Because of the thousands of chemicals combined in tobacco smoke that boost nicotine into your blood, smoking is highly addictive. Some people say there’s no evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit. Others insist that they do. We think this is the wrong question to ask.
Quitting smoking is hard. Most smokers have tried it more than once; whether you use patches or gum, hypnotherapy or the traditional cold turkey method the failure rate is around 95%. Plenty of scientists have theories about exactly why quitting is so difficult, but they tend to miss out one vital detail: Most smokers don’t really want to quit. They say they do when someone with a clipboard asks them, but they don’t really mean it. The fact is most smokers keep smoking because they enjoy it.
Now think of the language used about smokers. They should quit the habit they enjoy. They should give it up. It’s all about smoking cessation. But who wants to stop doing something they like? That’s what makes it so difficult. Just ask anyone who actually has quit, and they’ll tell you -for a long time, sometimes many years, they feel like something is missing from their lives.
Traditional stop-smoking aids like nicotine gum are designed to make it a little easier to give up the thing you enjoy. Electronic cigarettes are different. You don’t have to actually stop doing anything – you just do it in a better, more advanced way.
It’s true that early electronic cigarettes weren’t very satisfying compared to a tobacco one, but the technology has come a long way in just a few years; a modern e-cig, properly set up and filled with a good liquid, is a whole different story. It isn’t just an acceptable substitute; it’s a lot better. You can tailor how much nicotine you want, choose from a huge range of delicious flavours and customise the whole experience so it’s exactly the way you prefer. Of course it’s also more socially acceptable, much cheaper and 95% safer. Switching to e-cigs is the equivalent of swapping your old manual typewriter for a high-end laptop.
We’ve seen some incredible stories in the media, and no doubt there will be a lot more in the future. It’s best not to pay too much attention, though. Instead look at what real medical experts are saying – people like Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians. Read the words of the thousands of vapers who’ve put their switching stories online. It’s not hard to find the facts about e-cigarettes, and once you’ve done that you might feel a lot more positive about giving them a chance.