the British Lung Foundation and British Heart Foundation that include information on stopping smoking and its benefits. 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 long 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 vape kits. Once I had 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 intake to 3mg using a Sub Ohm vape kit with newer mesh coils. This provides me with the exact nicotine hit I crave and also produces an incredibly enjoyable flavour too.
I have now been smoke-free for 11 years and no the journey was not necessarily the easiest but utilising the different tools and information that the NHS offer with their Stoptober campaign and having the willpower to stop inevitably helped me to now be a non-smoker.
Where Will My Journey Go Next?
Going forward, my next step will be to become completely free of nicotine and I have already started to try and reduce my nicotine to 1.5mg. After I am successful with this, I'll look to vape 0mg for a short while. Once I am using 0mg (nicotine-free) e-liquids, I will be looking to stop vaping altogether and live a healthier, smoke-free lifestyle without the nicotine cravings I have suffered for many years.
I am not expecting a pat on the back or a well done, I'm simply showing that if you have the right tools, information and willpower, you too can go down a similar path to me and stop smoking for good. I have completed a few tests through the NHS and my local GP, including a Carbon Monoxide exhale test, to see the benefits of switching to vaping to see if I now have healthier lungs. I also lead a more active lifestyle and no longer wake up in the morning in fits of coughing and wheezing.
If you are a smoker looking to switch to vaping, I highly advise you to visit one of the ecig stores, the highly trained staff will help you on your way. 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 for them to recommend the best products for you.
You Can Stop Too!
Remember, we're all different and it may take you less or more time to switch from smoking to vaping. The transition period may differ in length from person to person. But I for one, believe in you and know that you have it in you to get through it and come out the other side.
I wish you all the very best of luck on your vaping journey and love hearing about your success stories too!
Enjoy Stoptober, although it may be difficult, and enjoy living a smoke-free lifestyle!
Bye for now!
David Smith (a vaper of 11 years)