If there’s ever been a great time to quit smoking, it’s during a global pandemic from a respiratory disease. When you quit smoking you improve both your health as well as the weight of your wallet, and already that seems like a no brainer! No doubt you’ve had both the health and cost benefits rammed down your throat, but in order to create an all in one guide, we’ll need to start there.
Cigarettes - The Health and Financial Costs
Cigarettes are made of the paper on the outside, the filter, and the tobacco. When lit, cigarettes release over 7000 chemicals. The FDA in America has created a list of 5 main categories based on the health implications associated with the chemicals. These are:
– Respiratory Toxicant
– Cardiovascular Toxicant
– Reproductive or Developmental Toxicant
So far there’s 93 chemicals which fall into multiple categories. You can ready about them here: FDA HPHCs in Tobacco.
Here’s 10% of those chemicals:
1,3-Butadiene is used in rubber manufacturing
Arsenic is a poison
Benzene is an industrial solvent, refined from crude oil
Beryllium is used in nuclear reactors
Cadmium is used in batteries
Chromium is used to manufacture dye, paints and alloys
Formaldehyde is used as a preservative in science laboratories and mortuaries
Polonium-21 is a highly radioactive element
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are a group of dangerous DNA-damaging chemicals, including benzo(a)pyrene
Around 78,000 deaths in the UK every year are smoking related, and there’s hundreds of thousands more people living with debilitating smoking related illnesses.
Aside from the health implications, there’s the cost too. The average price for 20 cigarettes is now £12.73. If you’re a 20 a day smoker then you’re spending £89.11 a week, £381.90 a month (30 days) and £4646.45 a year just to smoke. Just by quitting smoking you could buy a nice car every year, and you can probably include the tax and insurance in that too. you could go on several holidays a year and see the world. Or you could go for a bigger house and open yourself up to a bigger rent budget. Or you could simply start a rainy day fund, take charge of your finances and put some money into savings or investments. Which ever you choose, just quitting smoking opens you up to any of those options.
That’s the lecture over, now on to actually quitting.
How to Quit Smoking
There’s various ways you can quit smoking – we’ll talk about them all and we’re saving the best until last, if you want to skip ahead. We’re going to rank these by success rates and to understand why some are harder than others, let’s discuss the challenges you have.
When you quit smoking, you’re not just fighting the need for more nicotine. This is the main one and it’s what people tend to focus on, but there’s more to your habit than one chemical. Smoking is a process – you light the cigarette, lift it to your mouth, inhale, then get that nic fix. When you quit smoking you’re fighting the chemical wants of your brain but you’re also fighting the habit of going through this process. You’re fighting the itch to chill out with a tab when you have a break at work. This is why simply getting nicotine into your body somehow isn’t a solid way to quit. With this in mind, here’s the methods of quitting.
The first is going cold turkey.
The benefits of this are that you save the most money and there’s no learning curve but it’s by far the hardest way to quit smoking. You need an iron will and some pencils to chew on because you’re going to be fighting both that need for nicotine and the habit of lifting something to your face when you’re trying to chill out. This is the least successful way of quitting and while it can be done, it’s easier to quit when there’s less of a shock to your system.
Secondly there’s Traditional NRTs.
NRT stands for Nicotine Replacement Therapy. It’s not a therapy in the sense you sit down with a medical person – simply put it’s patches and gum. In the past when you wanted to quit smoking you could go to the doctor and they’d recommend sticking a nicotine patch on your arm or chewing some nicotine gum. There’s issues with both.
The problem with Nicotine patches are that, well, firstly they’re expensive for what they are. Second is that they’re not variable. If you’re on 5 a day and want to quit, you’ll be using the same patches as someone on 40 a day also trying to quit. This led to heavy smokers slapping patches on both arms, their stomachs and even their bums, which is mental and even more expensive than it needs to be. With patches you’re also not fulfilling that habit of actually smoking, so while you are getting some nicotine into your system, you’re also sat around with your hands and your mouth, itching to do something. It’s not ideal.
With Nicotine Gum however, you are getting that nicotine and your mouth’s hard at work chomping down. But now you’ve opened yourself up to, at the very best, excessive saliva. At the worst though there’s bleeding gums, nausea, an upset stomach, changes to your eating habits, indigestion and more wear than your teeth really want. It’s slower to hit your system too, so it’s not like you can spend your dinner breaks franticly smashing gum into your mouth. But at least you’ve covered a few of the wants and needs of your brain when you’re trying to quit smoking.
Lastly, the statistically best way to quit smoking.
Surprise, surprise. It’s by making the switch to vaping. By “vaping” we don’t mean by chugging out clouds like you’re Thomas the Tank Engine. There’s different types of vaping and we’ll get into that, but let’s look at what makes vaping the best way to quit.
Basically, it ticks all the boxes. You get the nicotine, and you can choose how much you get either by controlling the amount of nicotine in the vape juice to begin with, or by simply vaping more or less. You’re also feeding that habit of lifting something to your mouth, so your hands are busy. You’re also inhaling and you get to feel it in your lungs – the inhale and the exhale are part of this smoking habit just as much as nicotine is. In short, vaping is the closest quitting method similar to smoking, it gives your body and mind all they need and this is why it’s the most effective method of quitting.
The in’s and out’s of vaping.
Let’s address the big clouds. Big vape clouds come from “sub-ohm” vaping. This is typically from the big kits you see. We get this all the time in our shops – people want to quit smoking and their mate said they should get a Smok T-Storm. We love our customers, but they’re definitely not “always right”. T-Storms are good kits, but not for quitting.
Vaping is split up into MTL and DTL, MTL meaning “Mouth to lung” where you draw the vape into your mouth, then inhale like you would with a cigarette. DTL stands for “Direct to lung”, where you just inhale like your life depends on it and spit out a massive cloud of vape on the exhale.
Quitters need to opt for MTL, and it’s not just because it’s more similar to smoking. Like we’ve said, one of the best reasons for choosing to pick up a vape instead of a patch is that you can control your nicotine. The EU’s laws still govern Vape sales in the UK, and their TDP law means that we can’t sell you anything over 10ml with nicotine premixed in. DTL Vapers go for the bigger bottles of juice, because DTL vapes use more juice, so you can’t use a DTL vape with a decent mix of nicotine – you’ll be wanting the smaller bottles.
The smaller bottles have different levels of nicotine – 3mg, 6mg, 12mg and 18mg typically, but some brands like to do things differently. For example, smoking 20 a day will land you around the 12mg mark, 10 tabs a day and you’ll be looking at a 6mg.
What’s in Vape Juice?
These smaller bottles (10ml’s) are designed to be used in smaller vapes at lower power. Vape juice has different thicknesses, and this is what makes some juice good for small kits and some juice good for big kits.
The thicknesses are down to the ingredients in vape juice. The main ingredients are Vegetable Glycerine and Propylene Glycol, or VG and PG. VG is thick, PG is thin.
10ml vape juice bottles are typically 50% VG and 50% PG, or some of them up the VG to 60%. This is considered a “thin” mix which means it’s able to work its way into the small holes in the coil that heats up the vape juice inside your kit. “Thick” mixes are for use in the bigger kits, and these range from 70-80% VG. This is too thick for smaller vapes and it struggles to get into the coil, which degrades it quicker.
But how much does vaping cost?
Well the cost is different for each kit. After you’ve bought the kit, your ongoing costs are juice and coils which are also differently priced. So instead let’s go with a specific comparison.
One of our best selling starter kits is the Endura T18E. This kit is £22, the coils (it comes with two) are £3 each or a box of 5 for £10. Each coil typically will last between 1 and 2 weeks. Juice starts at £2 (except 88vape, but you’ll soon realise that they’re a quid for a reason). On average, a person quitting smoking will go through 4 10ml bottles per week.
So let’s say you average a coil per week (you’ll typically get more out of it) and 4 bottles of juice. Your kit is £22, 4 bottles of juice will be £8 and because you get two coils free in the kit, you won’t be needing any for at least 2 weeks.
Your first week is £30 with the kit and four bottles of juice.
Your second week you still have another coil so it’s £8 for the week.
Your third week, maybe you’ve blasted through both coils now, so at worst, you need more coils. Let’s say you buy them 1 at a time, making it more expensive. Well that’s still only £13 a week.
If you buy a pack of 5 it drops the price per coil down to £2, in the very worst case scenario, that should still last you over a month, and with 4 bottles a week making 12 bottles a months supply, your ongoing monthly cost comes to £36. Compare that to smoking’s £381.90 monthly cost and it’s absolutely a no brainer. In fact, you could buy a new kit every week, a pack of coils every week and go through a months supply of juice per week, and it’d still be £160 cheaper than smoking 20 a day for a month.
So what’s the game plan? How do you quit with vaping?
Start with an MTL or Starter kit, we’d recommend either the T18E or the Pockex, but we’ve got loads to pick from. You usually get two coils included, so you’re not in a rush for those, but you’ll be needing vape juice. Go for the 10mls.
If you smoke 5 a day, start at 3mg.
If you smoke 10 a day, start at 6mg.
If you smoke 20 a day, start at 12mg.
If you smoke more than 20, start at 18mg.
If you buy in store we’ll help you pick out the best kit for you, the juice you want and the nicotine strength suited to you. We’ll show you how to use the kit, how to change coils and how to fill up juice.
Is there a way to try vaping without investing in a kit?
Absolutely. We also sell Disposable Vapes such as the Geek Bar for £6, which is currently selling fast as people are rushing to get to the beer gardens and enjoy the nice weather. These let you try vaping, and when the tanks empty you just stick it in a big and get another. This way you can try vaping without buying a full kit (though over time the kit works out cheaper than constantly getting disposables).
If you’re just curious and you’d like to know more, you can either message us on Facebook or just pop in to one of our stores (Hartlepool or Norton) and we can chat to you there too, but if you’re ready to beat the tabs, here’s our recommendations.
Top Picks for Quitting Smoking Kits
TECC Arc 5 Kit
We’ve sold the Arc series since the original Arc, and each time we’ve loved the improvements! Variable Wattage means you can turn the power up or down, the TECC tank is one of the best MTL tanks around and the large battery means it’ll happily keep you vaping all day every day!
The T18E is a simple pen vape that’s a staple to our stock of starter kits. So much so that we’d don’t even have to market it, most T18E sales (and there’s a lot of them) start with “My friend has a T18E and I want one”. They’re simple, stylish and has just one button to operate it.
Endura T22 Pro
The T22 Pro is Innokin’s answer to the Arc 5. It’s two steps up from the T18E but uses the same, much loved coils. The upgrade gives you USB C fast charging and a much bigger battery, as well as 4 power levels to adjust the performance.
The Pockex is in the spot where it rivals the T18E. Truth is they’re similar but different, and it’s all in the coils. The Pockex is a bit more powerful with it’s 0.6ohm coils compared to the T18E’s 1.5ohm coils and will kick out more vape with a looser airflow. That said, more isn’t always better and some prefer the tight draw of the T18E but if you dream of big clouds while you’re still stuck on high nicotine, the PockeX can bridge that gap slightly.
Smok Nord 2
Here’s a curve ball. The Smok Nord 2 fits in the palm of your hand. It offers discreet and stylish vaping and there’s 3 coils available. The 1.4ohm is best suited to those who’ve JUST quit smoking, after a while you can drop down to the 0.8ohm for a bit more of a kick, and then the 0.6ohm coil to be pleasantly surprised by the performance of this finger length pod vape.
Geek Vape Geek Bars
Geek Bars are ideal for beer gardens or for testing the waters with vaping before you quit – they’re disposable! 600 puffs of 20mg (high strength) nicotine lets you try vaping without buying a full kit.
Top Picks for Quitting Smoking Juice
Vampire Vape is one of the staple brands of Smooth Vapourz – It’s what we’re known for! These excellent flavours (including the Original Heisenberg and Pinkman) have been with us for 7 years now! They fit perfectly in our £4 each, 3 for £10 or 4 for £13 deal!
Vape 5050 Is our own 10ml Range, full of awesome flavour at a budget friendly price of £2 each! Available in 3mg, 6mg, 12mg and 18mg so all your needs are covered! We’ve got everything from fruity, to sweet, to menthol, to tobacco!
QCIG is the other brand in our £2 e-liquid range, and they’re another long standing brand on our shelves. Simple flavours, but done very well. They’re ideal if you’re new to vaping where you just want a simple flavour to get started with.
Pukka juice is a brand that sells in our 10ml range, our Nic Salt range as well as our Shortfill range. Blaze, in particular, is one of our best selling and most loved short fills but these bad boys now also come in 10mls in our £4 each, 3 for £10 or 4 for £13 range, alongside Vamps so you can mix and match!