Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in England. In 2016, 16% of all deaths across the entire UK were attributed to smoking. 7 out of 10 cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking as well as a host of other cancers and other serious health conditions, including coronary heart disease and stroke. Considering the fact that the leading causes of deaths in males and females over the age of 35 are indeed lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, it’s easy to see the disastrous effects smoking has on the nation’s health. In this post, we’ll look at the health benefits of quitting smoking and how you can kick the habit for good.
What’s in a cigarette?
Cigarettes contain a concoction of more than 5,000 chemicals when burnt, many of which are known carcinogens, others cause heart disease or other serious health issues.
When you smoke you are inhaling industrial solvents such as benzene, radioactive elements such as polonium-210 and poisons such as arsenic. So, quitting should be a priority for every smoker.
Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Though the human body has remarkable restorative abilities, the longer it’s affected by undesirable chemicals the more difficult it will be to repair the damage. Age also plays a part in the body’s ability to recover so if you are a smoker, quitting smoking sooner than later could add years onto your life expectancy.
When you quit smoking you can expect to experience a number of health benefits; some occur quite quickly, others take a longer period.
These are just a few of the major benefits you’ll find after quitting smoking. At the same time, you’ll also notice more radiant skin, healthier gums, fresher breath (and clothes!), a better sex life as circulation improves and if you are looking to have a baby, fertility also gets a boost.
All this and you’ll even save hundreds if not thousands of pounds!
How to quit smoking?
It’s all well and good to know the progressive health benefits of quitting smoking but actually taking that step isn’t easy. Although the nicotine in tobacco is relatively harmless compared to the other toxins present and does not cause cancer or heart disease, it is highly addictive.
Going cold-turkey can be done, but is considered by Public Health England as the least effective way of quitting. Instead, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a way of weaning smokers off their addiction to nicotine. NRT options include patches, chewing gum, inhalators (which look like plastic cigarettes), tablets, oral strips, lozenges, nasal and mouth sprays.
NRT works by gradually reducing the nicotine strength until the person fully beats their addition. The process usually takes 8-12 weeks but at least you are not exposed to the dangerous chemicals in tobacco smoke while you quit.
Though NRT can be effective, especially when using a combination of slow-acting patches along with quick-acting gum, inhalators and sprays, without support from a quit smoking service, there is a risk of resorting back to cigarettes.
Another option would be prescription medications varenicline (brand name: Champix) bupropion (brand name: Zyban). But these carry their own side-effects, with some users experiencing thoughts of suicide, difficulty sleeping, headaches and dizziness. Even so, the NHS considers these medications safe for most people to take.
“An estimated 2.9 million adults in Great Britain currently use e-cigarettes and of these, 1.5 million people have completely stopped smoking cigarettes. They carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes and can be particularly effective when combined with extra quitting support.”
Because e-cigs mimic the actions of smoking much better than other NRTs, they can make the quitting smoking journey easier. E-cigs are battery-operated and heat an e-liquid to produce a vapour from simple ingredients. Nothing is burnt with e-cigs, so you aren’t exposed to the myriad of harmful chemicals that are found in conventional cigarettes.
E-liquids generally range in nicotine strength from 18mg/ml all the way down to zero nicotine. This makes it more manageable to gradually reduce your nicotine intake until you are completely weaned off. See our article on nicotine in cigarettes here to find out the nicotine strength to start with.
Choosing your first e-cig
There are a great deal of e-cig types and e-liquid flavours to suit everyone’s preferences. As a new vaper quitting smoking, you might want to choose a lower wattage device (20W or less) with coils above 1 ohm so you can vape higher strengths of nicotine (learn more about sub ohm vaping here). A good choice would be the pen-style Innokin Endura T18E.
The Innokin Endura T18 is easy to use, easy to fill, easy to maintain and reliable for the ultimate hassle-free vaping experience.
Alternatively, a draw-activated device (i.e. the device activates as you inhale as opposed to having to press a fire button) designed for mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping would simulate a cigarette more closely. As such, the SMOK MICO all-in-one vape kit might be a good option.
As a draw-activated device, the SMOK MICO is a great choice for those looking to make the switch from smoking cigarettes.
If you prefer a tighter draw, you might want to look at an all-in-one device with an adjustable airflow such as the Orion DNA GO Pod Mod.
The James Bond of vape mods – the Orion DNA GO Pod Mod is a sleek, high-end mod that fits snugly in your shirt pocket, but also packs a punch!
As a fourth option, you could purchase a tank/mod combination. Though more sophisticated than all-in-one devices, you might prefer the additional settings they offer. We would recommend a tank designed for MTL vaping, such as the Innokin Prism T20S, paired with a mod such as the Aegis Mini.
The Innokin Prism T20S tank is a great mouth-to-lung (MLT) tank giving you a draw similar to a cigarette.
Designed to be the most durable mod on the market, the Aegis Mini is shockproof, dustproof and waterproof. It also performs like a little beast!
Don’t worry about mixing and matching brands of tanks and mods (not pens) as they will usually both have a standard 510 connection.
One great thing about quitting smoking with vaping is the vast array of e-liquids available. You may choose to start with a tobacco flavoured e-liquid, such as Tobacco Sunrise, or move away from tobacco completely with a fruit, sweet or drink flavoured e-liquid.
Tobacco Sunrise E Liquid – all the flavour of a fine tobacco but without the smoke!
Also, popular with ex-smokers are mixed flavoured e-liquids, such as Heisenberg which is a blend of berries, absinthe and aniseed.
A selection of bold, juicy berry flavours form the base. Then we’ve added cool absinthe along with aniseed to round off the taste.
To wrap up …
The health benefits of quitting smoking are clear, but kicking the habit isn’t easy. Though NRT can be effective, vaping is helping literally millions of smokers successfully quit in a painless way.
Has vaping helped you quit smoking? Share your story and tips in the comments below.
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