Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Without doubt, the best decision that any smoker can make is to quit entirely. However, if you've been thinking about stopping smoking and searching for less harmful alternatives, you have probably wondered about the benefits of switching from cigarettes to electronic cigarettes or vaping devices.
Despite the huge rise in popularity of vaping, there are still many conflicting opinions and misunderstandings about it. Whilst it is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, just how safe is it? How difficult is it to transition from smoking to vaping? And are there any other alternatives to smoking?
Vaping is not risk free. However, vaping devices are a better alternative to cigarettes due to their design, smell and lack of ash. When a vaping device heats up e-liquid, it emits an aerosol vapour – this contains lower levels of harmful chemicals than the smoke produced by cigarettes when burned.
Aside from the reduced-risk, one of the other major advantages of vaping is that it does not make you, your clothes, your hair, and general environment smell of smoke. The smell of stale smoke is not only unpleasant, but also persistent. Unlike cigarette smoke that clings and lingers – the vapour from e-cigarettes and vaping devices dissipates quickly.
There are countless e-liquid flavours available to vapers. If you are new to vaping and looking for a close experience to smoking cigarettes, it may be easier to transition by starting with a tobacco or menthol flavoured e-liquid.
However, there’s a wide variety of e-liquids available and these also come in a wide variety of nicotine strengths – or can be entirely nicotine-free. You can also change the ratios of your chosen e-liquid’s two main ingredients VG (vegetable glycerine) and PG (propylene glycol), depending on what kind of vaping experience you’re looking for.
If you want a smooth hit from your vape – or want to go ‘cloud chasing’ – then you’ll likely want an e-liquid with a higher VG ratio. If you want to replicate the cigarette ‘throat hit’, a PG-heavy mix might be preferable. The choice you go for will also be dependent on the type of device that you have. You can find out more about PG and VG here.
E-cigarettes and vaping devices produce vapour instead of smoke. Consequently, there is no lit end and no ash created and thus, there is less impact on your environment and the people around you.
A wide range of vape devices
There is now a huge range of vaping devices on the market, from simpler cigarette-like devices to more complicated vapes that offer lots of customisation options. Though a wide range of brands and styles are available, since the technology behind the devices is generally similar, they will typically fall into one of the following four categories:
Cigalikes – or ‘cig-a-likes’– Cig-a-likes are designed to look as close to a cigarette as possible. These devices are usually small, lightweight and sometimes include a light at the end to replicate the glowing lit end of a cigarette. They can be either reusable or disposable.
Vape pens– Larger than cig-a-likes, with increased battery power and greater cloud production. These long, cylindrical vaping devices often have some of the latest features incorporated into them – including high-spec air-control systems and auto-shutdown safety systems.
Pod vapes– A pod vape is an ultra-compact and easy to use two-piece device including a battery and a pod. These devices are available with either closed vape pods or refillable pods.
Box mods– With their increased battery capacity and advanced customisation features, box mods are typically larger than other vaping devices and have much bulkier, box-like shapes – hence the name. Box mod devices allow you to use different types of batteries, atomisers and tanks. As such, box mods are the best choice for those seeking the most personalisation possible from their device.
Vaping devices come at a range of prices too – but those that offer more features and greater levels of customisation generally have higher price points.
The transition from smoking cigarettes to vaping
Vaping has helped many people make the switch from smoking to a better alternative – however, others do not find the transition to vaping easy, or do not get on with vaping devices at all.
When trying to make the move to less harmful alternatives than smoking, many smokers miss the tobacco taste and the ritual that comes with smoking cigarettes.
Many smokers vape in order to cut down on the number of cigarettes they smoke daily. These ‘dual users’ continue to smoke but will typically vape to suppress the urge to smoke. However, they may be unable to remove cigarettes from their lives in totality.