Illegal vapes have proliferated everywhere to the point that you can find them in nearly every convenience store, tobacconist, and even your local lolly or toy shop.
However, one common mistake motivated smokers are committing is to buy these illegal vaping products for a serious quitting attempt. These illegal products are not designed for quitting.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the common mistakes people commit when using vaping products and the right way to go about it.
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Mistake #1: Buying Non-Pharmacy Vapes
Everywhere from convenience stores, tobacconists, and even lolly and toy shops are now selling illegal vaping products.
Any vaping product sold outside of a registered pharmacy is not only illegal, it’s potentially a danger to your health. Let’s learn more about the differences.
Illicit vapes (such as those in convenience stores and tobacconists) are imported under the radar, just like illicit tobacco and drugs, and are made as cheaply as possible for maximum profits.
When we say cheap, we’re not just talking about the price – it also means they don’t adhere to any standards at all, nor do they care to.
Does it taste good and produce a huge amount of addictive nicotine to guarantee repeat purchases? That’s the goal for these opportunistic manufacturers and sellers, even if their devices also produce high levels of nickel and lead with each inhalation and have questionable manufacturing practices (they’ve found human saliva in them, too).
You don’t know what you’re inhaling when you use illegal NVPs.
Now, let’s talk about the most trusted and reliable option – pharmacy nicotine vaping products (NVPs).
NVP products sold in pharmacies are made under stringent pharmaceutical standards on the manufacturing process and ingredients, are toxicologically assessed for inhalation, are locally insured, and are specifically designed to help you stop smoking.
Unlike their illegal counterparts, local manufacturers adhere to high medical standards, such as GMP and ISO standards for medical device manufacturing to ensure the consistent safety and dependability of their NVPs.
Mistake #2: Thinking They’re Completely Safe
Vaping isn’t completely safe. All vaping products contain nicotine, the highly addictive product that draws back even the most motivated smoker who quit cigarettes years ago.
While pharmacy vapes are made with high medical standards and have precisely measured nicotine levels, they can still hook motivated smokers – effectively exchanging smoking for vaping.
Under a GP’s expert supervision and quit programme, you’ll know when to quit vaping and avoid nicotine altogether, and have the support and guidance to do so.
Mistake #3: Believing Vapes Are a Miracle Cure
While studies have found high-certainty evidence that nicotine vapes are more effective than traditional NRT (like patches and gums), it’s important to remember that these are still only ‘tools’ for smoking cessation – they’re only effective if you’re highly motivated to quit.
While pharmacy NVPs are designed to alleviate your nicotine withdrawals, you’ll still need willpower to ensure you don’t habitually reach for that cigarette, or become tempted to ‘just have one’ while you’re out with friends.
Remember that your NVP from a pharmacy is a quitting tool not designed for leisure and fun, but only for quitting cigarettes and then nicotine later on.
Mistake #4: Improper Usage
Vapes and cigarettes only have one thing in common – they both contain nicotine. The thousands of hazardous chemicals in cigarette smoke make it far more dangerous than vaping products.
However, it’s also easy to exchange NVPs for cigarettes with improper use.
An NVP should only be used when your craving for a cigarette strikes. Unlike smoking, you only take a few puffs to ease the cravings, whereas you must complete an entire stick (and also inhale all of the dangerous chemicals) when lighting a cigarette.
Taking a few more puffs to ease the cravings is still well and good if it’s required, but getting into a habit of puffing away all day can become a problem. This is where the guidance and support from your GP can be invaluable.
Along with this, some smokers will use their NVP in non-smoking environments (such as during work, or inside while watching a movie), then head outside and light a cigarette – effectively becoming ‘dual-users’ who vape and smoke simultaneously.
It’s crucial that you take this journey with an experienced GP to make sure you stay on the right track.
Mistake #5: Not Consulting a Professional GP
The last common mistake NVP users commit is never consulting a professional GP for smoking cessation.
A GP who specialises in stopping smoking can monitor your progress in quitting smoking. They would ensure you go through first-line solutions first (in the form of NRT products) before they can prescribe NVPs.
NRT products are lozenges, inhalers, and patches that contain a small dose of nicotine to wean you off nicotine cravings.
They’re the safest option for smoking cessation, even if the latest Cochrane Review found high-certainty evidence that NVPs are more effective than NRT in helping people stop smoking.
If NRT doesn’t work for you, your GP may prescribe a pharmacy NVP to you. Again, they will monitor your progress and recommend the right time to quit vaping and nicotine altogether.
By avoiding these common mistakes and keeping in mind the solutions presented, you’re well on your way to using pharmacy NVPs to stop smoking for good and avoiding becoming a dual-user who exchanges smoking for vaping.
We highly recommend going through a smoking cessation programme with a GP – Smokefree Clinic can help you with that.
Smokefree Clinic gives you access to many medically reviewed and trustworthy resources that can inform and aid you in your path to wellness, so have a look around!
If you’re ready to get started, Smokefree can connect you to bulk-billing Australian healthcare professionals who excel in helping patients quit smoking for good, including using responsible vaping products where appropriate.
Click here to book your bulk-billed telehealth consultation with an Australian healthcare professional and quit smoking today.