As we all know by now, smoking tobacco cigarettes is one of, if not the most detrimental thing you can do for your health. Smoking-related conditions are actually the highest preventable cause of death in the UK, and it can have far-reaching impacts on both smokers and the health of the people around them. This is where vaping comes in!
Vaping, when used as a nicotine replacement therapy or quitting aid for smokers, can have massive benefits for the health of both smokers and their loved ones, as well as a wide variety of other benefits!
What Happens When You Switch From Cigarettes to Vape?
Quitting smoking is never easy, but the results are almost immediate, and only get better as time goes on! From your first day of being smoke-free, you’ll see amazing health benefits and results. Vaping won’t stop you from feeling these results either, it simply makes it easier to keep going and keep those dreaded nicotine cravings at bay.
In the First 24 Hours
Your lungs actually start to heal incredibly quickly when you stop smoking. Within the first 8-hours of being cigarette free, the amount of oxygen in your blood increases to almost normal levels very quickly! This is because you aren’t introducing any new carbon monoxide into the bloodstream, which is found in almost all tobacco cigarettes but isn’t present in any e-liquid or vape juice. This means that your body has the time and relief it needs to cleanse itself of carbon monoxide, which usually happens in 8-12 hours after you put down the cigarettes. This is so positive as it massively reduces your risk of suffocation due to oxygen deficiency almost immediately.
You can also see your circulation improving and blood pressure dropping almost instantly (within 20-60 minutes, on average).
Within a Week of Being Smokefree
Within two to three days, you’ll notice that your sense of taste and smell are improving the longer you go without picking up a cigarette. Not only will flavours and smells become more intense, you’ll also be able to pick up new smells and tastes over time. Over the course of the week, the smell and taste receptors in your nose and mouth begin to repair themselves now that they are free from the toxins in cigarettes that you were inhaling.
When you’re switching from smoking to vaping, there are a few small side effects that you might notice about now, but rest assured they don’t last long, and you don’t need to worry about them once you’re used to vaping. The first is dry mouth, which occurs due to the propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) in the standard e-liquid formulas on the market today. Both of these substances actually absorb water in your mouth and add it to the vapour as you exhale, which can result in feeling a dry, scratchy throat and mouth. However, it’s super simple to combat - just make sure you’re drinking enough water for the first few days of your vaping journey. You might also start coughing for a few days after you start vaping, which can be very discouraging for people trying not to smoke! However, it’s simply the sensation of the vapour (which is slightly different from that of cigarette smoke) which can trigger a cough. This, combined with a slightly drier throat and mouth, can trigger a cough for the first few days while you adjust to being smokefree, and to becoming a vaper. While your “smoker’s cough” may persist for a few weeks, any coughing caused by vaping should go away within a few days.
After a Few Months
If you quit smoking tobacco cigarettes and switch to vaping for three to nine months, you should find that your wheezing, coughing, and shallow breathing have lessened or disappeared. These improvements also arise since lung function increases as the body has been able to clean away the toxic debris that had accumulates when you’re smoking. Additionally, as long as you don't smoke, your circulation will also increase steadily over the next few months, resulting in improved physical stamina. This makes physical activities like running, jumping and sports much easier over time as your body becomes healthier overall.
By the nine-month mark, your lungs show considerable signs of healing, particularly with regards to the cilia in your lungs. Cilia are the tiny hair-like structures that are present on the inside of your lungs and help to protect you from damage and infection by catching debris in the lungs before they can cause you harm, as well as keeping mucus and fluid out of the lungs. When you smoke, these cilia become less effective as they are damaged by the tar and other toxins being inhaled. This means that after around nine months away from cigarettes, you might notice a significant improvement in your overall respiratory health, including fewer lung and chest infections.
Long-term Benefits of Quitting Smoking
One year after putting down that pack of cigarettes, your risk of developing coronary artery disease falls by 50% and continues to improve over time the longer you don’t smoke. After five years have passed, almost all of the toxins present in cigarettes have left your body, which allows your blood vessels and arteries (which have been constricted by the effects of smoking) to expand again, further improving blood flow and circulation in the body. This leads to a variety of health benefits, including drastically reducing the risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. Switching from smoking to vaping gives you all these benefits too, as the vapour produced by e-cigarettes and e liquids don’t cause damage to your heart in the way that a pack of cigarettes would.
If you go 10 years without smoking, the risk of lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, or cancer of the mouth or throat is at least half that of someone who doesn't quit! After 15 years of not smoking, your risk of pancreatic cancer or coronary artery disease is equal to that of a non-smoker, while after 20 years your risk of pancreatic cancer, lung disease, and all other forms of cancer is the same as it is with someone who has never smoked! This is because the vapour you are inhaling when you vape doesn’t contain any of the same carcinogens you’ll find in cigarette smoke.
Why Switch to Vaping From Smoking Cigarettes?
While there is lots of concern about young, underage and teenage vapers, the majority of current vapers are actually ex-smokers! These are the people that can see the benefits of vaping very dramatically, and when vaping is used as a quitting aid to help stop smoking, it is actually recommended by health bodies such as Public Health England and the NHS. It’s important to mention that vaping is not 100% safe, and if you don’t smoke already, you shouldn’t be looking to pick up vaping. However, vape kits have helped thousands of people dramatically reduce their cigarette consumption and improve their health both in the long and short-term.
There are so many reasons to switch to e-cigarettes from traditional tobacco cigs, first and foremost, the amazing health benefits you get from quitting smoking or cutting down on your cigarette consumption. However, there are also many other factors that make vaping the better option when compared to cigarettes.
The Cost of Vaping vs. Smoking
One key advantage of vaping is that it is much cheaper than smoking. According to our estimates, smoking 20 cigarettes a day can easily cost you up to, or even over, £3000 a year. In 2015, the average smoker in the UK smoked 11.3 cigarettes a day, so we can estimate that the average smoker spends about £1700 a year on cigarettes. Of course, this will always vary, depending on the type of cigarettes someone smokes, where they buy their cigarettes, and a number of other factors. However, for the average smoker, this is a reasonable estimate.
Upfront, the cost of vaping is a little more than smoking, as you need to buy your e-cigarette device, e-liquid and any accessories before you can start vaping. However, in the long-term, vaping is considerably more affordable than continuing to smoke cigarettes, so your investment will certainly pay off!
We estimate that a mid-level, beginner-friendly vaping unit would cost about £30 upfront, with additional accessories such as new coils and batteries costing about £90 per year (though many beginners won’t even need to invest in these!). E-liquids are available for almost any budget, ranging from less than £1 per 10ml to more than £10-15 per 10ml. However, you can expect to pay about £7 per 10ml for a decent value, high-quality e-liquid. The typical vaper consumes about 10ml of e-liquid per week, which comes to £364 per year, so it’s pretty clear that even if you're a heavy vaper who goes through twice as much e-liquid per week as the average person, you're still saving so much money when compared to smoking cigarettes.
Secondhand Vapour is Not the Same as Secondhand Smoke
One big concern than many smokers have when it comes to quitting is the effect of secondhand smoke, and what that can mean for the health of friends, family and those they live with. The consequences of secondhand smoking have been studied for several years, and the findings indicate that smoking is and continues to be highly dangerous to not only smokers, but also those around them. Tobacco smoke contains over 7000 chemicals, including about 70 identified carcinogens (cancer-causing ingredients). Particularly in children, the effects of secondhand smoke can be severe, potentially leading to:
- Infections of the lungs, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, are more likely
- Ear, nose, and throat infections are more likely
- Extreme asthma and asthma attacks are more likely
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is more likely (also known as cot death)
Frequent exposure to secondhand smoke can also have a big impact on adults, raising the risk of heart disease, lung cancer and strokes, among other conditions.
Even in a poorly ventilated environment, the vapour exhaled by e-cigarette users breaks down in seconds, according to studies. On the other hand, cigarette smoke will linger in the air for up to 30 minutes, which not just exacerbates the effects of passive smoking, but also enables cigarette smoke to penetrate furnishings and fabrics in a room, which is why many smokers' walls, curtains, clothing, and furniture become stained or scented with tobacco smoke after a while. This isn't a problem for vapers because vapour evaporates too quickly after exhalation. Those who live with and around vapers don’t have to worry about the same hazards when it comes to inhaling secondhand vapour due to its accelerated evaporation!
Nicotine Withdrawal and Nicotine Replacement Products That Can Help
Vaping is a brilliant option for many different smokers as there are so many different ways to vape! For example, some people will pick their vape and not need to smoke again, while others will use both for a while before transitioning away from smoking completely.
It’s really important to consider the nicotine concentration of your e-liquid, as the right nicotine content can be the difference between a satisfying vape experience that helps you quit with ease, and an unpleasant experience that can put you off a great nicotine replacement for good! Most e-liquid ranges will have a few different nicotine strength options to make it easy for any new vaper to find the right option for them. For example, the V2 Platinum range of e-liquids comes on 0%, 0.6%, 1.2% and 1.8% to help make it easy to find the right e-liquid when you make the switch.
If you are struggling to stay away from cigarettes, you can try vaping in conjunction with other nicotine replacement therapies. As vaping is a quick-delivery nicotine method, you may want to combine it with using nicotine patches, which offer a slower, longer-term delivery of nicotine to the body.
Alternatively, you may want to switch from smoking to dual-use or mixed-use vaping, where you still smoke cigarettes but use vaping as a supplemental method to help you reduce the number of cigarettes you consume on a regular basis. One of the great things about vaping is that it is completely scalable to your needs, and there are thousands of mixed-use vapers out there who have improved their health by vaping more and smoking less. Mixed-use also offers a middle-ground to help smokers reduce their consumption slowly, rather than going cold turkey and risking going back to smoking altogether.
Switching from smoking to vaping is one of the best moves you can make to improve your health and the health of those around you, so why not try it for yourself? To find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced customer service team or delve into our Vape 101 series of articles and guides, ideal for beginners and ex-smokers.