Why Do Electronic Cigarettes Work? 7 Vapers Share Their Top Reasons Why E Cigarettes Worked When All Else Had Failed
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by: James Dunworth

Scientists recently came up with 5 reasons why electronic cigarettes work:

  • It mimics smoking
  • Social elements
  • Hobby elements
  • Identity
  • Users are quitting smoking not nicotine

But what do real users of electronic cigarettes think? We decided to ask 7 prominent vapers how and why they managed to successfully switch from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes.

1. Gregory Conley from the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA) 

Photo of Greg Conley.

Greg testifying before an FDA committee on e-cigarettes.

“I was thankfully never a heavy smoker — perhaps not even heavy enough to be truly addicted — but the urge to smoke was still so strong that I rarely if ever went more than 24 hours without one (or ten). I initially failed to quit with e-cigarettes in 2008 because I could barely feel the vapor when I inhaled. A year or two later, having read that the technology had progressed, I gave it another try and I’ve yet to look back. Undoubtedly the largest contributing factors were the mimicking of the hand-to-mouth motion, the ability to feel the vapor in my throat, and the availability of flavors, but I can’t understate the importance of the positive comments that I would (and still do) receive from nonsmokers.”

2. Ghyslain Armand from MA Cigarette
Headshot of Ghyslain Armand.

For me vaping is efficient for three main reasons:

i. It imitates the gesture by creating fake smoke 

I don’t know if you ever noticed but smoking with closed eyes is not pleasant at all. Surprisingly, blind people are not often smokers. As a smoker with two good functional eyes, the visual smoke is very important to me, it fills the air around you, you make it move in exhaling, you can clearly associate a physical consequence of your own pleasure, almost graphical I would say. Vaping is brilliant for that, the vapor can even be more dense than real smoke, with the benefit of its quick disappearance and odorless properties.

ii. It keeps the chemical marker from my previous smoker behaviour 

Nicotine by itself is not really addictive, but associated with a repeated behaviour that could calm a psychological suffering, it acts as a chemical marker and re enforces the need of doing it again. Vaping keeps the exact same process safe, therefore switching from smoking to vaping is smooth, reassuring and super efficient for a smoker who is anxious about the idea of giving up his cigarettes.

iii. It brought my health back

Since I made the switch, I feel much better, simply as that. I have the feeling I got the same benefit than a total abstinence. In fact, I’m tobacco free today, it all makes sense to me. No combustion, no tar, my lungs thank me everyday, and it’s the most significant sign that shows I made the right choice.

 3. Nick from Grimm Green

Grimm Green avatar.

When I was a smoker, I loved smoking.  I just figured I would smoke as
long as I could regardless of the health effects.  I had quit for a
while, years even.  Clearly this would not last, once youre a smoker,
it’s just always in your brain.  The social aspect of it, the
hand-to-mouth.

Vaping is the perfect harm reduction solution to this.  Vaping works
for me because it provides everything I need.  Hand-to-mouth ,
inhaling and exhaling and nicotine. It satisfies me physically, more
importaintly it satisfies me psychologically as well.

4. Golf Khan

Vaping has saved my life in more ways than one. After 40 years of smoking cigarettes and trying every single method, drug and product to quit cigarettes, I had given up on ever being able to quit. Then I was diagnosed with liver cancer and told if I did not quit, I would not be put on the transplant list. Even then I struggled until I finally found electronic cigarettes. With vaping I have finally quit cigarettes and am awaiting a life-saving liver transplant.
Why did vaping work for me while cold-turkey, wellbutrin, chantix, nicotine gum and patches did not? Simply because vaping allows me the same control over nicotine intake as did cigarettes with an ever better  experience than tobacco provides. I would still be smoking cigarettes today if it were not for electronic cigarettes.
5. Phil from UK Vapers

Head shot of Phil.

I first “Discovered” electronic cigarettes almost by accident in 2009 when I read a passing reference to them on an unrelated site. Having done some research, I bought my first kit in July 2009, with the intention of using it occasionally when smoking was difficult.It’s no exaggeration to say my first drag was incredible – It felt like I was having a cigarette but I wasn’t stinking out the house and the vapour (which looked so much like smoke) just evaporated into the air after a few seconds. The thing that wowed me the most was the throat hit – the e-cig hit the back of my throat in exactly the same way a cigarette would.For seven days, I vaped and smoked together (i.e. sometimes I’d have a cigarette and sometimes I’d use my e-cigarette)It was then that I had an epiphany: I realised that I actually preferred using my e-cigarette to smoking: It had all the good bits of smoking (occupying my hands and mouth, nicotine satisfaction and the relaxing visual experience of “smoke”) with none of the negatives (foul smell, coughing, etc.)

Since that moment (over 3 1/2 years ago), I have not had a single cigarette and nor have I ever craved one. I could (and still can) be around smokers without wanting to rip the cigarette out of their hands and I continued to get all the pleasure I got from smoking from my e-cigarette.

I think e-cigarettes worked so well for me because they provided all the sensory input of cigarettes (“smoke”, throat hit, nicotine satisfaction) and for me it was no more difficult to switch to e-cigarettes than it would have been to switch cigarette brands

6. Kurl Me Stoopid from Planet of the Vapes

Avatar: reads Keep calm and vape like an ape.

The first time I tried vaping in 2010, it didn’t work, but this was down to my lack of motivation and want to quit smoking. Fast forward 2 years to 2012, the want to quit smoking finally matched the need to quit smoking and I went at it full on. I am blessed to also have an amazing support system in the forum I help run and that of my OH (who hasn’t had an analog in 15 months).

I have been able to go from 36mg nicotine down to around 9-12mg on my own, taking my time and lowering it when I feel ready to do so. With NRT programs, I wasn’t able to control my dosage as closely as I mentally wanted or needed to and always felt pressured to hit the “quit date”. Which in turn created more anxiety and depression because inevitably I would fail. With vaping, there is none of that, I don’t feel guilty if I need to up my nicotine intake, because I KNOW I can always lower it again when I am ready to.

Vaping works for me now, because coupled with my desire to not smoke, I am able to control how, what, and when I want to vape.

7. Chrisse from the All About Ecigs forum

Vaping works for me as I can still relax with an e-cig in a very similar way that I could with a real cigarette – i.e. the inhaling/exhaling of vapour. You just don’t get that from patches or gum.

Do e-cigarettes work for you? If so, why? Let me know in the comments!

Also see: Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe: The Shocking Truth

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10 Responses to “Why Do Electronic Cigarettes Work? 7 Vapers Share Their Top Reasons Why E Cigarettes Worked When All Else Had Failed”

  1. Stan March 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    Ecig’s worked for me when no other way that I had tried to give up previously had.
    I am now just over a year smoke free, and looking forwards to many more years smoke free.

    Stan

  2. LeAnn March 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    I smoked for over 40+ years, I tried many many times to quit. I always reverted back to it for one reason or another. I like my smoking just like a kid likes his blankie and was never happy without my cigarettes. Then my sister-in-law suggest we try e-cigs, she works at the mall and they have a KIOSK, so we teamed up and bought a kit and after that day I never picked up a cigarette! My s-i-l had quite for 10 yrs, but picked them back up. My doc told me that I was on the verge of emphaysma and I new that sooner or later I would be on oxgen, I had tried everything and nothing would help me quite til I picked up that e-cigs. Now after almost 3 yrs. I can’t even go out with the smokers to vape cause they smell so bad to me, it gives me a stomach ache to smell them. My kids won’t quit and I feel so bad when my little grand kids come into my house smelling like an ashtray, I just can’t stand it!!!

  3. Jake March 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    I’ve had smoked more than 10 years and during that time I’ve tried to quit many many times, be it with my own will power or with NRT products, they never worked. I didn’t like smoking and every time I smoked I had to drink tons of water to get the bitter taste out of my mouth.
    In January 2012, once again I felt the urge to do something about it, did some research on the internet to find a way to quit for good. I came across a few e-cigarette articles and random posts of people talking on the forums, it took my interest and started research on e-cigarettes.

    I was convinced enough to give it a try and I bought my first ciga-like ecig the next day from my local pharmacy. Started with 24mg strength pre-filled cartridges and lowered strength to 12mg after a couple of months. I’ve upgraded my ecig to one that doesn’t resemble a cigarette and I mix my own eliquids to suit my own needs.
    I’ve been smoke free ever since, not a single cigarette touched my lips and all desires for it left without even trying. Only recently that I had a craving for a cigarette, however upon increasing the nicotine intake for a week cured all this.

    Sincerely,

    A happy vaper who is thankful for this genius and probably life saving invention, also for the vaping community that is helpful in everyway.

  4. LINDA FISHER March 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    E-CIGS ARE THE BEST YOU DONT SMELL, BUT YOU DO GET THE KICK FROM THEM AND THATS ALL YOU NEED I BEEN ON THEM NOW FOR NEARLY 2 YEARS

  5. Mark Shaw March 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    I think vaping works for me for all the reasons already mentioned. The biggest one being the throat hit. Even when I had managed to quit in the past, I always missed that hit on the back of the throat and I think that was what always lead me back into smoking again. When I discovered vaping several weeks ago, I made the switch because smoking was making me ill. I was on 30-40 roll ups per day and coughing up phlegm every morning that was literally black. I made the switch and stopped smoking over night and have had no desire nor craving to smoke an analogue. I no longer cough up anything in the mornings and feel better all round for vaping. I also love the community and lifestyle aspect of it all. Everyone is super friendly and supportive. It works and no one will ever be able to tell me any different as I am living proof that it does.

  6. David March 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

    I started vaping just over a year ago. I have seen smoking related COPD kill both my father and Grandfather . Both tried and tried to give up but couldn’t . Last year after smoking ciggies myself for 25 years and numerous quit attempts I got a chronic case of bronchitis and have never been so ill in all my life. It was no surprise ,as I had for years been hawking up half a lung every morning and coughing constantly throughout the night. I also wheezed like a broken set of bagpipes.

    I had to quit the fags, simple as that. I had tried NRT gum , spray, patches ,which I was allergic to, inhalers , every NRT out there bar the pills.

    Then I discovered by accident the Ecig. I tried it and was amazed by it’s effectiveness at recreating the feel and nicotine hit of an analogue stinker,which ,lets be honest, were quite pleasurable but disgracefully harmful. I never looked back from the first puff of that first ecig. My lungs also thank me every day for stopping the abuse. I no longer cough ,wheeze or gasp for breath. I went for a jog the other day and didn’t die. Which was nice.

  7. Dragonmum March 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    I wasn’t looking to quit when my son sent away for his first ecig, I thought it would be the usual “con-job” anyway. That was over three years ago and from my first borrowed drag of his, I was sold. I found it far more pleasurable than tobacco and still do; the fact that I smoked for 60+ years – giving up “cold turkey” for 2 years or 18 months meant nothing, I still went back – must prove that it’s a highly enjoyable alternative. That’s the whole point for me, the enjoyment; that I no longer live on antibiotics and inhaled steroids for the treatment of lung problems acquired during my long years as a smoker is a big plus point of course.
    I now cost the taxpayer nothing in medical treatment, the odd sleeping pill maybe, set that against hospital admission, night on oxygen weeks of pills and potions – no brainer.
    Have met loads of folk on UKVapers forum, the most supportive bunch I have ever been privileged to know, and many set out to quit because the only option was “quit or die”. Not any more. They have replaced tobacco cigs with ecigs and are still enjoying their relaxation without hazard. Viva Vaping!

  8. Jen March 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I’ve loved vaping ever since I took it up, about two years ago, give or take some months, and my reasons are exactly the same as the interviewee’s have stated. You use the ecigarette/tank system, in exactly the same way as you’d smoke a normal cigarette. I admit, last year to really fancying a cigar and bought some, but other than that and the very, very occasional ciggy, usually a rolly when I make one for my husband, I’ll stick with vaping as it’s actually very much less expensive! I wish Hubby would try vaping. He has, in the past, but chooses to smoke instead.

  9. Sue C April 1, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    I was going to go on a long overseas flight and knew I wouldn’t make all those hours without a ciggie. My daughter told me about e-cigs and I bought a kit, not even intending to give up smoking. I tried it and liked it, and then I realised I hadn’t had an analogue for weeks, even though there were still some in the house.

    When my daughter saw that it worked, she began to use them too as she doesn’t want to smoke around her baby.

    I know they are not sold as quit-smoking products, but in our case, that is exactly what they did. We gave up so painlessly that its almost embarrassing. I smoked for more than 30 years and don’t miss the analogues one bit. After a few months of vaping, I had a few puffs of one and realised it tasted horrible and haven’t been tempted since. Vaping is completely satisfying, much cheaper and very convenient. No more huddled in freezing doorways or anxiety about when you could get an opportunity to have a puff. You can just have a vape. Freedom!

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