Nicotine is an addictive chemical you can’t easily shake off from your system. It’s the biggest reason quitters, even those who have stopped smoking for 12 months or more, feel the urge to light a cigarette.
Fortunately, it’s possible to use vaping to stop smoking as long as you’re under the guidance of a professional.
Nicotine vaping products (NVPs) can reduce nicotine’s effects, especially strong cravings to light a cigarette or nicotine withdrawal symptoms like irritation, anxiety, and depression. Like nicotine patches, medical NVPs give the body controlled amounts of nicotine to help wean them off.
NVPs can reduce your nicotine dependence from cigarettes by replacing the hand-to-mouth gesture and the habitual/social triggers associated with smoking.
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In today’s article, we’ll take a look at how vaping works to reduce or stop smoking and how to quit cigarettes with vaping in the most effective way.
What the Data Says
Vaping is an effective solution for motivated smokers looking to quit if they’re under a smoking cessation programme designed by a professional GP. Studies have shown that the majority of smokers who tried to quit in 2019 with the help of NVPs became successful.
How Vaping Weans You Off Nicotine Dependence
If you’re wondering about the role of NVPs in helping stop nicotine dependence, here are some explanations.
How nicotine vaping works
NVPs deliver small amounts of nicotine to the body, but do so without the harms associated with inhaling cigarette smoke.
NVPs from pharmacies can help you kick the habit only after a previous nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) was ineffective in helping you. The latest Cochrane Review has found high-certainty evidence that nicotine e-cigarettes are more effective than NRT in helping people quit smoking.
In a typical quit timeline, an ex-smoker goes through the strongest withdrawal symptoms and cravings during their first 2 to 4 weeks. During this period, they likely get support from loved ones and their community. Many try quitting cold turkey, but the use of NVPs can reduce the difficulties of strong withdrawals and cravings, particularly in these early days.
Many people relapse during the first few weeks of quitting. This is where NVPs can come in, and your GP may prescribe NVPs as a second-line means to help you stop smoking for good.
Existing habits can strongly trigger your nicotine dependence. In short, your cravings can be triggered by various actions and situations, such as taking a break from work, or having drinks with friends. NVPs intend to replace cigarettes during these habits.
Most people are easily tempted by holding a pack of cigarettes or being offered one. But, many triggers are also situational.
Love smoking with your coffee in the morning? You can replace cigarettes with NVPs that mimic the actions and feelings of smoking, but without the harms associated with inhaling cigarette smoke.
Changing your old habits also immensely helps. Wondering why your GP recommends exercising, attending community meetings, and finding a new hobby? It’s to make your mind busy enough that you forget about smoking.
Works Well With a Smoking Cessation Programme
During the start of a smoking cessation programme, the main goal is to stop you from smoking right away and remove the dangers of cigarette smoke.
NVPs supply small nicotine doses to your body to keep you from lighting a cigarette when you crave it or feel irritable and anxious without one.
NVPs from pharmacies may give you the best chance of pulling through and proceeding through the entire smoking cessation programme.
Quitting Smoking with Vaping in Australia
In May 2023, the Australian government banned the sale of single-use, disposable devices and other vaping products sold in corner shops, groceries, and other non-pharmacy outlets. Today, you can only purchase NVPs legally through pharmacies.
For those smokers out there who are sceptical or perhaps uncertain about their options to quit smoking, this presents an opportunity to discuss options with a trusted healthcare professional and lead yourself to a path of smoking cessation.
How to Quit Cigarettes With Vaping Products
You’re probably reading this because you want to learn about the role of vaping or NVPs in reducing your dependence on nicotine and its proper use. Here are the steps to do so.
Consult a GP
Think of your GP as a guide during a hike. They know the path and have guided others through the entire journey. GPs can create a tailor-made smoking cessation programme based on your consumption and needs.
Only Use Prescribed Pharmacy NVPs
Pharmacy NVPs differ greatly from the illegal ones found online and in corner stores and tobacconists. They are tested for inhalation safety, are locally insured and are made under the most stringent medical requirements to meet a quitter’s needs.
Illicit NVPs sold online and in shops may contain high levels of nicotine and dangerous chemicals. Even if their label says they’re nicotine-free, they may still contain it.
With medical NVPs, smokers can have confidence they are using a product 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 them stop smoking.
It always comes down to your motivation. Remember that NVPs are just tools. Without plans and goals, even NVPs might not be enough to help you quit.
Stay motivated by finding a new hobby, exercising and keeping healthy, and having regular check-ins with your GP to monitor your progress.
Get Help With a Bulk-Billed Consultation Today
We know you’re here because you want to use vaping to stop smoking the right way. You’re definitely in the best place to get started.
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.