Helping people use vaping as a way to quit smoking is really our bread and butter here at myCigara. Although we firmly believe that vaping is one of the most viable and effective methods available to anyone wanting to quit smoking, we will also admit that making the switch can present its own set of challenges.
In previous quit smoking guides, we’ve covered in depth what happens when you quit smoking, how this can lead to an overall healthier lifestyle, and the relationship between smoking and exercise. As such, this blog won’t really be a general ‘quit smoking guide’ in that sense. Instead, it will zoom in on a more specific set of questions, namely: what can you expect when you switch from smoking to vaping?
Anyone who’s ever tried to quit smoking knows that it’s easy enough to start quitting, that the trick is to stick with it. This holds true even for smokers who use vaping as a means of support.
Often, newfound vape users will experience side effects, and falsely assume that vaping isn’t working for them, rather than correctly realise that this is a combination of two broad factors; firstly, the standard side effects of quitting smoking, and secondly, adjusting from smoking to vaping.
This blog, then, will take you through the broad strokes; some of the most common symptoms and side effects that you can expect to experience when you quit smoking and switch to vaping
Switching from Smoking to Vaping
For many smokers, the idea of giving up cigarettes in any capacity can be quite daunting. The same holds true for the idea of switching from smoking to vaping. If you’re on the cusp, you may be wondering if it’s difficult to make the switch. That’s why we want to reassure you, but also be honest with you. There’s no one-size-fits-all experience when it comes to switching from smoking to vaping.
Some smokers find that they pick up their first vape and never look back. The majority of smokers will experience an acclimatisation period; gradually reducing the number of cigarettes they have within a given timeframe, eventually replacing smoking with vaping entirely. Another group, known as ‘dual users,’ are those who never fully quit smoking, but instead switch between cigarettes and vaping depending on the context.
This is all simply to say that you may not manage to entirely quit smoking and switch to vaping on your first attempt —and that’s completely okay! It’s a process, and it’s different for everyone; the most important thing you can do is trust in your own decision, accept that it will be challenging, and keep at it.
In any case, regardless of the course run by your own personal journey from smoking to vaping, there are a few common experiences most people encounter. With that in mind, let’s now move on to specifics: when you quit smoking and start vaping, what are the most typical symptoms you’re likely to experience?
Symptoms When Switching
As we mentioned in the introduction to this blog, we will not be covering the full breadth of what happens when you quit smoking. Rather, this is meant to cover a more specific cross-section of experiences: What happens when you quit smoking and start vaping?
When switching from smoking to vaping, it’s highly likely that you will experience a persistent cough to some degree. Lots of people assume, incorrectly, that something has gone wrong in the switch to vaping; there’s something wrong with the vape kit, or the e-liquid, or vaping “isn’t the right choice for me.”
Here's the thing though: A persistent cough is arguably the most common side effect of quitting smoking. Whether you choose to switch to vaping is irrelevant; you could be quitting using nicotine pouches, or gum, or patches, or hypnosis, or simply cold turkey.
What it really is is simply your lungs clearing themselves out. Years of smoking causes buildup in your lungs—of tar, predominantly—and once you stop smoking, it gives your lungs literal and figurative breathing room to clear themselves out a bit. So, this quitter’s cough is just your body’s way of expelling excess gunk and buildup from your lungs and airways.
Headaches are fairly common when switching to vaping. This is simply the result of a change in the level of nicotine in your bloodstream. Any smoker who’s ever gone too long without a cigarette has felt that dreaded withdrawal headache. With the switch to vaping, it could be the case that you’re not getting your usual dose of nicotine. Conversely, it could be that you’re getting too much nicotine. To make sure you’re getting the correct amount of nicotine relative to your smoking habit, check out our Nicotine Strength Calculator.
Occasional dizziness is another common symptom when switching from smoking to vaping. Dizziness can occur for a couple of reasons. Firstly, your body will be taking in more oxygen. Smoking reduces your circulation; when you quit, your body and brain’s oxygen levels will begin to return to normal levels. Since you will have become accustomed to lower oxygen levels, you may feel a little lightheaded or dizzy. This is nothing more than your body readjusting, and will pass eventually.
This dizziness from normalising oxygen levels should pass after the first few days of quitting smoking. If you continue to experience dizziness after this point, you may simply be getting too much nicotine. If so, switch to a lower-strength e-liquid, or take less frequent puffs on your vape.
4. Dry mouth & dehydration
When you quit smoking and begin to switch to vaping, dry mouth is another common experience. Although smoking itself is actually a cause of dry mouth, smokers who quit often experience further dry mouth; mostly because of the stress and anxiety that comes with giving up smoking, but also just as a natural effect of the adjustment period when quitting cigarettes.
Likewise, vaping itself can in fact cause a dry mouth. This is down to two of the key ingredients in vape juice; Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG). VG and PG are both humectants (chemical ingredients that keep things moist), however they are also hygroscopic, which means they absorb moisture from their surrounding environment.
If you do experience a dry mouth or a general feeling of dehydration from vaping, there are two simple fixes: one, cut down on how frequently you hit your vape, and two, drink more water! Not only is staying hydrated one of the best things you can do for your health in general, it’s particularly helpful for people quitting smoking and switching to vaping.
Mouth dryness or general dehydration from vaping is nothing to worry about, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you individually. It’s simply a normal reaction to key ingredients in e-liquid. As you transition into vaping and away from smoking, you’ll find you get acclimated to this sense of slight dehydration and will typically just increase your intake of fluids to balance everything out.
In general, staying hydrated keeps your whole system working optimally. That is especially true during this period of readjustment from smoking to vaping, and will help mitigate all of the symptoms covered in this blog.
To sum up, there are clear side effects when switching from smoking to vaping. The upside is that most of these side effects and symptoms are firstly commonplace, so you’re not alone in going through this, and secondly, they tend to be short-lived.
We know all about the benefits of quitting smoking, but as part of our general effort to educate people about the benefits of switching to vaping, we think it’s worth being clear-eyed.
After all, if you know which side effects to expect, you’ll be prepared to experience them. Our hope is that this will strengthen your resolve to stick with vaping until you are able to finally cut back on cigarettes, or ideally quit smoking for good.
Transitioning from Smoking to Vaping with myCigara
At myCigara, we exist to make the UK smoke-free. We also believe that vaping is one of the most viable methods out there for anyone who wants to move away from cigarettes and eventually quit smoking for good. That’s why we aim to offer the most comprehensive and user-friendly collection of online vape content.
Our full selection of tips & guides aims to cover the majority of questions that vape users ask, no matter what their level. If you are a total beginner, we recommend starting over at our new to vaping landing page. For readers who are a little more familiar with vaping generally, why not check out our leading blogs, which cover everything from how-to guides, industry news, and of course product comparisons and reviews.
If you want to cut straight to the chase, you can contact us directly with any questions. If you prefer a little facetime, hit up your nearest myCigara vape shop where our expert staff are ready to help you make the switch to vaping and quit smoking for good.