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Any day of any month of any year is the right time to finally quit smoking and start vaping, but there’s a specific month of every year for the last 5 years where awareness is heightened and encouragement to make the transition is heightened somewhat.
‘VApril’ is the month that is dedicated to helping smokers make arguably the greatest decision of their life by making the switch to vaping to help enrich their lives and kick what could have previously been the “habit of a lifetime”
In this article, I’m going to look at exactly what VApril is all about, as well as giving my own help and advice on everything you need to know to get you started on the path to quitting, and how Vape69 can help you every step of the way to successfully make the switch!
What is ‘VApril’?
Now in it’s sixth year, VApril was created back in 2017 as a dedicated month to help smokers make the transition from quitting smoking and start vaping as seamless as possible by offering a huge range of resources available for people to read online, as well as sending out to local Stop Smoking services, which explained everything from understanding how much nicotine people are taking in from smoking, what e-liquid nicotine strength they would need, what device would be best suited for them, and how to pick a flavour they would enjoy.
The resources that have been made available throughout the years are absolutely priceless and you can clearly see how dedicated the team behind VApril are by creating such a vast and detailed amount of resources that are absolutely priceless. The UKVIA are behind the VApril campaign, and if you’ve read any of my previous articles that mention them, you’ll know the UKVIA are worth their weight in gold for what they do for the Vaping Industry as we know it.
This year’s VApril campaign message is simple and straight forward
‘Stop Smoking Start Vaping’
And they’ve made the promise to continually share guidance across its social media platforms to help smokers better understand the opportunities and benefits of switching from smoking to vaping. And they also assure that there will be many stories being shared from ex smokers who have successfully made the switch and how they done it across the VApril campaign.
As mentioned, there will be a lot of resources available from the UKVIA regarding VApril, and I’m going to look at their advice as well as share my own personal advice and tips on how you can successfully make the switch from smoking to vaping.
To give a little background, whilst I’m currently the Copywriter for Vape69, I do have years of experience in the vaping industry and previously used to manage a very successful bricks and mortar vape shop in my home city, where I served 1000s of customers who came to me looking to get started on their vaping journey, so I want to share the same advice with you, my readers, as I did to my customers back then when VApril was happening.
Understanding your smoking habits
This is, in my opinion, the biggest thing you need to get a clear understanding of so it will help make everything else kind of fall into place.
Be true to yourself about how much you actually smoke as it is absolutely crucial so that you get the right nicotine level in your vape juice, as if you pick a strength that is not strong enough, you’ll not curb your cravings for Nicotine and still crave for a cigarette. And if you pick a strength too high, it will likely be far too harsh on your throat, and you won’t want to continue to use it as it won’t be a pleasurable vaping experience. I’ll come onto this in more detail in the next part of this article.
Also having a full understanding of your smoking habits will help the healthcare professionals you may seek advice from during VApril so that they have a better understanding themselves so they can offer advice tailored to your needs. Set out your goals, what you want to achieve from quitting smoking, why you’re quitting, and what you think you will benefit from it.
I recommend having a journal or a notebook and write your thoughts and goals down on the whole process, but don’t be too harsh on yourself if you do not achieve your goals at the specific dates you may set. Maybe don’t even set an end goal date for them?
Choosing the right nicotine strength
In my opinion, this is the most important thing you must get right because, as mentioned above, if you don’t get it right, you’re not going to be successful in making the switch from smoking to vaping, and you will run a high risk of relapse of going back to smoking which is the last thing you want to do! I’ve written an in depth article about this which you can read after you’ve finished this one!
E-Liquid comes in various different Nicotine strengths, all of which cater to everyone’s individual needs for Nicotine. Stemming from 3mg all the way up to 18mg with strengths in between, there’s definitely going to be a strength out there that is right for you. Let me explain each strength below and what level of smoker they would appeal to and be most useful to as well.
3MG Nicotine – This is the lowest strength Nicotine that E-Liquid is sold in that you can buy. This strength is most commonly associated with “High VG” E-Liquid that is used in Sub-Ohm devices. If you don’t know what they are, they’re the devices that blow the massive clouds of vapor you’ve probably seen floating around when you’re out and about.
This is a very low nicotine strength, and is suited for someone who only smoked a few (maybe 1-2) cigarettes periodically through the day, or smoked sporadically in a social environment or something. It’s also the strength a lot of people will naturally lower down to over time as well, as it provides nicotine to the body but at very low levels. If you find that you smoke more than the amount I’ve mentioned, leave this strength alone for now, and use it as your end goal nicotine strength maybe!
6MG Nicotine – The most commonly used Nicotine strength when it comes to Freebase Nicotine E-Liquid. This Nicotine strength is perfect for someone who smoked anywhere from 3 cigarettes a day to 10 cigarettes a day. Your nicotine addiction/dependency will be low, and you will have a fairly low tolerance for Nicotine. So using a strength any stronger than 6mg will likely be too harsh on your throat as you won’t be use to taking in high amounts of nicotine from smoking cigarettes.
10MG Nicotine – Now we dive a little further into the world of E-Liquid and Nicotine strengths by touching on a strength that is only available in a different type of E-Liquid, and a type that is becoming super popular amongst vapers, both experienced and new also. Nicotine Salts are a type of E-Liquid that use a different type of Nicotine compared to the “traditional” Freebase Nicotine, and I’m going to go into more detail about these a little further into this article.
10MG is ideal for someone who smoked a similar amount as listed above for the 6MG, but may smoke a few more than 10 cigarettes a day.
12MG Nicotine – This strength is best suited for someone who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day, but less than 20 cigarettes a day. Meaning 6MG won’t curb the cravings, but 18MG will be too strong, so go in the middle and opt for 12mg is this is applicable to you!
18MG Nicotine – The strongest strength of Freebase Nicotine vape juice available on the market, and when I say strong, I mean it is STRONG! This is for someone who’s classed as a ‘heavy’ smoker, meaning you smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day. Your nicotine dependency will be high, and you’ll be used to taking on board a lot of Nicotine from cigarettes, so this won’t be too harsh on your throat, and it’ll hit the spot nicely for your Nicotine needs.
Some people will start out on this strength and then start dwindling down their Nicotine strength after a certain amount of time, well as with any strength this can be done really, but starting at the highest will give you a goal to start lowering it down over time.
20MG Nicotine – This is the highest Nicotine strength E-Liquid you will be able to get your hands on in the UK as the restrictions were put in place in 2016 under the TPD Regulations.
This is the other strength available in Nicotine Salt E-Liquid. You might think that 20mg will be harsh on the throat like what I’ve described 18mg Freebase as, but this isn’t the case as the way that Nicotine Salts are made brings the harshness of the nicotine down, making it a smooth and punchier Nicotine hit.
Now, this is where it gets confusing because as it’s smoother on the throat, people who previously didn’t smoke a lot of cigarettes can comfortably vape this nicotine strength, and get a much punchier hit of Nicotine compared to Freebase. So some may opt to use this as it’ll curb the cravings a lot quicker, but if you didn’t smoke a lot of cigarettes in a day, don’t use 20mg and opt for 10mg Nicotine Salts instead.
I hope that was helpful and explained everything you needed to know about picking the right nicotine strength, but do remember, it comes with a lot of trial and error of getting the right strength. You might benefit from picking up 2 different strengths if you’re unsure and try both. This way, if you get a strength that is too strong, use the lower and vice versa. Easy as that!
The Difference Between Freebase Nicotine and Nicotine Salt E-Liquid
As promised, I’m now going to explain the difference between Freebase Nicotine E-Liquid and Nicotine Salt E-Liquid. Don’t panic, it’s a relatively simple and straight forward explanation and I’ll break it down as simply as possible for you to understand!
Freebase Nicotine is the purest form of Nicotine, and it has a small amount of ammonia added to the Nicotine as the Nicotine by itself would not be very potent within the body so needs a little boost to help it along it’s way. So it’s then “Freebased” to be able to have a positive effect on the body when used in E-Liquid.
Freebase is the most commonly used form of Nicotine in E-Liquid, and was what was used in the first ever bottles of E-Liquid produced over a decade ago, and it’s still used today, so it has stood the test of time by being effective to help people quit smoking and stay away from those nasty cigarettes!
However, it does have it’s downsides. This type of Nicotine can be quite harsh on the throat if used in high strengths as we spoke about above, and it can also dull down the flavour of the concentrates used to flavour the E-Liquid. This is because Nicotine can be quite “peppery” and give off a strong taste that some do not enjoy. So something was needed to be done, to counteract these downsides and this is where Nicotine Salts enter the game!
Nicotine Salts are created by using a standard Freebase form of Nicotine, but the difference is that a weak acid is added to the mix, most commonly used is Benzoic Acid. This is done to neutralise the pH levels found in Freebase Nicotine, and when this is then neutralized, the harshness of the Nicotine is condensed quite considerably making high strength nicotine vape juice a lot smoother on the throat.
On top of this, the acid reacts better with the flavour concentrates used to enhance the flavour of the E-Liquid which is what a lot of people enjoy and want when using E-Liquid. And also, it’s the same Nicotine Alkaloids that are found in actual tobacco, so using Nicotine Salts will create an authentic nicotine hit similar to that of smoking a cigarette, and the absorption rate is similar to what it is from smoking too, so it really is the closest thing you can get to smoking a cigarette, without having to actually smoke one. Ideal!
Choosing The Right Device
I’d probably say that choosing the right device to get started with is just as equally important as what choosing the right Nicotine strength E-Liquid you use is.
When making the switch from smoking, you will want to be replicating the habit of smoking a cigarette as closely as possible, just without actually smoking a cigarette. The nicotine strength you choose is crucial but so is the device you pick, as you’ll want something that gives off the same effects as what smoking a cigarette has. Vape devices have evolved across the years and you can read all about in in my detailed article about this
The “throat hit” is what every smoker/ex-smoker wants to replicate. This is the effect that happens when you inhale on a cigarette and the nicotine hits the back of your throat. When you smoke a cigarette, you smoke it in a “mouth to lung” style, meaning you inhale, the throat hit occurs, and then you exhale and the nicotine starts absorbing into your body. So when picking a vape device, you’ll want one that can replicate this mouth to lung action, and good news…there’s plenty out there that can do it!
Pen Style Devices – The OG’s of vaping devices these are. Simple and straight forward and easy to use! Usually an All in One style device, with no adjustable wattage or anything, these are simple and straight forward low powered devices that give a true mouth to lung style vaping experience.
These can have any form of E-Liquid put in them, either Freebase or Nicotine Salts, and will work just fine with them. The only maintenance and upkeep you’ll have with them is the coils that are used in them. These need changing every week to two weeks, and are a low expense maintenance cost.
Pod Systems – Probably the most popular devices on the market today, and for good reason too! Some of these devices will have variable wattage settings on, and some will not and it’ll be automatically set based on what coil is inside your pod.
It’s argued that Pod Systems are the best devices to use for Nicotine Salts due to the coils being specifically designed to enhance the flavour and nicotine hit from the Nicotine Salt E-Liquid, but I find Freebase Nicotine E-Liquid to work just fine in them as well.
Don’t break the bank getting a super expensive device for your first device, as you can pick up a very good quality simple device that will get you set up on the right path to quitting smoking!
Sub-Ohm Devices – Now, this is where we start getting a bit technical and advanced discussing these, but they need to be discussed if talking about vaping devices! These are what can produce large clouds of vapour and you’ve probably seen people carrying them around and using them to create massive plumes of bakery smelling vapour clouds.
As shiny and enticing as these may be, I really would not recommend picking one of these up as your first vaping device. These are used in a Direct to Lung vaping style, meaning there isn’t any throat hit or anything as they use High VG E-Liquid with a very low nicotine content, like 3MG as mentioned above.
And the other thing is, these are quite a bit more expensive than standard starter kits/vape devices, so it’s something to save your money for and treat yourself when you’ve successfully lowered your nicotine dependency down!
What’s Your Flavour?
Now, onto what I think is the fun part of Vaping, and that’s trying out all the different flavours available as lord knows there is a massive abundance of them now and us vapers are truly spoilt for choice compared to what it used to be like!
When the first E-Cigarettes and E-Liquid was launched, it was Tobacco or Menthol for the choices and that was it, none of these fancy flavour combinations that are commonly seen on today’s market. But as the years have passed, the flavour options have evolved and play a crucial part in helping people abstain from smoking cigarettes.
In a survey conducted in 2021 by Action on Smoking and Health, they asked people what their flavour preference was when it came to E-Liquid. 35% said Fruit, 23% said Tobacco, 20% said Menthol and the remaining 22% opted for other flavours, which could likely be dessert/bakery flavours.
People admitted that having a different flavour e-liquid away from Tobacco encouraged them to continue to vape, and played a crucial part in stopping them from relapsing back to smoking cigarettes. Speaking for myself, I can’t say I enjoyed the taste of tobacco so when I switched to Vaping, I wanted to get as far away as possible from the taste of tobacco so opted to use a mixed fruits flavoured E-Liquid when I first started.
Some people will like to use Tobacco flavoured E-Liquid as this gives the authentic taste like what cigarettes does, and keeps it as closely replicated as possible. Everybody has different tastes, and you’re no exception to this, so it’s important to try and find a flavour that you enjoy vaping and will continue to use to keep you away from the cigarettes!
Every Cigarette Not Smoked Is A Win
Giving up smoking is not an easy thing to do, especially if it’s something you’ve done for a long time. It’s said that quitting smoking and getting over a nicotine addiction is one of the hardest things a person can do, but it is 100% achievable if you have the right amount of willpower and actual want to quit smoking!
Don’t get disheartened if you don’t quite get it right the first time, as you’re not the first, and certainly not the last person to do it. It may take you a couple of tries to fully convert, and this is fine, because it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to do so!
There’s no harm in “Dual Using” either, which is the act of smoking cigarettes as well as vaping alongside. But this is something that you won’t want to do for a prolonged period of time. You’ll naturally start lowering down the amount of cigarettes you smoke anyway as you’ll be getting enough nicotine from your E-Liquid, and this is where the wins begin as the less cigarettes you smoke, the better!
Don’t expect too much too quick either, as it can be quite a slow process to fully convert, so don’t think that it’s not working and you give up and go back to cigarettes as this is the last thing you want to do! Have a plan, have some goals, and tick all the boxes because YOU CAN DO IT!!
How Vape69 Can Help You Quit Smoking During VApril 2023
If you didn’t already know, here at Vape69 we offer the highest quality E-Liquid at the lowest prices possible to make vaping as affordable and accessible to everyone! And these prices are available all year round, not just in VApril!
Our range of Freebase Nicotine E-Liquid and Original Nicotine Salt 10ml bottles are available for just 69p, and come in varying Nicotine strengths to cater for everyone’s nicotine requirements. With over 50 different flavours to choose from, we aim to provide something for everyone!
We’ve also recently launched our range of premium Nicotine Salt E-Liquid called Vape Bar Salts. These are 16 different flavours inspired by the popular flavours seen in Disposable Vapes that have grown in popularity quite significantly over the last 12 months. However, these are not an affordable way to vape as they cost up to £6 per Disposable and only contains 2ml of Vape Juice, sometimes less. Where as our Vape Bar Salts range is available for just £1.69 for a 10ml bottle. A fraction of the price and 5 times the amount of E-Liquid, no brainer don’t you think?!
And when you’re ready to advance onto bigger things, we also offer a range of 100ml Shortfill High VG E-Liquids, at just £4.69 for 100ml with two free Nicotine Shots included in this price!
We aim to provide and support all vapers in the country, and especially any new vapers who are making the leap to enriching their lives by quitting smoking and starting to vape especially during VApril, but as mentioned, our prices are fixed and remain the same all year round giving you access to the highest quality E-Liquid at the lowest price in the UK. If you’re wanting to do quit smoking and start vaping, VApril is the time to do so!