I’ve been a smoker for many years. I’ve never smoked indoors, partly because I hate the smell of stale smoke, but I’ve found it difficult to quit.
Over the years I’ve tried a few half-hearted attempts at quitting – from Cold Turkey to Gum, Patches to Inhalators. I never managed to go beyond a day Cold Turkey, and I’ve always put this down to the fact my job requires a lot of mental concentration – which is extremely difficult when your body is craving nicotine. Gum has never worked for me at all, the taste I found disgusting after a few minutes. Inhalators again didn’t work for me – they helped take the edge off slightly, but never left me feeling ‘satisfied’. The only method I’ve found to work reasonably well was patches. I’ve used these over the last few years on numerous occasions, mainly when I’ve known we would be stuck in a hospital for hours on end and going outside wasn’t going to be an option. However, I’ve never managed to use Patches on a long-term basis (in fact, 12 hours is probably the longest I’ve managed!).
So, as you can probably gather, I have zero willpower. I suspect my previous efforts would be more successful if I hadn’t been working from home and sat at a desk all day – there’s little to distract you from the fact your body is craving nicotine, and after a while, those cravings start to take over your mind.
Becoming a father does change your view on life, and the affect smoking has on yourself and those around you. Whilst I’ve always smoked outdoors, there’s no denying that the smell still lingers on you, a smell that isn’t healthy or pleasant for young children. I’m also conscious of the fact that I’d like to be able to see my children grow into adults, and statistically I’m reducing that likelihood by smoking.
The final consideration is the cost, which is rising rapidly. Most people I know smoke around 20 per day, which at current prices is around £200 per month. Since Sam was born, I’d already cut back drastically, but it was still costing me around £80 per month.
As a final attempt to ‘kick the habit’, I decided to give electronic cigarettes a go. In theory, these would work for me – they should satisfy the habit element, whilst also satisfying the craving for nicotine. I started with a cheap kit from E-Lites, probably the best-known and widely available brands of electronic cigarettes. These look like normal cigarettes, but the end of it lights up green whilst in use – handy if your using it in a bar or other public place. The E-Lites cigarette comes in 2 pieces – the battery and the cartomiser, which contains the nicotine.
The battery is rechargeable via a USB port, and each cartomiser should last a full day for the average smoker (they claim each is the equivalent of 40 normal cigarettes, but I’d say its about half that).
The biggest thing that surprised me about electronic cigarettes is that you still get the ‘throat hit’ you get with regular smoking, and you still get the ‘smoke’ when you exhale – although it’s actually just odour-free water vapour.
In the first day, I had 2 ‘regular’ cigarettes early in the morning – the hardest time for most smokers – and used the electronic cigarette the rest of the day. Usually, I would have a further cigarette just before bed, but was able to go without this. Since then I have used the electronic cigarette exclusively, and experienced no cravings at all. Very occasionally I have to stop myself from reaching for a normal cigarette, usually after meals, but this is simply because it was a habit of mine for so long – a brief reminder to myself and that’s it.
I haven’t felt the desire to return to regular smoking at all. I feel healthier, and those around me don’t have to suffer with the lingering smell of tobacco on me.
It’s worth noting that electronic cigarettes still give your body nicotine, so you’re not ‘quitting’ as such, though you are ridding yourself of the harmful tar and other toxins that regular cigarettes offer. Cartomisers are available in various strengths – I started with the strongest, which I still use first thing in the morning, then the ‘medium’ strength. I’ve also recently started using 0mg, which gives the same taste and experience, without having any nicotine – I find this handy for those times I’m using it through habit rather than need.
Whilst electronic cigarettes are cheaper than regular cigarettes for most people, it’s worth noting that E-Lites refills are somewhat on the expensive side – roughly £4 each. Remember what I stated earlier about how long they last? That’s basically £4 per day for most smokers. For a lot of people, the financial aspects of smoking are their incentive to quit, so I’m not convinced they are priced well in that respect. That said, as a starting point I’d say they’re the best ‘all round’ at the moment – a starter kit with everything you need to get going can be had for under £20, enough to work out whether its for you.
After a week of using the E-Lites, I realised this was working for me, but I wanted to address the cost of it – and the fact refills are very difficult to find on the high street. I started researching what else was out there, and was amazed to discover some of the other things you can find. There’s a whole host of options available – including an array of extravagant flavours (I’ve stuck with Tobacco flavour!).
I eventually settled on the ‘VGo’ kit, which looks much less like a cigarette, but is easily refillable yourself. Combined with clear cartomisers, these can be refilled with ‘E-Juice’, which costs around £15 for 50Ml – enough for almost a month of fairly heavy use. You can buy additional cartomisers for a few pounds, and refill each with different strengths/flavours etc to suit. I’m finding this both extremely cost effective, and easy.
Electronic Cigarettes probably won’t be for everyone, but for someone with zero willpower, they’re working for me!
We are now on day 16 of DaddyGeek’s non-smoking. By far the best he has ever managed.
I just want to add that previous to using these electronic cigarettes, every attempt to quit put him in a bad mood. I can honestly say there have not been any mood swings this time! There has also been no weight gain (yet) and no door slamming! He definitely doesn’t smell of cigarettes or tobacco now, and he can make it from the ground floor to the top floor of our 3 storey house without getting breathless – he couldn’t do that 3 weeks ago! Also, I’m not sure if the two things are linked or not, but he hasn’t snored once since he quit, either!
I just want to say well done Hubby! I’m very proud of you!
(PS I’m a non smoker)!
This isn’t a sponsored post – Just sharing our experiences of Electronic Cigarettes which we purchased ourselves