Sunday, 6 November 2016

Let Me Help You With That

I am writing this blog in response to a plea for help/tips for new users. I hope it will offer some useful advice that can be imparted to new switchers. It is far from exhaustive but I think it contains the essentials.

First let me give you my story. I am 60 years old and smoked since 9. I quit many times and failed just as often. 3½ years ago I was persuaded by my daughter to try ecigs. I have not looked back since. For me it was an instant success and I have not touched a cigarette since or even wanted to. Calling it a minor miracle is an understatement. If you don't want to quit smoking then ignore this. I don't want to demonise you in any way. If you do want to stop smoking then please read on.

  1. NEVER set targets. Remember all those times you have tried to quit before. That pressure you and others pile upon yourself? Avoid that, it rarely works. Buy your ecig and take it one day at a time.
  2. Seek out any advice from current users. We have done it and we understand how it works.
  3. Select an eliquid with enough Nicotine content to satisfy the initial cravings. I suggest no less than 18mg/ml or 1.8%. If you were a heavy smoker you may need higher, 24mg/ml or 2.4% although this is hard to find.
  4. FLAVOUR. I think this is the most critical part. If you pick a flavour you do not like you will not stick with it. Think about what you like. Blueberry is a very good starter flavour for many. Do not automatically go for Tobacco flavours. Most Tobacco flavours are a very poor substitute for cigarettes. Think outside the box. There are thousands of flavours out there and getting it right is the key to success. I like Lemon in the morning with my Lemon tea, various during the day and Chocolate at night. If you like drinking then you will need to find a flavour that compliments you tipple of choice. Think of it in the same way as wine/food choices.
  5. Drinking Alcohol. Mine and most smokers weak link when trying to quit. How many times have you avoided drinking because you know you will have the odd smoke. The good news is, with the right flavour and in the right environment, Vaping will overcome this. Most Vapers are drinkers and have no issues.
  6. Seek out Pubs that allow vaping. There are many only too happy to welcome you, after all, you will spend more money when sitting relaxed inside than popping out for a fag every ½ hour.
  7. DO NOT worry that you seem to be using your ecig a lot. That is quite normal. Your body does not absorb the same levels of nicotine that it can from a cigarette so you Vape more to compensate.
  8. Do not listen to the naysayers. This is your journey not theirs.

Let's move on to to the equipment itself. There are hundreds of different ecigs out there and to a new user it must look daunting. Don't worry. Most of them are not applicable to you, yet. A simple set up and the above advice is all you need to make it work. Once you know it works for you then you may want to upgrade your equipment.
You will probably end up with something like this. 

It consists of a Ce4 tank and an ego 650MaH battery. The tank contains an atomiser and this is where the action is. The battery heats up a small coil in the atomiser which vapourises the eliquid which you then breathe by sucking the mouth piece. All you do is simply fill the tank with liquid and press the button on the battery. All very easy and very inexpensive. These kits and a juice can be bought for less than the price of a packet of fags.
When using this type of tank you need to remember two things,

  1. Occasionally roll the tank to ensure the wicks are always soaked in eliquid otherwise you will end up with a burnt taste. Always keep the tank topped up as well.
  2. The atomiser is a replaceable item. They should be available from where you purchased your kit. They need replacing as soon as the taste changes to unpleasant. This can be anywhere from 1-2 weeks depending on how much you use it and the flavour of liquid. Do not try to push the atomiser beyond it's useful life. It tastes foul and produces nasties.

Now what about those great looking boxy things with big tanks that produce big clouds of vapour you ask. Well that is the next level of vaping. It may or may not suit you. Many people continue to use the above kits quite happily. Box mods (battery and control chips) combined with bigger, often rebuildable tanks are very common now. However they are not always suitable or cost effective for someone starting their journey. They do produce more vapour and flavour. They also allow you to use less nicotine but they are more expensive to buy and run. I would not recommend them until you are sure Vaping is for you.

See that nice new Vape Shop that opened near you? Drop in and have a look. Hopefully the staff will be helpful. You can probably try out some flavours. Remember my advice for starting kit and don't get tempted to buy the lovely shinies you see arrayed around you.

If you are on twitter, look me up @NealRoff and I will be happy to help and there are thousands of us out there that will do the same.

Contact your local Stop Smoking Service. They may be ecig friendly and be able to help. Some even run ecig workshops with the help of local Vapers.

Above all else. DO NOT listen to the scaremongering in the media. The science shows ecigs are magnitudes safer than smoking. That is all you need to know for now. Give it a shot. What do you have to lose.

Added due to oversight. If you relapse, don't beat yourself up over it.  Try and work out why and have another go.

Safety Tip. Easy to forget and I did. Batteries for ecigs are no more dangerous than for Phones, Laptops, Tablets and a host of other consumer goods. Handled correctly they are pretty safe.

1. Only use the charger that came with your kit and never leave to charge overnight. Buy a spare battery to overcome this.
2. When not in use, switch the battery off. Usually 5 quick clicks of the button. This prevents accidental firing.
3. If you do use replaceable batteries such as 18650's NEVER store loose anywhere. The slightest short can set it off with disastrous consequences. Coins and keys in your pocket are usually to blame. Battery cases are dirt cheap and could save a nasty accident.


  1. This is so helpful and easy to follow. I manage the Leicester City Stop Smoking Service, and I'd want all the new vapers to read this, to reduce the risk of them ever going back to smoking.

  2. This is very helpful as I'm having difficulty switching any help appreciated Should I throw cigs away or keep some for just in case! Was thinking if I haven't got any I will want 1

    1. Hi Jain
      It is difficult to let go isn't it. That's why many of us smoked for years. My best advice for you is to give them to a friend/family member to hold onto with the proviso that they only give them to you if you are desperate. My experience and that of many others is the switch was painless, easy and instant. I have not touched nor wanted a cigarette in over 5 years. Switching is all about getting the right ecig/juice combo to suit you. Talk to a friend who happily vapes or your local vape shop.
      I hope this helps.