If your goal is to stop smoking, there are several different methods to try, including pure willpower which has been known to work for some. Hypnosis, nicotine patches, chewing gum and support from other smokers who are going through what you are going through and are also trying to quit can all be effective. Of course, there are also e-cigs, which have now been widely available for well over 12 years.
E-cigs, or electronic cigarettes, have been around for longer than you might think, with the earliest type of electronic cigarette being patented in the mid-1960s. However, the idea never really caught on, partly as smoking was considered more acceptable than it is today. The idea was revisited again in China in 2003, and e-cigs became available in the US a couple of years later. An estimated 10 million Americans use e-cigs regularly, many of them under 40, and the electronic cigarette industry is reckoned to be worth at least $7 billion per year. Younger people trying tobacco for the first time often think that smoking an e-cigarette isn’t considered to be smoking at all, and the widespread perception is that they aren’t as harmful.
Of course, the big question is can e-cigarettes really help you to stop smoking? The answer is yes, although there are still conflicting views on just how effective they are. Smokers experience reduced cravings and fewer withdrawal symptoms when they use e-cigarettes rather than the real thing because e-cigs don’t contain tobacco smoke, although they still contain nicotine. Most studies indicate that smokers are more likely to stop smoking if they use e-cigs on a regular basis; smokers using e-cigs are about 60 percent more likely to quit than smokers who rely on chewing gum or wearing a patch.
E-cigarettes also have several advantages over the real thing, aside from the fact that you are probably more likely to stop smoking. Many smokers like the actions and routine of smoking a regular cigarette, including selecting one, lighting it up and inhaling and exhaling. An e-cig has the big appeal that it still allows smokers to enjoy some of these actions. Nicotine cartridges further mimic the sensation of smoking, as they are available in a tobacco flavor, although you can also buy e-cigarettes that taste like mint, chocolate or various other flavors.
Smoking an e-cigarette also means that there are no unpleasant odors or yellow stained teeth, and many e-cig enthusiasts point out that they feel healthier, with less coughing and not as much shortage of breath. Many workplaces, restaurants, and even medical facilities allow the use of e-cigarettes indoors, eliminating the need to stand outside in the rain or cold to light up. Smoking isn’t cheap if you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, and an obvious benefit of e-cigs is that they can significantly save you money over the real thing. You can save more if you buy your cartridges in bulk.
There are now well over 500 different brands and types of electronic cigarette available, so if you do decide e-cigs can help you to stop smoking, choosing one can be a challenge. The shape, size and overall appearance of the e-cig are some of the most important considerations; you may want to choose a mini cigarette style device, which is basically indistinguishable from a real cigarette, or you may want to go with a personal vaporizer. These are larger and more complex that the mini cig products and they can be the size of a pack of cigarettes or a small flashlight. However, they allow smokers to customize their smoking experience, altering the amount of the vapor, and they also last longer than other options. You should also consider the ‘throat hit’ which is the feeling that approximates the sensation of actually smoking, as well as such practicalities as cost, quality and battery life.
If you want to stop smoking and have tried gum and patches with no success, you may want to give the electronic cigarette a try. However, it is important to understand that research is still being carried out on this type of product, and although it is undoubtedly healthier than smoking an actual cigarette, you are still damaging your body.