What Is It Like to Quit Smoking and Start Vaping?
Guest post by Skylar Rothman.
If you’re a long-term smoker, switching to vaping is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. In surveys, people who have switched to vaping have invariably reported that the switch bettered their lives. Nevertheless, the idea of altering a habit that’s been a fundamental part of your existence for many years may seem a bit scary to you – so we’re going to walk you through the process by answering some of the most common questions about the switch to vaping. Are you ready to learn more about what vaping is really like? Let’s begin.
What do E-Cigarettes Really Taste Like?
An e-cigarette works by heating a liquid called e-liquid and turning it into an aerosol that you inhale. E-liquids contain food-grade flavorings, and e-liquid makers can use those flavorings in different combinations to create any flavor profile that you can possibly imagine. Would you like an e-liquid that tastes like almond biscotti? What about coffee with cream? Would an icy slushie please your palate? You can find all those flavor profiles in e-liquid – and many, many more.
What do Tobacco E-Liquids Really Taste Like?
If you’re currently a smoker, vaping almond biscotti might not sound appealing to you yet. Believe us, it will eventually – but right now, you’re probably more concerned about replacing the familiar tobacco that you’ve tasted all day – every day – for years. The good news is that there’s so much variety in the world of tobacco e-liquids that you’re certain to find something you’ll love. The bad news is that you won’t find an e-liquid that tastes like a cigarette. Think about it; when you smoke, you’re not really tasting the tobacco. You’re tasting smoke. An e-liquid can’t duplicate that flavor because it doesn’t contain anything that burns. However, an e-liquid can do an excellent job of duplicating the taste of the tobacco itself.
There are two types of tobacco e-liquids. Standard tobacco e-liquids simulate the taste of tobacco using food-grade flavoring agents with nutty, woody, savory, grassy and spicy notes. Like expert perfumers, e-liquid makers work hard to come up with creative, nuanced blends that either taste like tobacco or hit many of the same notes on the palate.
The other type of tobacco e-liquid is naturally extracted tobacco (“NET”) e-liquid. To create a tobacco extract, the maker grinds down tobacco leaves and places them in a vat with a solvent for several weeks. The solvent pulls the complex flavor notes from the tobacco. The maker then filters the extract and uses it like any other flavoring agent. NET e-liquids can have complex and wonderful flavor profiles. However, they may also contain tobacco-specific nitrosamines. It is not known whether the presence of TSNAs makes NET e-liquids less safe than other e-liquids.
What do Menthol E-Liquids Really Taste Like?
Menthol e-liquids are like tobacco e-liquids in that they can’t fully replicate the taste of a burning cigarette. If you enjoy menthol cigarettes, though, it may be the case that you enjoy them more for the taste of the menthol than the taste of the smoke – and the menthol that e-liquid makers use is exactly the same as the menthol that cigarette makers use. Without the addition of harsh smoke, a menthol e-liquid can taste deliciously cool and fresh. A menthol e-liquid allows you to enjoy the coolness of menthol for its own sake – rather than enjoying it because it helps to prevent the smoke from irritating your throat. E-liquid makers also add menthol to other e-liquid flavors to simulate the flavor of frozen beverages, sorbets, ice creams and more.
How Will Switching to Vaping Make Me Feel?
The most important thing to understand before you begin your transition to vaping is that nicotine is only one of the many active ingredients in cigarettes. Nicotine is a powerfully addictive stimulant, and it is the primary reason why smoking is a habit that’s so hard to quit. Direct stimulation from the nicotine, however, is only one of the ways in which tobacco smoke affects your body and brain. Researchers have discovered, for example, that tobacco smoke is an MAO-A inhibitor that affects the brain’s reward pathway and makes you want to continue smoking. On its own, nicotine is not an MAO-A inhibitor. The combustion of tobacco produces thousands of chemicals that we don’t fully understand. During the initial days after you switch to vaping, your body will need to detoxify itself from those chemicals even though you’re still consuming nicotine. You may still feel occasional cravings to smoke, but it’s best if you try to switch fully to vaping rather than vaping and smoking concurrently.
The good news is that it’s far easier to switch to vaping than it is to switch to any other form of nicotine replacement. An e-cigarette delivers the same nicotine as, for example, nicotine gum. The difference is that an e-cigarette allows you to enjoy the same hand-to-mouth ritual as smoking along with the same hit of nicotine in the throat and lungs. People who vape call the feeling they get from inhaling the vapor “throat hit.” Vaping feels very much like smoking, and no other form of nicotine replacement can duplicate it. Between the variety of flavors, the throat hit and the visible clouds of vapor that you’ll exhale, you’ll ultimately find that vaping is a perfect replacement for smoking. It may not taste the same as smoking, but when you taste the variety of flavors available, we think you’ll ultimately decide that vaping tastes better. You’ll also smell better, feel better and spend considerably less money. Taking all of those factors into account, we think there’s no question that switching from smoking to vaping is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
About the Author
Skylar Rothman is the marketing manager of SmokingThings.com, a new online vape shop that wants to be your one-stop shop for your favorite e-liquids. Smoking Things carries a growing selection of vape juices and offers a 10 percent discount to all new customers with the coupon code FIRST10.