The aim of e-cigarettes is simple - it’s a device powered by an electronic source, whether through removable or internal batteries, that’s primary aim is to help people quit smoking for good. It needs to be a gradual process but the whole point of the cessation tool is not to try the coolest new flavours (although this is welcome to former smokers who only ever had tobacco flavour) but to cut down the nicotine amount until it’s at zero. It’s also important for smokers to keep up the habit of smoking (at least initially) because it’s so difficult to quit cold turkey with no help. Below we explain a few steps on how you can do this and what not to do as you reduce your nicotine vape strength.
Why Use a Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)?
First of all, no one knows what exactly goes into a cigarette. There are thousands of toxins that can lead to serious illness and unfortunately death that after years of research we are still not aware of. What we do know is that there are at least 70 lethal toxins in each cigarette, a couple of grams of sugar and tobacco, which is one of the key substances not in vaping that’s eventually a fatal ingredient. All medical professionals and governments - in the UK and worldwide advise to give up smoking as soon as possible - although they know the monumental task at hand.
They’re aware that it can take several attempts, sometimes over a long period, which should involve some kind of NRT. Doing this cold turkey, meaning giving up cigarettes without any assistance all of a sudden can cause a relapse due to the monumental task and addictive nature of cigarettes. Essentially, you need all and any help you can get. Reducing your vape nicotine levels should not go from one of the higher amounts of 20mg within a cigarette to zero without a slower process involved.
People in the past before vaping tried many different therapies or products with mixed results. These included:
Are E-Cigarettes the Answer?
Many respected services including the NHS state that e-cigarettes by vaping e-liquids containing some form of nicotine could be the solution. What’s great about e-cigarettes compared to smoking is the greater control you have over what goes into your tank or e-liquid pod. You can select the amount of nicotine within your e-liquid, starting as high as 20mg via nic salts, with other popular amounts such as 12mg, 6mg for social smokers and even zero when the time is right.
Another important aspect that especially applies when you get to a zero nicotine vape is the habit. With an e-cigarette it’s a similar shape that requires a familiar motion to inhale the substance into the mouth, breathing the nicotine into your system before puffing back out. It also works out much cheaper in the long run and with so many different flavours to try, can prove the difference between relapsing back to cigarettes and lasting the course. Eventually, the goal should be to get to zero nicotine and then remove e-cigarettes from your life where you feel you need to inhale no substances whatsoever. The question remains - how do you get to that point?
How to Reduce Your Vape Nicotine Strength to Zero
This all depends on the individual and what they did in the past. We would never advise starting on a higher amount of nicotine than what you smoked previously. And you should for the record never pick up an e-cigarette unless you’re using it to help you quit smoking. Nevertheless, the amount of nicotine inside your vape is critical in the initial process. If you vape too strong a nicotine strength, it could cause an unpleasant experience meaning you switch back to smoking. Starting the experience should be comfortable and even an easy process.
Each vaper should start on the safest and most simple piece of starter kit that can help them in their journey. It should replicate a mouth to lung vaping experience instead of a direct lung vape hit, which more experienced vapers sometimes prefer. A mouth to lung hit is similar to smoking and more straightforward when you first start vaping. What you need to do is pick a nicotine strength that matches your vape nicotine level. Therefore, if you were a heavy smoker finishing more than a pack a day, you shouldn’t start on a low strength like 6mg or zero unless you feel comfortable because it may be reducing too much nicotine too quickly. It might help to start on a higher nicotine strength of 20mg with nic salts, which is different to traditional freebase nicotine as the extraction process is smoother. This essentially helps heavy smokers vape less frequently but still get the required hit.
Meanwhile, if you’re smoking a few cigarettes a day but not a pack, we suggest trying a 12mg nicotine strength and gradually switching to 6mg when you feel it’s right to do so. Likewise, if you’re a social smoker that doesn’t smoke often but wants to quit, a 6mg solution of e-liquid containing nicotine should help you initially before dropping down to zero to give yourself the best chance of eventually quitting vaping and smoking altogether.
Can 0mg Nicotine Work or Should You Try Shortfills?
The last stage of the vaping journey to reduce your nicotine should involve only a tiny amount of nicotine or none whatsoever. You can still vape without any and keep the familiar pattern of holding something and inhaling so you don’t feel tempted back to smoking and feel safer doing that than picking up a cigarette. Each e-cigarette without nicotine will just contain sweeteners, carriers acting in the e-liquid such as Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin and on occasion a couple of ingredients similar to cigarettes but at a smaller safer dosage (always check the ingredients of the vape juice before trying - if stated).
Trying a bottle of 50ml shortfill may help you gain greater control over how much nicotine you use and help you drop the vape nicotine strength. These bottles contain 50ml of vape juice without the nicotine inside but leave a 10ml gap should you want to top it up with a smaller amount. After trying this you can move on to just the shortfill contents without nicotine and see if you feel any difference.
Overall, it’s all about testing your limitations and seeing what works best for you. Each individual will have different ideas and preferences about what works for them and how often they should vape. Medical professionals recommend trying not just e-cigarettes but a combination of therapies to help them get off cigarettes for good and maintain to stop the addiction and dangerous habit of smoking. Vaping to keep up the habit as well as behavioural support from a smoking advisor is often the best solution to drop your nicotine levels to help quit smoking.