Health & Studies

Cold Turkey

Smokers wanting to leave tobacco face a range of options. How useful could vaping really be?

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Virtually every vaper used to smoke once. Some still do balancing their smoking and vaping while others have gone into using the electronic alternative full-time. Of those who vape every day there are those who steadily decrease their nicotine content with a view to giving up entirely and the rest who enjoy their safer pastime. For smokers looking to quit the electronic cigarette offers a workable and enjoyable solution.

While some smokers are able to quit by going cold turkey most find this an impossible leap. The success rate of this approach is limited to five in every hundred quitters. Surveys have demonstrated that most smokers desire to quit but the majority of those who try do so by using this unsuccessful method.

The NHS is geared up to help through a combination of traditional nicotine replacement products (NRT), patches, gums and the like, and behavioural counselling. Quit centres have been slow off the mark to embrace the new technology and opportunities presented by ecigs. Consequently they have been seeing numbers of people seeking support from them dropping off.

One centre that has bucked the trend is Leicester, run by Louise Ross. Leicester’s Stop Smoking Service was the first stop smoking service in the UK to become, in her words, e-cig friendly. “I realised we could embrace this new technology, and welcome people into our Stop Smoking Service who may never have come if we hadn’t been more open-minded.”

The efficacy of vaping (how successful it is) at replacing smoking has been proven in vaper survey after survey. Not only does it provide the nicotine available in traditional NRT but also the act of vaping is similar to smoking and helps people adjust quicker.

The likes of Tom Glynn, American Cancer Society, blames the low level of success of NRT on the quitters themselves: “Evidence is accumulating that smokers who use NRT do not often use it as directed, nor do they use it long enough to stave off relapse, suggesting that we need to better educate NRT users and the physicians and pharmacists who recommend it.”

Even if this is true, the same quitters do not have to follow a set of rules when adopting vaping because it can be tailored to the individual and there is a wealth of online support in forums and social media. In fact the only stipulation from Louise Ross’ service is: “We generally advise people to avoid cheap cigalikes and to go for a second generation product from a reliable supplier, i.e. one who has a reputation to protect, rather than some unknown seller at a car-boot sale.”

Check out the Planet of the Vapes forum if you are considering adopting ecigs as a way to cut down or quit and have questions, our members would love to help you.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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