There should not be the slightest doubt in the mind of any smoker that quitting smoking is a great idea. Unfortunately, like many great ideas, giving up tobacco is easier to talk about than to accomplish. As a smoker for over 40 years, I probably tried to quit at least 20 times. The longest I was able to stop smoking using methods like willpower, nicotine patches and pills was about 4 weeks.
Why did I fail to quit smoking so many times? What was missing in my program? Certainly, quitting cold turkey is the least likely way to succeed but why didn’t traditional nicotine replacement work for me?
The answer to my questions became obvious when I learned about the electric cigarette and ordered my first electronic cigarette starter kit. As I opened the box and assembled the device, everything became as clear as a cloudless day. While nicotine replacement will provide the smoker with the nicotine their body craves, there is so much more involved in smoking than just satisfying your addiction to nicotine. No other quit smoking device so closely matches every aspect of smoking a real cigarette as the electronic cigarette.
Smoking involves a complicated ritual that becomes deeply ingrained in the smoker’s mind. Every step of the process becomes part of the smoking habit. Lighting a cigarette, holding it in your hand, putting it to your lips, dragging on the cigarette and inhaling the smoke. The deep satisfaction of feeling your lungs fill with smoke and the calm that follows as the nicotine enters your bloodstream, travels through your body and finally triggers receptors in your brain.
Consider how much is actually involved in smoking and you will begin to understand why it is so hard to quit. It becomes much easier to grasp why patches and pills are rarely successful and why quitting by willpower alone is such a struggle.
The electronic cigarette is a game changer. The electronic cigarette looks just like a real cigarette. It allows you to hold it in your hand, put in between your lips and inhale. The difference is that there is no tobacco involved and nothing is burned. You are not inhaling smoke but rather a vapor that contains a small amount of nicotine in every drag. You are able to satisfy your addiction to nicotine without inhaling the more than 5000 chemicals and 59 known carcinogens you get with every drag of tobacco.
How Does It Work?
For those readers who have never seen an electronic cigarette, here is a brief description. The electronic cigarette is a two part metal tube that look just like a real cigarette. The larger part, which corresponds to the part of the cigarette that contains the tobacco, holds a small lithium ion battery and a heating element. The end of this section has a tiny led that lights up when the user inhales in order to simulate the glowing end of cigarette.
The smaller section of the electronic cigarette matches the filter on a tobacco cigarette and hold a replaceable cartridge full of liquid nicotine solution. Each individual nicotine cartridge is equivalent to one pack of tobacco cigarettes. The two sections can be unscrewed to facilitate replacing the nicotine cartridge and to allow the user to recharge the battery used to power the heating element.
When you drag on the electronic cigarette, the heating element vaporizes a small amount of the nicotine solution and the user inhales the vapor. Each drag gives the user an amount of vapor that is equivalent to the amount of smoke you would get from a drag on a tobacco cigarette. You get the nicotine you need without inhaling all the poisons found in a tobacco cigarette and you get the satisfaction of feeling the vapor fill your lungs.
Getting Started: Choosing An Electronic Cigarette
OK! Now you are more determined than ever to try again to quit smoking. Let’s get you started. The best way to begin using the electronic cigarette is to buy an electronic cigarette starter kit. The starter kit will include the actual electronic cigarette, a recharger that plugs into an ac outlet and replacement nicotine cartridges. The starter kit will also include an instruction manual and many come with a second recharger that plugs into the USB port on a computer. Some deluxe kits may include extras like a fancy leather pouch to carry your electronic cigarette or flavored nicotine cartridges.
There are so many electronic cigarettes to choose from and you may be confused as to how to go about finding the very best one. This is where our old favorite, the World Wide Web, can really come in handy. Open up your web browser and do a search on Goggle for “electronic cigarettes” to find a listing of all the most popular brands. Enter a keyword such as “electronic cigarette reviews” to find detailed reviews of many well known electronic cigarettes. There are even several electronic cigarette blogs on the internet that discuss anything and everything about electronic cigarettes.
Once you have done your research, read the electronic cigarette reviews and visited the electronic cigarette blogs, you can order your electronic cigarette starter kit from your chosen brand’s website. If you live near a major shopping mall, there may even be a kiosk that sells electronic cigarettes. While kiosks are convenient and allow you to avoid waiting for delivery, they usually only sell one specific brand of electronic cigarette. The choice between same day service and buying the exact brand you want is one you will have to make for yourself. Personally, I was lucky. I found the brand I had chosen at my local mall.
The Big Question: Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe And Effective?
Obviously, you want to quit smoking in a safe and effective manner. You are probably wondering just how safe electronic cigarettes really are and if they actually work?
Here is what respected tobacco researcher,Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University has to say about the safety and effectiveness of electronic cigarettes: “Tobacco contains about 5,000 known chemicals with as many as 100,000 more that haven’t yet been identified. E-cigarettes eliminate many of those ingredients. The relevant question is not, are these things safe? But are these things much safer than real cigarettes, and do they help people quit smoking? The answer to both of those questions we know is yes.”
Dr.Siegel went on to say, “The other products (nicotine patches and pills) are only replacing nicotine; this product is also dealing with the behavioral aspect of smoking. Holding and puffing are all part of addiction. The beauty of e-cigs is that they replace most of the behavioral stimuli that are associated with the smoking process. E-cigarettes seem relatively safe—at least safer than smoking regular cigarettes. They are a lot safer than smoking tobacco because there is no tobacco in these devices, only nicotine.”
While the fact that there is no tobacco in electronic cigarettes is certainly a positive step, you may be wondering what benefit there is to using a device that keeps you addicted to nicotine. Happily, there is an effective solution. To make giving up nicotine easier, the nicotine cartridges used in the electronic cigarette come in a wide range of strengths. The user can reduce the strength of the nicotine cartridge every few weeks until they are finally nicotine free as well as tobacco free. Many users have found that by reducing the strength of the nicotine cartridge every 4 to 6 weeks, they were able to slowly and successfully wean themselves off of nicotine completely.
Using the electronic cigarette and following a program of reducing the strength of the nicotine cartridge is certainly one of the safest, most effective ways to quit smoking. Electronic cigarettes have enabled thousands and thousands of smokers to give up tobacco and free themselves of their addiction to nicotine. This has allowed them to live a healthier life without the expense and risks of smoking. If you are ready to kick the tobacco habit, then you really should consider the electronic cigarette.