Giving up smoking is hard and that is mostly down to the cravings you may experience when you put your cigarettes away for good. We look at what cravings are, how they may affect how successful someone’s bid to give up smoking is and how vaping can help with craving.

What are Cravings?

Most people assume that the cravings, that is the incredibly powerful urge or need for something, in this case, a cigarette, is caused purely by nicotine. This isn’t true. Studies have shown that while nicotine withdrawal does cause cravings because your body has got used to having nicotine around, that there are other strong physical and psychologist causes too.

Nicotine withdrawal plays a large part in cigarette cravings however there are other factors. Scientists have shown that the physical habits associated with smoking, namely the hand to mouth action, the inhale/exhale action, the act of having something in your hand and the social aspects are all very hard habits to break.

Understanding the cause of cravings is what will help many form a successful quit smoking plan. Quit smoking groups work hard to address the issues surrounding cravings, from understanding them to offering nicotine replacement therapy which enables a gradual reduction in nicotine intake rather than a sudden withdrawal or cold turkey as it is often referred to. What these groups seldom offer though is aid with the cravings that have physical roots. This is where vaping comes in.

Avoiding Triggers

Are there times when you smoke more than others, are there places you go or actions you take that make you want to smoke more? These places and times are called triggers. Understanding what makes you want to pick up a cigarette is key to helping you quit your smoking habit for good. For example, do you find your cravings harder to control if you have had alcohol? Does visiting a certain place make you reach for cigarettes?

The best advice for managing triggers is to recognise what your triggers are, to find ways to cope with them, i.e. perhaps avoid alcohol initially when starting your quit smoking journey, and to build new routines and habits. If after work the first thing you would do is light up in the car, car share with someone, walk to work, or change your routine for a while. Identify triggers, build workarounds and enjoy being smoke free a lot quicker.

How Vaping Helps With Cravings and Triggers

cravings, smoking

One of the reasons that vaping has been hailed as such a brilliant alternative to smoking and such a useful and successful cessation tool is that it helps to address both the physical and the psychological difficulties that people have to deal with when giving up tobacco cigarettes.

E Liquids contain nicotine in the same way that cigarettes do (the similarity ends there) and with e liquids you may choose to customise your nicotine content levels. For example, if you wished to, you could switch from smoking to vaping and maintain the same level of nicotine and that’s fine.

You could however gradually reduce the amount of nicotine in your e liquid until you are vaping alow amount or even a nicotine free e juice. This gradual withdrawal of nicotine is much easier than stopping altogether therefore from a nicotine withdrawal point of view, vaping offers significant help with nicotine withdrawal.

Vaping also helps with the physical withdrawals those wanting to quit smoking struggle with. With vaping you have an e cigarette in your hand, you use a similar hand to mouth action, enjoy the same pleasurable inhale/exhale and with vaping being so popular, may enjoy the social aspect that you were afraid to lose when considering switching from smoking to vaping.

Vaping ticks all of the enjoyment boxes smokers fear they will miss out and it adds additional levels of enjoyment, for example, different flavoured e liquids. If you wanted to, you could even vape tobacco e liquid, offering you a way to mimic the actions of smoking and even the taste of your favourite tobacco without the dangerous problems associated with smoking.

What the Experts Say

While vaping is relatively new, at least compared to smoking, it has a huge amount of support from leading health charities, NHS trusts, scientists, researchers, doctors and more. Public Health England is the independent government group that was responsible for the Go Smoke Free ban back in 2007 and who work tirelessly on anti-smoking campaigns, awareness and to educate and support the public with making healthier choices. In spring 2018, Public Health England released their vaping review, a comprehensive review in which they announced findings that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking. This statement is backed by much research and has also reinforced what many have said about vaping being a much better alternative to smoking.

Other health charities, MPs and experts have backed up what PHE have announced about vaping and there is a big push to make vaping more accessible, perhaps even for e cigarettes to be recognised as official medial cessation devices in order to be given out on prescription to help smokers successful quit smoking and more to a significantly healthier alternative.

In Summary

Not only is vaping better for you than smoking, but it also offers a unique tool to help you manage or even banish the cravings that you would experience when walking away from a tobacco cigarette habit. Inhaling a vapour produced by heating up high-quality e liquid is significantly better for you than breathing in the smoke produced by burning tobacco and the associated chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes which are classified as being toxic and as having the potential to cause cancer (according to the World Health Organisation).

If cravings are something struggle with when trying to give up smoking, vaping could be exactly what you have been looking for. Many have used vaping as a successful way to help them quit smoking, some continuing to enjoying their new vaping hobby long-term and some using it to quit then eventually giving up vaping too. The flexibility is there for you to do what sits best with you.

If you are looking to quit smoking we hope this blog post has been useful to you. If you are looking for more information on vaping have a read of some of our other vaping blog posts.

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