Most people will start vaping and using an E-Cigarette as their preferred method of Nicotine Replacement Therapy after they stop smoking. Nicotine Replacement Therapy is really essential for someone who quits smoking as this will enable them to still get nicotine which their body is used to having, and using a form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy will make the transition from smoking to non smoking much easier.
The ultimate end goal for a person when they start vaping is to gradually reduce the amount of nicotine they use in their vape juice, to a level that is very miniscule, or even to the point of not requiring nicotine anymore as they would have overcome their addiction to Nicotine thanks to the use of an E-Cigarette.
In this article, I’m going to discuss how to gradually reduce your nicotine levels in your vape juice over time to successfully quit smoking as well as Nicotine completely.
A bit about Nicotine
Nicotine is one of the primary chemicals found in Tobacco, and whilst it is not harmful, it is highly addictive and can lead people to become dependant on it if they smoked cigarettes.
There has been a lot of bad press and publicity over Nicotine, with people deeming it unsafe and harmful to a person, and belief that it is one of the cancer causing chemicals that is found in cigarette smoke. However, this is untrue as there has been no scientific proven evidence for Nicotine to be harmful to a persons health.
Cancer Research UK published a report on Vaping and made the claim that there has been no good evidence that Nicotine can cause cancer.
More “traditional” Nicotine Replacement Therapy options have been available to people to use who want to quit smoking. Things like Nicotine Patches, Nicotine Gum, Nicotine Sprays & Lozenges have been around for many many years, and these things have been prescribed by health professionals to people wanting to quit smoking, so if Nicotine was a cancer causing chemical, why would a Doctor willingly prescribe it to people?
Knowing that Nicotine is not harmful should ease your mind that you do not need to rush into reducing your nicotine levels in your vape juice as a method of harm reduction. You’ve already took the biggest step forward to reduce the harm caused to you by stopping smoking cigarettes!
Starting your vaping journey
When you first make the transition from smoking to vaping, you will want to use a vape juice with a nicotine content that correlates to the amount of Nicotine you’re used to from smoking cigarettes. For example;
If you were a light smoker that smoked 1-10 cigarettes a day, you will want to use a low nicotine level vape juice, like a 6mg freebase nicotine or 10mg Nicotine Salt.
If you were a heavier smoker that smoked up to 20 cigarettes or more a day, you would be best suited to using a high nicotine level vape juice like an 18mg Freebase nicotine or 20mg Nicotine Salt.
If you were in between those amounts of cigarettes smoked a day, a 12mg freebase nicotine strength would be best suited for you.
It’s absolutely essential that you get the right nicotine content in your vape juice, as this will make the transition as easy as possible, and will prevent the cravings from creeping back in and lower the risk of you relapsing and going back to cigarettes.
The good thing about vape juice that has nicotine in is that it is completely variable for you to get the right strength that works for you. For example, if you start out with a vape juice and find it is too harsh, this will be because the nicotine level is too high for you compared to what you were used to getting from smoking, so you can opt to use a lower strength nicotine e-liquid.
And this also works in reverse, that if you start too low and find you’re still getting the cravings for more nicotine, simply try a vape juice with a slightly higher nicotine content and this should supress your cravings.
There is no rush to reduce your nicotine levels
Taking your time and not rushing things is one of the most crucial parts of switching to vaping from smoking, and there is no set time frame on how long it should be before you think about considering dropping your nicotine levels in your vape juice. What you can consider doing when you first start off is setting yourself some goals and dates on when to start dropping down your nicotine levels, but these do not have to be strict and if you don’t manage to achieve it by the date you’ve set, it’s not the end of the world!
Some people will continue to use the same nicotine amount in their e-cigarette and not change it as it works for them, and there’s nothing wrong with this as whilst they haven’t altered their nicotine intake, it still is a considerably safer and less harmful option than smoking. However, for the purpose of this article, we do need to look at the options and methods on how to reduce your nicotine content in your vape juice to overcome the dependency you’ve got for Nicotine.
Take your time
Slow and steady is the key to achieving success when it comes to dropping your nicotine intake. You can’t just flip a magic switch unfortunately and become nicotine free in the space of a day, it is a slow process to achieve your end goal as Nicotine addiction/dependency is not an easy thing to overcome. But a very rewarding one when you achieve what you set out to do!
If you’re starting off with a high nicotine content vape juice, like an 18mg, you’ll want to give yourself a good few weeks of using this before you consider dropping down a strength. Again, this is only a rough estimate and it might take you longer than a few weeks which is not a problem at all.
After you’ve been using an 18mg for a while, get yourself some 12mg vape juice and try using that in place of the 18mg strength and see how you feel. Keep a bottle of the higher strength at hand as you might have to use this as back up if you’re finding the cravings are getting too much.
You can also mix two different strength vape juices to get an average “middle strength” of the two. So if you filled half your tank with 18mg, and half your tank with a 12mg, you’ll get yourself a 15mg nicotine strength, which will not be as strong as the 18mg, but will probably cure the cravings you were getting from using the 12mg.
And just like that, you’ve taken the first step to lowering your nicotine content! I can’t stress enough that taking your time and trusting the process is absolutely crucial when it comes to lowering your nicotine levels.
Only use nicotine when you really need it
There’s no denying that using an E-Cigarette is very convenient when compared to smoking cigarettes. The fact of having it ready to go right next to you whenever you want it is really handy, and much easier than having to hand roll a cigarette or grab one out of a packet and light it up. But you can’t succumb to the convenience factor and constantly use your e-cigarette more than when you would normally smoke cigarettes.
Use your e-cigarette at times when you would normally have a cigarette, like break time at work, when you wake up in the morning, out at the pub with friends and so on. As if you frequently used your vape more than when you’d normally smoked cigarettes, your body could react to wanting more nicotine and this would be counter productive for the goal we are setting out to achieve here!
Consider moving on to Sub-Ohm Vaping
You’ve probably seen people using an e-cigarette and exhaling these massive plumes of vapour that fill the air with a sweet aroma, and you’re wondering why your starter vape isn’t doing that. It’s down to the fact these people are using more advanced devices called Sub-Ohm E-Cigarettes, and these are likely being used with a very minimal nicotine concentration in the vape juice.
Sub Ohm Vaping is done by using an e-cigarette that uses a higher wattage/power setting than normal, as well as a coil with a resistance of less than 1.0ohm (hence the term sub ohm) and due to the high power of these devices, it’s recommended that a low nicotine content vape juice is used to avoid any side effects from consuming too much Nicotine.
Vape juice that is used in Sub Ohm devices will normally contain lower levels of nicotine such as either 3mg or 6mg, or sometimes even 0mg. The advantage of these juices are they are fully customisable to whatever nicotine content you want as you add your own nicotine shots in to the bottles to create the desired strength.
This is because TPD legislations that passed in the UK in 2016 declared that vape juice bottles that contained Nicotine must not be bigger than 10ml in capacity, and shortfill bottles used for sub ohm vaping are normally sold in 50/60/100ml bottles therefore the nicotine can not be included.
Small steps towards big changes!
As I’ve said, quitting nicotine isn’t an easy process and I admire anyone to can overcome this addiction. The key to success is the small steps in the right direction, and trusting the process to achieve your ultimate end goal which is reduce nicotine intake until you no longer need it!
You could try small things like writing a journal about your feelings and tracking your progress through this process, set yourself target dates to achieve things but as I said, don’t be disheartened if you don’t manage to achieve success by the dates you’ve set out.
It’s not a quick process, and can take however long as it needs to for you to reach your goal of becoming nicotine free, but the rewards at the end of it will be worth every step you have to take to achieve this!
You’ve already made one of the best choices a smoker could make which is choosing vaping to quit smoking as this will have numerous benefits to your health and reduce the risk of any harm being caused to you which smoking plays a huge part in.
Have faith in yourself, believe you can do it, and take the steps towards a nicotine free future!