Scientists recently came up with 5 reasons why electronic cigarettes work:
- It mimics smoking
- Social elements
- Hobby elements
- 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)
‘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.’
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
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
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.
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
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!