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Advice from experienced vapers on how to avoid relapse to smoking

Posted on January 10, 2019

So you have switched from smoking to vaping? Congratulations! You have taken a huge step in improving your health. The next challenge is to stay switched!

Relapse is a major problem for smokers who quit. Most quitters will relapse within the first couple of weeks and the great majority will return to smoking within 12 months, even with the best treatment.

Researchers at the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia in the UK interviewed experienced vapers on how to avoid relapse and have provided practical strategies to help vapers keep off the cigarettes.

Their advice is available here Smoking relapse prevention tips for vapers leaflet and has been pasted below for convenience.

Staying switched

In our research we heard lots of useful advice from people just like you who quit smoking by vaping. These are some hints and tips to help you stay quit for good! Remember that by giving up smoking, you’ve done the best thing you could for your health. Vaping isn’t cheating – it’s a much safer alternative to tobacco

  1. Find the right device
    There are hundreds of different devices available, but most people get on best with ‘pen type’ or ‘box mod’ devices.
  2. Experiment with flavours
    Have fun experimenting with different flavours. They’ll help keep vaping interesting and may make the taste of cigarettes less appealing
  3. Cravings
    You may sometimes find that you still feel like smoking a cigarette. A higher nicotine e-liquid can help fight those cravings
  4. Vaping frequency
    Some people worry that they vape more often than they smoked – but don’t worry! Research shows that you will regulate your nicotine levels and won’t become more dependent on nicotine than when you smoked
  5. Out and about
    If you have a particular trigger for smoking a cigarette, such as socialising or stressful events, consider using a higher nicotine e-liquid during these periods.
  6. Be prepared
    If your device fails you may be vulnerable to having a cigarette. Make sure to have a ‘back up’ device, spare chargers, batteries and e-liquid just in case
  7. If you have a cigarette...
    If you have a lapse to tobacco smoking or ‘dual use’ for a time don’t beat yourself up – our research shows that this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will result in a full tobacco smoking relapse. Increase your nicotine strength, try a new flavour or treat yourself to a new gadget.

Quitting vaping?

Inhaling nicotine by vaping e-liquid is much safer than inhaling tobacco smoke. If you do want to eventually stop using nicotine, don’t try to reduce the nicotine content too fast. This leaves you vulnerable to cravings which might mean you go back to smoking.

Also, keep a back up e-cigarette handy just in case – it is better to relapse back to vaping than to tobacco smoking! And remember, it should be your decision to quit – not anyone else’s

Need more support?

Try your local vape shop, ask friends, or join a vaping forum, who can support you in your attempts to quit smoking while you are vaping.

For more advice, hints and tips, and an electronic copy of this leaflet, please visit:

By the authors Caitlin Notley, Emma WardLynne Dawkins and Richard Holland: The unique contribution of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction in supporting smoking relapse prevention. Harm Reduction Journal 2018

Posted by Colin Mendelsohn,

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