Heavy smokers may find it harder to stop smoking with vaping than lighter smokers, but they too can make the switch. This is supported by the fact that (in the UK) thousands more regular – and heavy – smokers are managing to quit smoking with vaping every single year.
With the right vape set up, support and attitude, even long-term, hardened smokers can switch to vaping just like other smokers can. It’s just that for them, it may take a little more time, effort and perseverance.
What is a heavy smoker?
Here in the UK, a heavy smoker is defined as someone who smokes more than 20 cigarettes per day. But I’m using this term more loosely, to include long term, habitual smokers, who may smoke less, too.
Do you wake up and need a cigarette first thing? Do you ever find yourself about to light up when there’s already a cigarette smouldering in your hand? For me, those are signs of habitual smoking, even if they aren’t official definitions of a heavy tobacco user.
How hard is it for a heavy smoker to stop smoking with vaping?
Long-term smokers often enjoy smoking and see their cigarettes as a lifeline. Some would sooner replace one of their legs with a parsnip than replace their smoking habit with an e-cigarette. That’s why your average 40-a-day user might just laugh if you tell them to stop smoking and start vaping.
For a heavy smoker, the idea of saying goodbye to cigarettes forever can be traumatic, to say the least. Nonetheless, some hardened smokers really do want to quit, and many are using vaping as a way to achieve this.
But how can a heavy smoker give up that beloved habit of a lifetime and simply replace it with vaping all of a sudden? And how can they do this with as little discomfort as possible?
How to ease the switch to vaping when you’re a heavy smoker
However hard it is for you as a stubborn smoker to stop smoking, there are nonetheless several ways to make the switch to vaping more comfortable.
Vape to cut down – not stop smoking
If you’re a heavy smoker, it might be easier for you to start vaping as a way of cutting down the amount you smoke rather than doing it to give up smoking right away.
That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to transition to vaping completely in the end. It’s just that starting vaping with the aim of cutting down on cigarettes will probably put you under much less stress.
And it also means that once you’ve given vaping a shot, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Don’t stress it
Even if you do carry on smoking heavily instead of switching, it’s not the end of the world. At least you’ll have experienced vaping, so you’ll find it easier to go back to it one day if you choose to.
You’ll also have a vape device ready and waiting as a go-to option when the time is right.
On the other hand, let’s say you do stick with vaping, but you’re still smoking anyway. In this case, chances are you may now be smoking a bit less heavily as a result.
So, viewing e cigs as an alternative to smoking is likely a better way forward for more habitual smokers.
Find the right vape device
Heavy smokers should look for e-cigarette kits and vape liquids that recreate the effect of smoking as closely as possible. Go for a basic but reliable mouth-to-lung beginner vape “pod vape” or “vape pen” starter kit, and give it a go.
Just remember that any device you buy should have reliable battery life and very good flavour production. After years of heavy smoking, your new vape will need to fill the cigarette gap by satisfying cravings quickly and effectively.
Split up your smoking routine with vaping sessions
You shouldn’t rush into vaping if you’re a heavy smoker, as this will probably just stress you out. Instead, try to break up your heavy smoking routine with short vaping sessions.
By splitting your smoking routine, you’ll start smoking less heavily as your vaping becomes more frequent. It should also mean you’ll gradually start to develop a taste for vaping without missing your cigarettes.
Build new routines around vaping
Heavy smokers should try to see vaping as a just a “cleaner” way of smoking, with its own rituals and characteristics. Just like you did with smoking, you can develop habits and routines around vaping and e cigarettes.
For instance, you could replace your usual “wake-up” morning cigarette with a morning vape.
See vaping as a smoking alternative – not a replica
Remember that you can get almost the same pleasure from vaping that you get from smoking as a heavy smoker.
However, though the feel, satisfaction and flavour of vape smoke can be very close to that of cigarette smoke, you’ll never be able to match the exact experience of smoking. So don’t be disappointed if you’re not getting the same buzz right away.
With any luck, vaping will become your “new smoking”, and you’ll start to enjoy e-cigs even more than you enjoy real cigarettes.
The good news for heavy smokers wanting to quit
If you’re a habitual smoker who has yet to try vaping as an alternative to smoking, you’re in for some great news. You CAN stop smoking and start vaping even as a heavy smoker.
Vaping is one of the most effective ways to cut down and quit smoking, and is twice as likely to help you give up than with other cessation methods.
E-cigarettes are less expensive and much more effective than they were ten years ago. What’s more, they’ve been proven to work extremely effectively among both heavy and regular smokers.
What have you got to lose?