Frequently Asked Questions

I can assist you in conquering the fears and challenges related to smoking.

🌟 Congratulations 🌟on making the decision to stop using nicotine products – Your Questions Answered!

Hello, Friend. Each person’s smokefree journey is unique, shaped by individual experiences, genetics, biology, and the environment. Your smoking history will also impact your recovery, depending on what you smoked, how often, how you ingested it, and so forth. Rule of thumb for every year you smoke allow two years of recovery.

As a result of these differences, your questions and the answers may come from a different angle. Quitting is not a one-size-fits-all.

The answers you seek are just below.

Don’t hesitate to ask if you don’t find the answers you’re looking for.

How do I quit smoking?

  1. Go Cold Turkey. More people have successfully quit this way than any other method long term.
  2. Plan Your Quit – Clean up: home, car, workplace; Knowledge: triggers and solutions, withdrawal management, coping strategies.
  3. Paraphernalia – all gone. Including ashtrays, pipes, lighters, smoking jackets, cigarettes, cigars, NRT, vapes, dips, pouches, etc.
  4. Know your WHY. Quit for yourself to prevent relapse. Make a list of other reasons for motivation, but the most important reason is YOU; if you don’t value yourself and your health, your survival won’t rate high enough to drive your commitment and motivation when times are tough, such as when you are devastated by the loss of a loved person or pet.
  5. One Day at a Time. Live in your usual world, identifying and solving triggers as they arise (what will you replace them with).
  6. Manage Withdrawal Symptoms: Know how to treat or avoid them.
  7. Have a positive ‘I Can Do This’ attitude. Don’t act deprived; you’re not giving up anything; the world is full of cigarettes. If you carry on like that, quitting will be hard.
  8. Support System: Tell your friends and family. Tell them how they can support you. Join a support group.
  9. Undo the addiction in your brain and body: Eat every three hours and stay hydrated to avoid low blood sugar – fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and no junk foods and white sugar processed foods, or your body will switch to a ‘sugar hit.’
  10. Nicotina-holic. If you were like me, you might have been primed to smoke before taking your first puff because your parents and family smoked around you as a child. Some of you may have parents who smoked while you were an embryo or fetus. As ex-smokers, we are primed to start smoking again with just one puff. You started smoking with just one puff and will relapse with just one puff. Remember the Golden Rule: ‘Not a single puff.’ Accept that you may feel physically low for the first week or two and emotionally low in the second to fourth weeks. Still, you can feel proud about each milestone you reach as you set little and big goals for yourself 🎉🚀. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!

Why not quit cold turkey?

Going ‘Cold Turkey’ is a successful method for quitting smoking for most individuals. It’s important to understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to quitting smoking. Some people find it effective to stop abruptly without cessation aids, while others may benefit from methods like nicotine replacement therapy or medication.

The key is to find the approach that works best for you. Research often provides short-term statistics on quitting success; however, staying quit is a lifetime process. Ultimately, the goal is to remain smokefree one day at a time, regardless of the quitting method. It’s about finding what works for you and staying committed to your smokefree journey.

Why should I use NRT?

I don’t advocate the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). While NRT doesn’t contain any carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) found in cigarettes, it does lead to long-term use in some people. The initial invention of NRT was for short-term use only. Big Pharma has made billions out of NRT products. You, dear friend, are addicted to nicotine. There is no cure; you need treatment and support, but not with nicotine.

Do Nicotine Replacement Products have side effects?

If you decide in consultation with a health professional to proceed with NRT, you may experience side effects. Please read the User Guide for side effects inside the product package carefully. These products can kill children and pets, so store and dispose of them safely.

What should I expect in my first week of quitting?

In your first week of quitting smoking, it’s essential to have a plan in place to help you navigate this significant transition.

Before your quit date, you should have strategies to manage withdrawal symptoms, cope with triggers, and make the shift from being a smoker to becoming an ex-smoker. Read: How do I cope with Cravings (below)? Expect your body to detox in the first three days, as it eliminates nicotine and metabolites. During this period, your system will start to flush out accumulated toxins. This process can sometimes lead to flu-like symptoms, which are signs of your body’s healing. Celebrate these symptoms as milestones of recovery and manage them by resting, staying hydrated, and consuming healthy foods.

Breathing fresh air and taking deep breaths can help; in time, the cilia in your lungs will repair themselves, and your liver will detoxify. Your capillaries will expand, and poisons stored in various parts of your body will be released. For example, your gums may bleed. Your body needs you to stay committed to your plan. Live one day at a time, and you will reap the rewards of a healthier, energetic smokefree life.

What should I expect in my second week of quitting?

In the second week of quitting smoking, you’ll notice a change in your challenges. Physical withdrawal symptoms diminish as you systematically address detox symptoms. You will see an improvement in taste and smell 😋😋

This week is characterized more by psychological and emotional dependence, where you focus on reshaping your mindset, confronting the influences of the drug culture, and addressing your self-talk. Keep your support system helping you to stay on track and journal your successes, no matter how small. Cravings may persist as the addiction fights for survival, but your true self starts to emerge. Confidence grows, self-belief strengthens, and you understand your journey more deeply. You realize you don’t want to be a slave to Big Tobacco or Big Pharma. Instead, you’re choosing the path of free will and freedom on your smokefree journey.

What is nicotine withdrawal?

Each time you extinguish a cigarette and wait for about two hours, your body enters a state of nicotine withdrawal as the nicotine levels begin to drop from their peak. You might notice this as an empty feeling that something is missing. As the hours pass, you may experience intense cravings to smoke and feelings of irritability, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. These sensations occur because your body is adjusting to the absence of nicotine. It’s like a temporary challenge on your journey to becoming smokefree.

However, it’s important to remember that these symptoms will gradually improve as your body and mind adapt to life without cigarettes. It’s important to remember that even as an ex-smoker, the urge to smoke can unexpectedly arise, even years after you’ve quit. It’s a reminder that staying vigilant and committed to your smokefree journey is essential for long-term success.

How do I cope with cravings?

Everyone has a unique journey. A real-time study showed that the hardest day during recovery is usually the third.

On that day, people typically experience about 6.1 strong cravings.

By the tenth day, it drops to about 1.4 cravings per day.

Even on the toughest day, if each craving lasts less than 5 minutes, you’re looking at a total of about 30 minutes of challenge.

So, can you manage 30 minutes of difficulty to regain control of your life? Absolutely! You can. The benefits will amaze you. Craving relief can be sought through deep breathing, a walk outdoors, doing a chore, or any distraction. Many smokers use mindfulness exercises like looking intensely at a flower and seeing the minute details. Try it!

Freedom from addiction is incredible.

You might not realize how much stress it’s causing until it’s gone.

As for the deep breathing instructions:

  • Practice deep breathing with a pattern: four deep breaths in and four breaths out.
  • Do it slowly.
  • If you can count to five or six, that’s great.
  • Deep breathing can help reduce stress, anxiety, and cravings.

How do I replace my smoking rituals?

Maintaining your daily social and physical rituals’ is possible without lighting up. If you go out for a cigarette at certain times of the day, go outside and do something else. Avoiding friends and family who smoke is unnecessary unless they try to sabotage your smokefree journey. Ensure you have no paraphernalia to tempt you to smoke in your possession. To replace smoking rituals, find alternatives, stay busy with hobbies, use a support system, stay mindful of triggers, and reward yourself for your achievements. You can create healthier habits and break free from smoking with determination and these strategies.

Will I gain weight if I quit smoking?

Smoking increases your metabolism by about 10%, so when you quit, it returns to normal. Quitting leads to a drop in your metabolism, which might lead to a small weight gain, which you can lose with time. However, the danger is replacing nicotine with a ‘sugar hit,’ which can lead to significant weight gain and continued nicotine cravings.

To manage your weight and cravings, opt for a plant-based diet and avoid junk and processed foods. Consume three small, healthy meals daily, with nutritious snacks to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Staying well-hydrated is important too.

I've tried to quit smoking several times. Why can't I quit?

You can do it! You are not alone! Many people struggle to quit smoking due to the powerful grip of nicotine addiction, the challenge of breaking daily habits, and the fear of past failures. However, it’s essential to view past attempts as learning experiences, not failures, and to recognize that you can conquer this challenge with support and determination.

How do I bounce back from a slip-up?

I should be asking you that question. If you are serious about quitting, you already know the answer. Check you have all your basics in place. Use every means at your disposal and, if necessary, engage a Quit Coach. Your very life may depend on you staying quit. There are over 7000 chemicals in cigarettes, and 70 or more cause cancer. Nicotine has a permissive effect on our body’s cells, so they stay longer in the body, allowing cancers to get a hold. We know smoking kills 50% of users. It’s not for you. You want this monkey off your back, so let’s get you on track again. Use this Golden Rule: ‘Not one single puff.’ Identify your triggers, seek support, maintain a positive mindset, and be aware that there’s a process leading to a slip-up. Stay committed to your goal to be an ex-smoker because just as you start smoking with a single puff, you can relapse with a single puff.

How can I tell I am no longer addicted to nicotine?

You are unique, and factors like your age, level of smoking, genetics, exposure to pollution, nutrition, and medical history all play a role in your recovery journey. Nicotine impairs various physical and mental health aspects, from concentration to memory and motivation. However, the longer you stay quit, the more signs of recovery become apparent.

Your fitness improves, energy increases, and you’ll notice a boost in your ability to concentrate. This transformative process begins twenty minutes after you put out your last cigarette and typically concludes within three months. But it’s crucial to remain vigilant, as brain scans reveal that a single puff can reignite cravings and set you back to square one, even two years later.

What does Nicotine addiction impair?

Nicotine can impair individuals of all ages. It can harm the developing brains of children and teenagers, affecting memory, learning abilities, motivation, decision-making, concentration, and sleep patterns. Additionally, it increases the risk of addiction in this age group. In adults, nicotine impairs overall health, leading to a greater risk of heart disease, lung issues, and cancer. It can also hinder mental health, contributing to anxiety and depression.

Nicotine’s addictive properties can extend to all age groups, making it crucial for everyone, regardless of age, to recognize its harms and seek support for quitting. Furthermore, nicotine’s permissive effect on apoptosis, the natural cell life cycle, can create a conducive environment for cancer development.

How much nicotine do I receive from a cigarette?

The amount of nicotine in a single cigarette can vary depending on the brand, but a typical cigarette contains about 10 to 12 milligrams (mg) of nicotine. However, when a person smokes, they don’t absorb all the nicotine in the cigarette. Only 1 to 1.5 mg of nicotine is absorbed from a single cigarette. It’s important to understand that various factors, such as the design of the cigarette and how you smoke (how often and how deeply you inhale), can influence how much nicotine enters your body. This variation in nicotine absorption can affect your addiction to smoking.

Nicotine’s addictive properties can extend to all age groups, making it crucial for everyone, regardless of age, to recognize its harms and seek support for quitting. Furthermore, nicotine’s permissive effect on apoptosis, the natural cell life cycle, can create a conducive environment for cancer development.

What is The Law of Addiction?

“Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance.”

Joel Spritzer 1988.

How long will it take before my brain returns to normal?

The good news is that the brain quickly repairs itself after ending all nicotine use. Most nicotine use conditioning is extinguished within the first week. The number of dopamine pathway receptors down-regulate to pre-dependency levels within 21 days, and the prefrontal cortex begins to function normally again. Full repair of all pathways occurs within three months.

Vaping Statistics

Vaping, which refers to the use of electronic cigarettes or similar devices that heat and aerosolize a liquid containing nicotine or other substances, has gained popularity in recent years. Here are some general vaping statistics:

  1. Global Popularity: Vaping has gained significant popularity worldwide, particularly among young adults and adolescents.
  2. Youth Vaping: Vaping among youth has become a concern in many countries. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey in the United States, in 2020, about 19.6% of high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.
  3. Health Risks: While vaping is often marketed as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco smoking, it is not without risks. The long-term health effects of vaping are still being studied, but there is evidence linking vaping to lung injury, respiratory issues, and cardiovascular problems and strokes. There have been reports of batteries exploding and deaths linked vaping cannabis oils.
  4. Nicotine Addiction: Vaping devices typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. Regular use of vaping products can lead to nicotine addiction, especially among young users. Read the labels. Information: Real or synthetic nicotine. Strength.
  5. Regulation: Countries have implemented various regulations on vaping. Some have banned the sale of vaping products altogether, while others have implemented restrictions on marketing, flavors, and age restrictions to curb youth uptake.
  6. Flavors: Vaping products often come in a wide range of flavors, which can be attractive to young users. This has raised concerns about the potential appeal and initiation of vaping among youth.
  7. Dual Use: Some individuals use vaping products as a way to cut down or quit smoking traditional cigarettes. However, others engage in dual use, continuing to smoke cigarettes while also using e-cigarettes.

Is it true that one vape cartridge is the equivalent of 50 cigarettes?

That claim has been made, but it lacks scientific evidence and is often considered misleading or inaccurate. Comparing the nicotine content and effects of vaping to traditional cigarettes is complex and not straightforward.

The nicotine content in e-cigarettes can vary widely depending on the specific e-liquid or vape juice used. It’s important to note that e-liquids typically come in various nicotine strengths, ranging from 0 mg (nicotine-free) to higher concentrations like 3 mg, 6 mg, 12 mg, 18 mg, and more. Some highly concentrated nicotine salts are available for certain types of vaping devices, with strengths ranging from 20 mg to 50 mg or more.

In contrast, cigarettes contain varying levels of nicotine, typically ranging from 8 to 20 milligrams (mg) per cigarette. However, not all of the nicotine in a cigarette is efficiently absorbed by the body when smoked. The actual amount of nicotine that is absorbed can be lower, usually around 1 to 2 mg per cigarette.

The label on my vape says ‘nicotine salt’ is that safe?

Nicotine “salt” refers to a specific form of nicotine used in certain types of e-liquids for vaping devices. Unlike the freebase nicotine commonly found in cigarettes and many e-liquids, nicotine salts are derived from the natural tobacco leaf and are combined with an organic acid, typically benzoic acid.

As with any nicotine-containing product, it’s crucial to use nicotine salts responsibly and in moderation. If you are considering using nicotine salts or have questions about their suitability for your vaping needs, it is recommended to consult with reputable vape retailers or healthcare professionals for guidance.

Nicotine salts offer several advantages for vaping:

  • Smoothness: Nicotine salts are generally smoother to inhale compared to traditional freebase nicotine. This allows for higher concentrations of nicotine to be vaped without experiencing excessive throat irritation.
  • Quick Nicotine Absorption: Nicotine salts are absorbed by the body more quickly than freebase nicotine. This means that users may experience a more rapid and satisfying nicotine delivery, similar to the sensation of smoking a traditional cigarette.
  • Higher Nicotine Strengths: Nicotine salts allow for the creation of e-liquids with higher nicotine concentrations to ease cravings caused by addiction to the nicotine.

It’s important to note that nicotine salts are typically used in low-wattage, pod-based vaping devices rather than high-powered sub-ohm devices. The higher nicotine strengths associated with nicotine salts may be too potent for sub-ohm vaping and can lead to an unpleasant experience.

Nicotine Addiction Potential

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and its use can lead to dependence. Using nicotine salts excessively or inappropriately may increase the risk of developing or reinforcing nicotine addiction. It is crucial to be mindful of the potential addictive nature of nicotine salts and exercise moderation in their use.

Nicotine Overdose

Nicotine salts, especially at higher concentrations, can deliver nicotine more efficiently and rapidly compared to traditional cigarettes or lower-strength e-liquids. This increases the risk of nicotine overdose, which can result in symptoms like nausea, dizziness, increased heart rate, and other adverse effects. Using nicotine salts responsibly and in moderation helps minimize the risk of nicotine toxicity.

Proper Usage and Safety

Responsible use of nicotine salts involves understanding and adhering to proper vaping techniques, device maintenance, and safety guidelines. Vape retailers and healthcare professionals can offer valuable advice on product selection, usage instructions, and safety precautions to ensure a positive and safe vaping experience.

What salts are used in my e-cigarettes?

Benzoic Acid
Uses: Converts nicotine into a more vapor-friendly form (nicotine salts). Enhances the smoothness of the vaping experience.
Risks: Potential irritation to the respiratory system. Allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Citric Acid
Uses: Facilitates efficient nicotine absorption. Adds a tart or sour flavour to e-liquids. Enhances the overall taste profile.
Risks: Limited studies on long-term inhalation effects. Increased risk of enamel erosion on teeth. Potential irritation to the respiratory system.

Malic Acid
Uses: Provides a refreshing sensation. Contributes to a tangy or sour taste in e-liquids. Enhances the flavour or provides a subtle kick. Contributes to the overall taste experience.
Risks: Allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Increased risk of enamel erosion on teeth. Potential irritation to the respiratory system. Allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Lactic Acid
Uses: Adds a slight acidity to the overall vaping experience. Provides a smooth and creamy mouthfeel in e-liquids. Balances the flavour profile.
Risks: Allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Increased risk of enamel erosion on teeth. Potential irritation to the respiratory system.

Acetic Acid
Uses: Enhances the overall vaping sensation. Adds a mild tanginess or pungency to e-liquids. Enhances the flavour or provides a subtle kick. Contributes to the overall taste experience.
Risks: Allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Increased risk of enamel erosion on teeth. Potential irritation to the respiratory system. Allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Would I be better off switching from vapes to light and low-nicotine cigarettes?

No, smoking cigarettes is more dangerous to your health and those around you than vaping. Some cigarette brands offer different variations within their product line, such as “light” or “low-nicotine” options, which may contain lower levels of nicotine compared to their regular counterparts. It’s important to note that these descriptors, such as “light” or “low-nicotine,” can be misleading, as smokers may unknowingly compensate for the lower nicotine levels by inhaling more deeply or smoking more cigarettes.

Additionally, regulations on nicotine levels and labeling requirements may vary across countries and regions. Some jurisdictions have implemented restrictions on the use of certain terms, such as “light” or “mild,” to prevent misleading consumers about the potential risks associated with different cigarette varieties.

Individual Sensitivity

People can vary in their sensitivity to nicotine. Some individuals may be more susceptible to the effects of nicotine, while others may have underlying health conditions that can be negatively impacted by its use. Consider quitting completely while you can still hear your body talking to you! Talk to a Quit Coach or healthcare professional.

Do vapes use synthetic nicotine? If so, what are the pros and cons

Yes, some vapes do use synthetic nicotine as an alternative to nicotine derived from tobacco plants. Synthetic nicotine is produced in a laboratory and does not come from tobacco leaves.

Pros of Synthetic Nicotine:

  • Regulatory Flexibility: Synthetic nicotine may offer regulatory advantages in regions where tobacco-derived nicotine is subject to stricter regulations. Since synthetic nicotine is not derived from tobacco, it may be subject to different or more lenient regulatory frameworks.
  • Potential Purity: Synthetic nicotine can be manufactured to high purity standards, reducing the risk of contaminants that may be present in tobacco-derived nicotine.
  • Odorless and Tasteless: Synthetic nicotine is often described as being odorless and tasteless. This attribute may appeal to individuals who prefer a more neutral or flavorless vaping experience.
  • Vegan and Allergen-Free: Synthetic nicotine can be produced without any animal-derived ingredients, making it suitable for individuals who follow a vegan lifestyle. It may also be free from common allergens, offering a potentially safer option for those with specific allergies or sensitivities.

Cons of Synthetic Nicotine:

  • Limited Research: Due to its relatively recent introduction to the market, there is limited scientific research available on the long-term health effects and safety of synthetic nicotine. More studies are needed to fully understand its potential risks.
  • Availability and Cost: Synthetic nicotine is not as widely available as tobacco-derived nicotine, which can make it more difficult to find in certain markets. It may also be more expensive due to the additional manufacturing processes involved.
  • Perception and Acceptance: Synthetic nicotine is still a relatively new concept, and some vapers or individuals may prefer the familiarity of tobacco-derived nicotine. Acceptance and popularity among consumers may vary.

How much nicotine is in a cigarette compared to a vape?

Cigarettes: (brand dependent)

The nicotine content in cigarettes can range from around 8 to 20 milligrams (mg) per cigarette.

However, not all of the nicotine in a cigarette is absorbed by the body. On average, a smoker may absorb around 1 to 2 mg of nicotine from a single cigarette. It depends on how they smoke.

Vape Products:

Nicotine levels in vape products can vary widely depending on the specific e-liquid or vape juice used.

E-liquids typically come in various nicotine strengths, commonly ranging from 0 mg (nicotine-free) to higher concentrations like 3 mg, 6 mg, 12 mg, 18 mg, and even higher in some cases.

There are also highly concentrated nicotine salts available for use in certain types of vaping devices, with strengths ranging from 20 mg to 50 mg or more.

It’s important to note that nicotine absorption from vaping can vary based on factors such as the device used, vaping technique, and individual differences. Vaping devices can deliver nicotine more efficiently compared to cigarettes, so users may consume nicotine at a faster rate.

Nicotine levels vary widely depending on the e-liquid used. Commonly available strengths range from 0 mg (nicotine-free) to higher concentrations such as 3 mg, 6 mg, 12 mg, 18 mg, and more.

There are also highly concentrated nicotine salts available for certain devices, with strengths ranging from 20 mg to 50 mg or more.

Please note that the nicotine content in e-cigarettes can vary significantly depending on the specific e-liquid or vape juice used.

It’s important to remember that nicotine is an addictive substance, and using any nicotine-containing product carries potential risks to health. If you are considering using e-cigarettes or looking to quit smoking, it’s advisable to seek professional guidance and support.

If I continue to vape, will I get ‘popcorn lung?

Popcorn lung aka bronchiolitis obliterans was seen in microwave popcorn factory workers exposed to a chemical called diacetyl. Diacetyl is a flavoring agent which found its way into e-cigarettes, causing the same respiratory condition as the microwave plant workers.

Symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and reduced lung function. In severe cases, it can lead to respiratory failure and the need for lung transplantation.

If you decide to continue to vape, please read the labels and look up the chemicals because you are at risk. You may need to shop around. Your health risk depends on a lot of factors including; your genetics; the environmental pollution, your food and general well-being as to well your body can keep compensating for the poisons you are inhaling before signs and symptoms begin to show. For some people it’s decades for other it’s a year.

Diacetyl is no longer used in microwave popcorn due to the recognized health risks. However, diacetyl and other similar chemicals are still used in some food flavorings and e-liquids for vaping. There have been concerns raised about the potential respiratory risks associated with inhaling these chemicals, particularly when they are heated and inhaled repeatedly over time. However, the long-term effects and specific risks of inhaling these substances through vaping are still being studied, and more research is needed to fully understand the potential health impacts.

I worry sometimes my vape might explode. Am I worrying about nothing?

You have the right to think about your safety when using a vape device; but explosions are rare. Follow the usage guidelines, use the recommended components and carry-on maintaining awareness of any potential risks. Remember dispose of your device safely to save the environment.

Vape explosions may be prevented:

  • Battery Malfunction: Vape devices are typically powered by lithium-ion batteries. If the battery is damaged, overcharged, or improperly handled, it can lead to a buildup of pressure and potentially result in an explosion or fire.
  • Incorrect Charging: Using chargers that are not specifically designed for the vape device or improper charging practices, such as overcharging or leaving the device plugged in for extended periods, can cause battery-related issues that may lead to explosions.
  • Modifying Devices: Modifying the vape device, using unauthorized or incompatible components, or tampering with the battery can increase the risk of malfunctions and potential accidents.
  • Manufacturing Defects: In some cases, manufacturing defects, such as poor design, low-quality materials, or assembly errors, can contribute to device malfunctions and potential explosions.
  • User Error: Improper use of the device, such as mishandling, dropping, or accidentally activating the device while in a pocket or purse, can cause damage to the battery or other components, increasing the risk of explosions. Remember to purchase from a trusted source.
  • To minimize the risk of vape explosions, it is essential to follow safety guidelines provided by the device manufacturer, such as using recommended batteries, chargers, and accessories. Proper maintenance, safe storage, and responsible usage are also crucial. If you experience any issues with a vape device or have concerns, discontinue its use and consult the manufacturer or a reputable vape retailer for assistance. Listen for recalls.