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Switching to vaping in 5 EASY STEPS

Posted on May 8, 2019

As Aussie Vape Day approaches on 30 May 2019, ATHRA has prepared a simple guide for switching to vaping in 5 easy steps for adult smokers who can't quit. You can download a pdf version of the guide here.

Vaping is not completely risk-free, but most experts agree it is a much less harmful alternative to smoking and an effective quitting aid for some smokers.

1. Do your homework

Learn as much as you can about vaping from reliable sources. Visit your local vape shop, speak to friends who vape, go to the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association website, the E-cigarette Academy or online forums such as Vaping in Australia or Vape Fam Australia, where you can ask questions of experienced vapers.

2. See your doctor

Speak to your GP about vaping and ask if it is suitable for you as a method of reducing or quitting smoking, taking into account your personal circumstances and other quit smoking options available. Your doctor may write you a prescription for e-liquid if it is appropriate (see step 4 below).

3. Select a device

Vaporisers consist of 3 parts:

    • A battery (usually rechargeable)
    • A tank or ‘pod’ for the e-liquid
    • A ‘coil’ or heating element

The best models for beginners are pod and simple refillable tank models.

Vaporisers can be purchased from Australian vape shops but pod models prefilled with an active ingredient need to be sourced overseas.

4. Select an e-liquid

Basic e-liquid consists of propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG) and flavouring. Most vapers start with tobacco flavour as it is a more familiar taste. Many change later to fruit or dessert flavours.
Some e-liquids also contain an active ingredient which has a pharmaceutical effect for which a prescription may be required. Your doctor can discuss with you whether an e-liquid containing an active ingredient might be appropriate for you and the laws regarding it’s importation under the TGA Personal Importation Scheme.

Pre-mixed e-liquid or mix-your-own

Most beginners purchase ready-to-use, premixed e-liquid from overseas websites.

Many experienced users mix their own e-liquid by purchasing separate ingredients. Basic e-liquid (PG, VG and flavouring) can be purchased from Australian vape shops.

If you want to add an active ingredient, more concentrated forms are available from overseas websites. Always get the advice of an expert before doing any home mixing.

5. Make the switch

Talk to your doctor for advice on how to vape, as vaping is a little different to smoking. Here is some general advice that some people may find helpful:

  • Take longer, slower drags, 3-4 seconds on average
  • You can take a puff or two as needed or have a 10-12 puff session like smoking
  • Experiment to find the combination of vaping device and e-liquid flavour and ingredient mix that works for you
  • Daily vaping is more effective for quitting smoking than vaping less often
  • A little coughing is common at first, but usually settles
  • Some people continue to smoke in the early stages of vaping and that's fine as you adjust to vaping. However, try to stop smoking as soon as you can
  • Later, stop vaping if you can. However, the evidence so far suggests that continuing to vape is much safer than returning to smoking

Download the pdf version of this guide:
Switch to vaping in 5 easy steps

Colin Mendelsohn,

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