When you decide to quit smoking, it’s a major decision that will impact the rest of your life in ways that you can’t even fully imagine yet. You’re already aware of many of the benefits of vaping vs. smoking – like the fact that vaping allows you to satisfy your nicotine cravings while enjoying a wide variety of delicious flavors, for instance. There are also several other things that will happen when you switch to vaping, though – particularly if you make the switch while simultaneously giving up smoking. In this article, we’re going to explain some of those things to you and help you understand what you can expect when you make the switch.
So, what happens when you switch to vaping? Here are some of the most profound changes that you can expect when you buy your first vape kit.
Credit: NHS UK | What happens when you quit smoking?
When You Stop Smoking, You May Feel Strange for a Few Days
One of the most important things to know about quitting smoking is that you may not feel completely yourself for the first few days. That’s going to be the case even if you switch to vaping. That’s because cigarette smoke contains thousands of different chemicals, and your body expects to receive a constant supply of those chemicals every day. Vaping replaces the nicotine from smoking, and that’s the most important and addictive chemical in cigarette smoke – but it’s not the only one. While switching to vaping means that you’re still getting nicotine, you’ll probably require a few days to adjust before you’ll feel completely normal after making the switch.
Here's a short list of the harmful chemicals that you ingest every day when you smoke cigarettes.
- Tobacco-specific nitrosamines: These are some of the most carcinogenic compounds in cigarette smoke, and they form during the curing of tobacco leaves.
- Carbon monoxide: This is a poisonous gas that’s released during the combustion of tobacco.
- Benzene: Benzene is a carcinogenic hydrocarbon that’s present in large amounts in cigarette smoke. Cigarette smokers consume about 10 times as much benzene as nonsmokers. In the United States, almost half of the benzene exposure that takes place occurs because of cigarette smoking.
- Ammonia: Ammonia is a caustic substance that’s present in cigarette smoke because it’s commonly used in the processing of tobacco.
When You Quit Smoking, Your Sense of Taste Will Improve
One of the best aspects of quitting smoking is that it’ll improve your sense of taste. It’s well known that smoking impedes your ability to taste foods and drinks, and a recent study shed light on this by comparing the tasting abilities of smokers and non-smokers. In the study, 20 percent of the participants who smoked were unable to taste bitter compounds such as those found in coffee. The ability to taste bitter flavors is an important aspect of maximizing the enjoyment of complex taste profiles, and you’ll enjoy your favorite foods and drinks infinitely more when you can taste the bitter notes.
There’s another interesting aspect of smoking and its effect on taste perception. The fact that smoking dulls your ability to taste bitter flavors actually helps to mask the harshness of the smoke itself. If you’ve been smoking for a long time, it’s possible that you’ve completely forgotten the horrible taste of your first cigarette. Most likely, though, you hated the flavor when you smoked for the first time. Your taste buds told you that the smoke was poison, but you continued smoking anyway because you enjoyed the rush from the nicotine. Eventually, you decided that you liked the taste of cigarette smoke – but that was only because you couldn’t really taste it anymore.
Many of the people who switch completely from smoking to vaping end up buying “just one more pack of cigarettes” after they’ve been vaping for a few weeks. If you do that, you’ll probably be shocked by how much you hate the taste of that cigarette. That’s because your sense of taste has returned.
When You Quit Smoking, You May Experience Increased Coughing Temporarily
If you haven’t been smoking long enough to develop a chronic cough, it might surprise you to learn that you’re highly likely to start coughing when you quit smoking. That’s because the tar from cigarette smoke collects on the cilia in your lungs, paralyzing them and preventing them from keeping themselves clean. Within a few weeks of quitting smoking, the cilia will regain the ability to move, and you’ll begin to cough as your lungs rid themselves of the unwanted tar.
The Mayo Clinic has a few pieces of advice for those who experience increased coughing after quitting smoking.
- To ensure that the coughing will be productive in removing the congestion from your lungs, you should consume extra fluids. It’s important to drink plenty of extra water after switching to vaping anyway, because dehydration is a possible side effect of vaping that can lead to coughing or a sore throat.
- You can use an over-the-counter cough medicine containing guaifenesin to help loosen the phlegm in your lungs.
- You can use cough drops to soothe the scratchiness in your throat. You may also find it helpful to consume honey in small amounts.
- If throat irritation is making it difficult for you to stop coughing, try taking a hot shower.
Because the purpose of the coughing is to remove the unwanted material that’s collected in your lungs during your years as a smoker, it’s not unusual to cough up some fairly ugly looking phlegm after you quit smoking. However, you should consult with a doctor if the coughing is painful or if you cough up blood. Most people who quit smoking find that the coughing subsides after a few weeks.
When You Switch to Vaping, You’ll Save a Lot of Money
It’s fairly common knowledge that vaping is less expensive than smoking. You can’t possibly imagine how much money you’re going to save, though, until you actually make the switch – and since tobacco taxes around the world have increased relentlessly over the past several years, the savings that you’ll enjoy when you switch to vaping are greater now than they’ve ever been before. Just look at these average prices for a pack of cigarettes in several nations around the world.
Average Price for a Pack of Cigarettes (US Dollars) in 2023:
- Australia: $26.69
- New Zealand: $23.05
- Ireland: $16.03
- United Kingdom: $15.20
- Canada: $12.67
- France: $11.22
- United States: $9.00
- Germany: $8.23
In many of the nations where the tobacco taxes are highest, those taxes don’t apply to vaping products – and in cases where vaping products are taxed, they usually aren’t taxed at the same rate as cigarettes. So, depending on where you live, you’ll probably save a significant amount of money on taxes – and that’s in addition to the fact that vaping products themselves are cheaper than cigarettes because e-liquid is so inexpensive to produce.
Depending on where you live, an average bottle of vape juice typically costs about the same as about two or three packs of cigarettes while lasting about twice as long. On that price difference alone, you can expect switching to vaping to cut your nicotine costs at least in half.
When You Switch to Vaping, You’ll Feel Better About Yourself
The biggest benefit of switching to vaping is the fact that it allows you to get your nicotine in a way that’s completely satisfying but doesn’t involve the inhalation of tar or carbon monoxide. The second biggest benefit is that you’ll save a surprisingly large amount of money at the same time. The thing you might not realize, though, is that stopping smoking and switching to vaping can also have a profound effect on your self-esteem.
If you’ve been smoking for a while, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that you see fewer people smoking cigarettes today than ever before. Since 2000, the worldwide smoking rate has dropped from about 34 percent to just under 23 percent. Two decades ago, more than a third of your friends and family members were smokers. Today, it’s less than a quarter.
You’re definitely aware of the fact that those who don’t smoke almost universally detest the smell of cigarettes, and you probably go to great lengths to ensure that people around you at work and in social situations won’t smell the remnants of smoke on you. You might wash your hands and spray yourself with perfume after every cigarette break. Maybe you even chew gum constantly throughout the day.
If you’ve been smoking for a long time, you’re probably well past the point of thinking about what it does to your self-esteem. The fact, though, is that taking such pains to control an odor that you know others find unpleasant isn’t doing anything positive for the way you feel about yourself. Because switching to vaping means that you no longer have to worry about the way your clothes, hair and breath smell, it can have a profound effect on your self-esteem. In a very short amount of time, you’ll find it much easier to behave naturally in social situations – and that might turn out to be the most positive effect of switching to vaping.