Quit Smoking – But Don’t Use E-Cigarettes

    January 27, 2014
    Tina Volpe
    Comments are off for this post.

Experts claim that smoking is an addiction similar to a heroine addiction because nicotine is just as difficult to quit.

The premise behind quitting cigarettes, aside from the health benefits from quitting now, is that the biggest percentage of smoking is habit. The phone rings, a smoker picks up a cig, a cup of coffee stimulates the habit to smoke, well, you get the general idea.

The biggest hurdle in quitting smoking is breaking the habit. Sure the addiction is tough, but after 3 days or perhaps sooner, that nicotine craving diminishes and is gone, and what you feel afterward is the urge to continue the habit.

So if quitting is mostly about breaking a habit, how much sense does it make to use E-cigarettes?

Although those little electronic smoking devices were designed to eliminate smoking the real thing, smoking them will not ease the cravings for the real thing, over time.

Youth who were smoking electronic cigarettes in a desperate bid to quit smoking ended up smoking even more on a regular basis.

And since E-cigarettes come with nicotine infused juices, what is the point? Users say that the point is being able to smoke in public, where many establishments have banned smoking, even in bars and night clubs.

And ad campaigns tout them as the solution to cigarette smoking, but that is just not the case.

Contrary to expectations, the young were not weaned off the real stuff thanks to e-cigarettes. Actually, they ended up getting even more addicted to the “habit” and it has become a rarity to find a person smoking an e-cigarette who quit smoking altogether.

They just don’t help with the most difficult task, the 21-day rule for breaking a habit.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • Jena

    I quit smoking just like that by simply reading Alan Carr's book "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking." I can't really explain how it works, only that the author delivered what he promised, which is that by the time the reader finishes reading the book, there will no longer be an urge to smoke. I've been smoke-free for about 2 years and have no urge, believe it or not. In my opinion, this books is the Holy Grail to stop smoking with no more urge and it was in fact easy! By the way, Alan Carr does mention quit smoking devices/gimmicks/drugs and advises against them. Carr's book gets into the real reason of why people smoke and gets rid of it.

    • Sara

      I quit smoking cold turkey for 2 years. I had just decided one day that I didn't want to die because of this disgusting and unattractive habit. I felt strong and I found it to be easier than what I psyched myself out for. However, after I started a new job that turned out to be just awful (I won't bother to explain), I picked up a cigarette (with some hesitation)and thought that would be the end of it. Fast forward another 2 years and now I am smoking twice as much as I did before I quit. This article talks about nicotine addiction being diminished after 3 days and the rest is habit, but I was in the habit of not smoking for 2 years. My point is that whether it's 3 days or 40 years since quitting smoking you never forget what it was like to smoke and that you felt some sort of joy out of it. Very similar to drug or alcohol addiction it is an everyday struggle with many of those days seeming easy. Just watch out for the bad days and don't let weakness take over your mind. You just have to keep fighting it. I do think as time goes on that there are far more of the easy days than of the hard days but all it takes is one to fall off the wagon. Best of luck to everyone trying to quit!

    • Eva

      E cigarette is still fairly new and did not exist when Alen Carr’s book was written. Trust me, I am an ex smoker, and e cigarette is a god sent gift for the disease that kills so many people each year. It would be evil to advise a smoker not to try it.

  • Lewis

    Addicted to feminine heroes?

  • Aubrey

    Maybe you should do some more research before you say that it’s a “rarity” to find an e-cig user that no longer smokes tobacco cigarettes. The overwhelming evidence supports the contrary. I personally smoked my last tobacco cigarette over a year ago, and never would have even CONSIDERED quitting using any other method than the e-cig. Over the past 13 months I have gradually lowered the levels of my nicotine intake to the point that I now use the e-cig with ZERO nicotine in it. Now that the nicotine addiction is completely gone, and yes, the actual “habit” of putting my hand to my mouth is still present in my life, I no longer crave nicotine. I enjoy inhaling flavored air. That’s about it. Do I worry about inhaling the propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin you might ask? No more than I worry about inhaling a big cloud of highly toxic exhaust that’s being blown out the muffler of the running automobile I’m standing next to. So my point is, do some research before you jump to the conclusions of people who just “don’t like it” or think it “looks too much like smoking a tobacco cigarette”. Get over it and let the people VAPE for crying out loud!

    • Angela

      Thank you Aubrey for standing up for our community. When I saw this article I just had to read it because I knew there would be some negative information regarding e-cigs. For one, we do not consider ourselves smoking, we are vaping. People should research the movement before making negative claims against vaping. I have been vaping since December 27, 2013. I was a 1/2 pack a day smoker and am proud that I am no longer smoking. Congratulations to you for getting to the 0 nic level. I look forward to the day when I am vaping 0 nic.

      • Kevin

        I was a pack and a half to two pack a day smoker for 35 yrs. Using vaping (at my doctors recommendation) I am down to 3/4 pack a day in ONE month and shooting for 1/2 pack a day in the second month. Then plan on just vaping, eventually cutting the nicotine level to ZERO! Don't be fooled by the tobacco industries henchmen :-)

      • Paul Wiest

        I agree that this author knows nothing about what she is talking about. Probably just another liberal anti-smoking nazi who wants to create "facts" to support her own predetermined conclusions. I gave up cigarettes months ago in favor of gaping. I don't miss cigarettes at all , and I smoked for nearly 40 years. I have been continually cutting down on the amount of nicotine I use as well, and even if I didn't, it's still far better than burning tobacco.

  • sheri

    Wow, my sister, my mechanic, my son and I all quit smoking with these devices. We had tried gum, the patches, prescription and other remedies, didn't work. So not sure where author got info but with personal experience I know many people who have quit. I am thankful everyday that I don't smoke cigarettes (40 year habit). I have also decreased my nicotine level from 24 to 6 and hope later this year to not need anything. Thank you for the e cig.

  • Chris

    I've known people who have quit with them. SUre it's still nicotine but it's not all the other nasty stuff in smoke.

  • Eddoe

    There is so much wrong with this "article"

    "And since E-cigarettes come with nicotine infused juices, what is the point? Users say that the point is being able to smoke in public, where many establishments have banned smoking, even in bars and night clubs."

    No! The point is, you're not putting cancer causing and 4000 other toxins in your body! Nicotine doesn't cause cancer or health problems unless consumed in very large amounts.

    "And ad campaigns tout them as the solution to cigarette smoking, but that is just not the case."

    What are you smoking, wacky weed? This is nonsense, this sounds like a 7th graders classroom report. My wife and daughter starting vaping over a year ago and neither has smoked a cigarette since. Two of my wife's sisters have started vaping in the past six months or so and neither has started smoking again. Oh!!!! and little ole Me? We'll I smoked for 29 years until a little over a year ago when I tried my first ecig. You guessed it, I haven't had a real cigarette since. You need to do some actual research and stop passing along misinformation to readers.

  • Sashole

    E-cigarettes prob aren't that great, but I do know that the filter doesn't turn brown and nasty when you smoke it which is a strong indication that your lungs don't look much different than that of a dirty ashtray. Nobody is saying ecigarettes are great, however they aren't as bad as cigarettes either and they don't have second hand smoker. There are bigger probs in the world today than ecigarette and people need to get over the e cigarette gripe.

  • Jackie

    I stopped smoking cigs 6 months ago and my doctors are thrilled to hear I am off them and doing vapor. I smoked for 35 years and had the copd constant lung infections and poor skin and now I breath with sounding like a percolator and put my inhalers away and my skin has better color. I too am weaning off the nicotine. I welcome the research on its safety as I am sick of my company charging me thirty dollars a month smokers penalty when I am not smoking.

  • mrsjmz

    The e cig works! I don't think it matters what is in the vapor, its better then a cig. My husband smoked for about 15 years, got a e cig (eGOtwist) and never touched a regular cig, for over 2 years now! Maybe big Tabaco is not happy with the loss of profit from these e cigs..

  • nz87jb

    I was a smoker for 21 years. I tried to quit once about 8yrs ago, last for about a week. For last 3-4months i've been saying that it's time to really quit. I bought one of the vape devices, paid about $100. smoked my last cigarette the following day. after about a week, the device started having issues, it started leaking, the battery wouldn't charge, etc. So i had stopped the cigarettes, but tried to get on the vapors, that worked on and off, by the time i got the device back up and running, I had already been smoke free for several weeks. So yes, it does help somewhat. but the only you quit is if you know you're ready to do so. I was ready, and i quit smoking, and its been just over 2 months. And i use the vape device occasionally, compared to the pack a day i smoked.

  • Alan

    To the author maybe you should have done your research before you wrote this article. There is overwhelming evidence all over the web to prove you wrong. I'm a success story for e cigs (20 years smoking analog cigs) 1 year vaping with no analogs in that time. My wife quit when I did she smoked for 23 years. I also have COPD and don't need my inhaler nearly as much.
    To the do-gooders get off of the vapor's it's not hurting anyone but us and they haven't proved that it's hurting anyone.

  • Bob

    Please check your facts, Tina.
    In 10 more days I will have quite smoking for 1 year. This accomplished not by nicotine gum, patches, nor other pharmacological means, but by using E-cigs….and I'm feeling so much better. The best thing about it – no weight gain and not miserable. None of those Big Pharma produced quitting aids were effective for me for more than a few months….if you pay a visit to CASAA.ORG you can find many many more stories like my own and you will see how rare this isn't.
    Also, I would recommend that you try Googling keywords Drexel University E-Cig study, and E-Cig together with Boston University. You might learn a thing or two about E-Cigarettes and vaping.

  • rizzo

    I've been smoke free for over a year thanks to ecigs. Was a 2 pack a day smoker for 40 years and gave them up easily within a week.

  • Fred E. Black

    I have been a pack a day smoker for 40+ years, I quit analog ciggs Dec. 20th 2013 and have been vaping ever since, I have been cutting back on nicotine since then starting out at a 27mg very high level and I can breath again, skin is clearer, and I don't have to pay the $100.00 a month penalty from my workplace insurance carrier..Vaping only costs me $8 bucks a week compared to $35-$40 bucks with analogs and soon I'll be down to 18, then 0 nicotine…
    …Keep On Vaping My Friends!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Dan

    I agree with most of the comments. I was a pack and a half day smoker for 20+ years and I have been off cigs for close to a year now. I also have been gradually stepping down my nic level and I'm pretty close to my desired level which is 0. All thanks to electric cigs my health has improved and my overall demeanor has changed. Don't let these BS articles fool you, e-cigs are a much better solution to smoking tobacco.

  • Sunny T.

    The last line of the article asked: "So if quitting is mostly about breaking a habit, how much sense does it make to use E-cigarettes?"

    As a vaper for more than 3 years, there's a lot of sense to me.

    1. Not inhaling 4000 plus toxins from every puff of a traditional cigarette
    2. No tar sticking to my lungs or filling them with smoke
    3. No more smoker's cough and colds that linger on and on
    3. Not smelling like an ashtray on my breath, skin, clothes, hair and car or having dirty ashtrays to clean and stinky butts to discard
    4. Knowing like I know my name that traditional cigarettes will never, ever (ever!) own my life again. No more failed quit attempts or fear cigarettes will get me again. That feeling is priceless.
    4. Being able to take a deep breath, climb stairs, run after the kids, dogs and enjoy and active life
    5. Not harming others around me with 2nd hand smoke
    6. Not missing out on life's special moments because I was outside smoking a cigarette or worrying about when I could leave the table/event/celebration to go have one
    7. Not spending $7/day on cigarettes that were killing me

    Millions of lives could be saved but a few less might be because of uninformed, ignorant articles like this. Please demand to be informed with facts – real facts. PG (the main ingredient in ecig liquid) has been used by lung transplant patients and in inhalers for 70+ years. You probably consume it daily. Check the contents of your fridge and skin care products. VG (vegetable glycerin) is the theatrics of vaping – creating the fake 'smoke' that is the same thing used at concerts in fog machines, movies to portray explosions and in consumable products. Food flavors? If those are bad to inhale, we've got a lot of chefs out there breathing them day in and day out without complaint. Inhaling nicotine? It's not as good as breathing in only clean, fresh air but a world better than the thousands of toxins in cigarettes. Check your facts. It could change lives for the better. There's an ecig smear campaign courtesy of Big Tobacco, feeding misinformation about ecigs to people just like you because they're losing market share. You can buy what they're selling if you like but don't spread the lies. A week of real research would blow your mind to the benefits of an ecig vs traditional cigarettes. Vapers are ex-smokers and we've been treated badly for a habit most of us were ashamed of but could not quit. Many like me are proud to be tobacco and smoke free. We vape courteously and proud!

    • Dawn

      Thank you so much for this comment, Sunny. It articulated very well what so many of us, vapers, are feeling. We have been ashamed of something for long enough, (*cough cough*), and now there IS an alternative that is really HELPing so MANY of US! my goodness as if this could possibly be such a terrible thing! Let's look forward and move away from this fear mongering, political BS. All the best to those NICOTINE addicts like myself. I am nine days off tobacco with e-cigs and feeling fantastic about it BUT… I am very well aware I have an addiction to nicotine and there is much work to be done still. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • http://yahoo john

    Many people dont understand that its not the nicotene that kills you–its the tar that destroys your lungs–i have copd from smoking about a pack to 2 for about 25 years–i quit for good in 2008 and that was 2 years before i was diagnosed with emphysema. I havent had one puff since sept 20 2008 but i did chew the nicotene gum for 2 years. Now i only chew regular gum if anything and i dont need oxygen but tend to phlemn up .My point is that everyone is different and QUIT SMOKING any way that you can.This saying is true–IF I CAN DO IT ANYONE CAN.

  • Andy

    I have NO CLUE what this author is saying. Some of my friends at work pulled out their voporizors and asked why I was still smoking on lunch break. I asked what they meant and they explained that they were all ex-smokers. I was immediately interested in their mods. I went to the nearest shop and bought one the same day. I still smoked for a few days while I figured out how to use the device. 3 days later, when I was confident, I left for work at 5 in the morning ready to quit cigs. I DID keep my pack and my lighter in my pocket the whole day for comfort in case something went wrong. Here I am 4 months later and still haven't touched a cigarette. I wrote the day I quit on that same pack, (Sept 9th 2013). It sits where it always did with the same cigs that were in it when I quit. I've NEVER looked back.

    How DARE you suggest I should never have tried "E-cigs"! I used to wake my wife up in the middle of the night with coughing fits, I used to cough up gooey lung crap all the time. I can breathe now just as good as when I was 20. I tried all the alternatives, the patch was worthless, the gum was even more useless, I tried cold turkey, but felt like knocking people out. If they had nicotine in a syringe I would have shot it into my arm just to quit.
    This article is absurd and should immediately be retracted.
    Meet some REAL ex-smokers that are adding years to their lives because of "e-cigs) Then re-write this op-ed!

  • Paddi

    I used a series of e-cigs to quit smoking and after trying many different methods, this is what worked for me. I was a pack and a half sometimes 2 pack a day smoker for 35 years. I have not had a cigarette in 2 years and 4 months. The day I bought my first e-cig was the last day I smoked a cigarette. I still use an e-cig but the difference is like night and day. My health issues, including a non-stop cough, have disappeared. The fact that I'm not spending 140 a month (conservatively) is an even bigger bonus. There is no way that an e-cig even compares with the dangers of smoking.

  • Guest

    Quit smoking is truly a tough task for anyone. I want to share my experience related to this. Well, I was in this bad habit with so many years. But, one of my friend suggest me to use E-cigarette instead of regular cigarettes. It was strange for me to use that electronic device but, actually its beneficial and best alternative. Basically e liquids contain less nicotine so, eventually E-cigarettes are helpful for me to quit smoking.

  • http://www.magnifecig.co.uk/ rothcotter

    Quit smoking is truly a tough task for anyone. I want to share my experience related to this. Well, I was in this bad habit with so many years. But, one of my friend suggest me to use E-cigarette instead of regular cigarettes. It was strange for me to use that electronic device but, actually its beneficial and best alternative. Basically e liquids contain less nicotine so, eventually E-cigarettes are helpful for me to quit smoking.

  • Rose

    Why would you try to make it even harder for smokers by deciding which method they should use to stop? They should use whatever helps them, whether it’s e cigarette or patch or nothing. Tar kills, not nicotine. If anyone can quit cancer sticks with help of e cigarettes, why not? Even if they end up vaping for the rest of their life, nothing wrong with that. It is no worse than drinking caffeine every day.

  • Eva

    “it has become a rarity to find a person smoking an e-cigarette who quit smoking altogether.”
    You have no idea what you are talking about. After a while of not smoking, cigarettes start to taste really bad. And since most of the vapers no longer need to smoke for nicotine, most of them quit smoking once they start vaping. I have been vaping for 2 years, and just as any other non smoker, I find cigarette smell offensive and do not even like to be around smokers, let alone light one up myself.