Over the last year, vaping (or "smoking" e-cigarettes) has gone mainstream, as more former smokers turn to this alternative to the dangers of smoking real cigarettes. Because vaping emulates the smoking experience, now 70 percent of American smokers who are looking to quit are turning to e-cigs, according to statistics compiled by Ecigsopedia. Vaping is now the most popular over-the-counter cessation option, which researchers have found to be 60 percent more effective than nicotine patches.
The e-cig industry is projected to reach $2 billion in the U.S. alone. Celebrities like Katherine Heigl and Lindsay Lohan, both publicly criticized for their smoking habits (among other things), have become e-cig advocates. And companies like blu Cigs and ploom are capitalizing on the surging popularity of these products.
For smokers looking to try e-cigarettes and vaping to help them quit smoking, here are a few tips on making the potentially life-saving decision.
Even though vaping is designed to emulate the experience of smoking a real cigarette, it's not exactly an identical experience, and it may not be to everyone's liking. In fact, vaping more closely resembles the experience of smoking a hookah pipe. To start, smokers should consider purchasing a disposable e-cigarette. They are sold individually for around $10 or in a pack. They last for about 400 puffs and come in two flavors: tobacco and menthol. Disposable e-cigs are more affordable than rechargeable e-cigs and are about the same size as real cigarettes.
It may take some time to get adjusted to the taste and feel of the disposable e-cigarette and expect to continue craving real cigarettes in the beginning. If you are able to adopt the disposable e-cigarette, however, investing in a rechargeable e-cig (or vaping pen) will be more affordable in the long run than to continue purchase disposable e-cigs.
Because they have a rechargeable battery, vaping pens are bigger and heavier than real cigarettes and disposable e-cigs. Starter packs include the pen with internal battery, charger, replaceable coils and fluid of your choice that comes in a wide variety of flavors from tobacco to marshmallow. Starter packs can cost anywhere from $50 to $80 depending on the brand and can be purchased at e-cig retailers, smoke shops or online.
The vaping pen requires more upkeep but offers and endless array of choices and customization options than your standard disposable e-cig. The battery needs to be charged about once a week but only for about an hour. The coils burn out after about a month but they offer different resistance to determine how hard you have to inhale the vapor. Lastly, the fluid also comes in a variety of nicotine levels and flavors, so you can test different ways and find the best vaping experience for you.
For former pipe smokers looking to quit, the world of vaping has also created e-cigs designed to look exactly like a pipe, even with a varnished wood finish. These pipes work similarly to the vaping pens but tend to cost a little more. Certainly worth the price difference, however, if you want to look like a modern-day Cary Grant.