Is Vaping Harder to Quit Than Smoking?
Vaping is one of the most effective smoking cessation aids, that has helped millions of smokers quit cigarettes and make way for a healthier lifestyle. Vaping employs different types of vape devices and vape juices in UK, with different flavors to help people get a hold of their nicotine addiction. Instead of completely cutting off nicotine, it helps you curb your nicotine intake, and replaces the way nicotine is delivered to your body.
The combustion of tobacco alone releases more than 5000 harmful chemicals along with carcinogens, that enter your body, and those around you (via second-hand smoke) and become the breeding ground for harmful and lethal diseases like cancer and other cardio vesicular complications. Vaping, on the other hand, removes all carcinogens and toxic chemicals from the equation, as it doesn’t involve the combustion of tobacco, and reduces 95% of the harm caused by cigarettes.
Vaping as A Means to Quit Cigarettes
For a person who’s addicted to nicotine, the hardest part about quitting is completely depriving themselves of nicotine. This is the reason that quitting methods like cold turkey doesn’t work for 96% of the people who attempt to quit cigarettes. Hence, vaping is preferred over cold turkey as it helps you slowly wean yourself off nicotine. Once you quit cigarettes by switching to vape, it becomes easier for you to curb your nicotine intake and regulate it accordingly. But a lot of people worry that quitting vaping would be harder than smoking, as it becomes ingrained in your daily routine. In this blog, we’d like to address all the concerns regarding quitting vaping.
Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Nicotine is considered one of the most addictive substances and it has a higher rate of relapse than most drugs. The dependence on nicotine is not just restricted to the physical domain, but also extends to the psychological. Not only does your brain associate its reward system with nicotine, and its effects on your brain’s dopamine level, but you also have a bunch of cues that reinforce the behavior of smoking and trigger the memories associated with it. When you encounter the cues, that you have associated with vaping, such as consuming alcohol, being in the company of smokers, or watching someone smoke on TV, your cravings exacerbate and that’s when you experience nicotine withdrawal.
Nicotine withdrawal after quitting cigarettes is extremely hard to overcome as it is tied to your brain’s psychology. Generally, physical dependence is easy to let go of and doesn’t take more than 3-4 days. What stays with you is your psychological dependence.
The Magnitude of Withdrawal Symptoms After Quitting Vaping
The end goal of using a vaping tool for every ex-smoker is to slowly eliminate nicotine from their life. By using e-liquids, you can monitor and recalibrate your nicotine consumption and slowly lower your tolerance level for nicotine. A lot of vapers start vaping at the highest nicotine level (as per their previous nicotine consumption via cigarettes) and successfully bring it down to extremely low levels and even to 0% nicotine level. When you hit the point in your vaping journey that you no longer need nicotine in your e-liquid, that’s when you know you are no longer dependent on nicotine. Dependency triggers withdrawal symptoms, be it physical or psychological, but with vaping, both your physical and psychological dependences reduce to extremely low levels. Your dopamine and serotonin levels no longer need a little bump to make you feel rested. Your brain chemistry reverts to its normal mode.
Timeline of Withdrawal After You Quit Vaping
Many people end up overlooking the progressive nature of the way your lifestyle improves when you quit vaping. You don’t quit on Monday and wake up feeling like a new person on Tuesday. It takes time and requires patience and a firm resolution. In general, it takes 2-3 weeks for nicotine withdrawal symptoms to completely vanish, but this process can speed up as per your inner physiology. A common rundown of what you should expect during the first few days includes
Day 1 – day 1 can be hard for a lot of people as some psychological aspects of vaping, like the hand-to-mouth gesture and oral fixation starts bugging you. However, depending on your mindset, day 1 can also pass like a breeze and give you a chance to harbor more mental strength and confidence for the days to come
Day 2-3 – you may feel a slight intensification in your mood swings but that’s just part of the withdrawal, albeit minor, that you may experience. Day 2-3 can be intimidating, but you need to be resolute and firm.
Day 4 – day 4 is when things will start easing up for you and you will feel a slight shift in your mood and overall betterment
Day 5 – you will start feeling relieved on day 5 with much less brain fog and irritability
Day 7 – a week in, you will stop thinking about vaping, and stop noticing cues that might trigger your cravings if there are any
Week 2 – vaping will start feeling like a forgotten hobby you occupied yourself with in the past. You won’t experience any withdrawal during week 2 and you will notice a huge boost in your mental well-being
How to Deal with Withdrawal-Induced Stress?
One of the things you might encounter when you quit vaping is stress. Stress is generally hard to spot or recognize especially if you have a lot of practicalities in your life to deal with it. Stress ends up simmering in the background, and shows up at weird times in the form of irritability, minor panic attacks, and mood swings. There are a lot of ways you can deal with stress, including spending time outdoors and picking up new hobbies like sewing, knitting, painting, etc.