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Why vaping works for me

Discussion in 'General Vaping Discussion' started by Blitzdonlife, Sep 16, 2019.

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  1. Blitzdonlife

    Blitzdonlife Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 24, 2012
    Central Texas
    I've been thinking on why vaping with flavored eliquid is so effective at tobacco smoking cessation.

    Smoking cigarettes was more than just a physical dependence for me, it also consisted of breaking the bad habits. I wanted to stop using tobacco, but there was more to quitting, and staying quit, than I first thought.

    I tried nicotine gum, patches, chantix, etc. Nothing worked until I took up vaping. Here are my thoughts on why I think it worked, when nothing else did.

    Physical needs

    Tobacco contains several alkaloids and chemicals, in addition to nicotine, that change the effect nicotine has on our body and brain. Some of these alkaloids and chemicals likely have effects on their own. When changing from tobacco use to ecigarettes, I know that I initially experienced cravings that nicotine did not curb. If it was only nicotine I craved, vaping would have eliminated my cravings. This wouldn't happen for me until a little later on in vaping.

    Behavior, eg. Habit

    Repeating an action long enough creates a habit. Some habits can reinforce an addiction, or be a part of that addiction. Breaking those habits, in my experience, is more than half the battle when quitting.

    One of the hardest habits for me to break was the ritual of smoking. It went something like this; Walk into the convenience store, buy a pack of smokes, pack them on my palm, open the cellophane, remove the top of the liner, smell that fresh pack of smokes. Take a cigarette out, light it up, smoke it, put it out. Repeat part two until your almost out, then go to the store and buy another pack.

    In the beginning I had to avoid going in the store and just pay with a card at the pump. Over time this impulse has disappeared.

    The act of smoking itself was the other major habit I had to change. I did this by replacement.

    When I quit I found that mimicking the act of inhaling smoke, by inhaling vapor instead, helped me to satisfy the hand-to-mouth habit part of smoking. Raising my pv to my lips, taking a drag, then lowering it to my side is very similar to the way I used to smoke a cigarette. The feeling of drawing warm vapor into my mouth, then lungs, substituted for taking puffs on a cigarette.

    So why are flavors so important then?

    Even with the habit side of smoking more or less dealt with, I still felt I was missing something. The gnawing pull of a cigarette was still there. It only abated when I was actually vaping (and shortly after), even though I knew I had enough nic in my system.

    What's going on then?

    Flavors

    I believe that adding flavors has a twofold benefit in successfully switching from tobacco to vaping.

    When I enjoy a flavor, and I mean really enjoy it, my tastebuds and scent receptors light up in a flavorgasm. The thought of cigarettes gets pushed to the back of my mind, if only temporarily, as I focus on the sensations I'm experiencing with this vapor. That moment, and for a short time afterwards, I experience true relief from my cravings. When vaping a flavor I dislike, I don't feel as satisfied and vape more trying to fill that craving.

    The two main processes that I believe are occuring to provide that relief are a shifting of focus (distraction), and pleasure.

    Distraction & pleasure

    Replacing an unpleasant stimulus with a pleasant one is a widely accepted method of behavior modification. Pleasure releases endorphins, sex & drugs release alot of endorphins for example. Taste & smell do this as well in smaller amounts.

    I stated earlier that repeating an action long enough creates a habit. After vaping for a period of time, the association that vaping=pleasure became hardwired into my brain, and the longer that I vaped, the stronger the association grew. On the flip side the longer I avoided tobacco, the greater dissociation with the pleasure response became.

    Today I don't even want to smoke, it's nasty.

    Sometime later on my vape journey, heavily flavored vapor became unpleasant. I think that was after my tastebuds grew back more. I found that I used less and less flavor as time went by. Oversaturation of my tastebuds is unpleasant now.

    I still enjoy flavors, but the percentages I use have been cut drastically. I regularly used 15-20% when I started, now I use from 1-5% on average. Also I started on 18-24 mg per mL of nicotine, and now use 6 mg.

    I know that this stuff is common knowledge to most of y'all, same as me, but I haven't seen it presented this way in the same place before. Hopefully someone can get some good use out of this somehow.
     
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  2. ceeceeisme

    ceeceeisme Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    That was a nice write up - thanks! I just bought a shiny new Pasito for my brother - 59 years old and still smoking. I think I'll print this off for him to read :)
     
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  3. r77r7r

    r77r7r ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Pa,LandOfTaxes
    I wonder if some give up vaping sometimes because they don't diy and bring their flavor percentage down. I take it that flavor is much more intense than when we startedd.
    I'm unflavored btw. I started this way and I guess the hand to mouth thing was the most important thing for replacing cigs, for me. Nic I was able to drop down rather quickly.
     
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  4. Blitzdonlife

    Blitzdonlife Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 24, 2012
    Central Texas
    Thanks, good luck! I hope vaping works to get him off tobacco.
     
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  5. Blitzdonlife

    Blitzdonlife Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 24, 2012
    Central Texas
    Everyone's different, I know this is how it worked for me. I have to wonder what it would have been like if I'd started unflavored. Whatever works for you to stay off smokes is what's important.
     
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  6. r77r7r

    r77r7r ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Pa,LandOfTaxes
    Yeah, I'm not challenging you or your nice post. Just putting that out there... Tx
     
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  7. Blitzdonlife

    Blitzdonlife Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 24, 2012
    Central Texas
    Lol, I didn't take it that way. Sorry if it came across like that.
     
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  8. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    Ridgeway, Ohio
    This is why nic gum, nic patches, prescription drugs, or hypnosis didn't work for me. Nicotine replacement alone couldn't deal with my hand-to-mouth habits, my need to "inhale/exhale" smoke/vapor.

    I can't explain why flavors help, too. But I know they were EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for me to be able to quit smoking.

    I only smoked menthol cigs ... for over 30 years. I didn't like plain tobacco cigarettes, hated tobacco flavored e-liquids. If all there was were tobacco flavored e-liquids, I wouldn't have been able to quit smoking, I'm convinced.
     
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  9. Electrodave

    Electrodave Cool Vapor Cool Vaper

    Supporting member
    Apr 9, 2019
    Denver, CO
    I put 1% flavoring in my juice just so I don't taste cotton. I've vaped unflavored, and I can always taste the cotton. So flavors can be important.
     
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  10. Horselady154

    Horselady154 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 15, 2013
    United States
    That's interesting. I tried hypnosis too. Didn't work. Guy told me I was one of those rare people who couldn't be hypnotized.

    Without flavors and the throat hit we got from cigarettes, I don't think it would have worked. So glad both of those things were available with e-cigs.
     
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  11. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    Ridgeway, Ohio
    I tried hypnosis from my college Psychology professor who said he could hypnotize me to quit smoking, and in one of those large group sessions. I suspect I'm one who can't be hypnotized, too.
     
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  12. Blitzdonlife

    Blitzdonlife Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 24, 2012
    Central Texas
    So I guess you don't cluck like a chicken on command then? J/k lol
     
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  13. gandymarsh

    gandymarsh Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 11, 2014
    WI, USA
    All those things are true for me also.

    One thing you left out is the additives that cigarette manufacturers add to increase the addictive properties of tobacco.
     
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  14. stols001

    stols001 Mistress of the Dark Nicotinic Arts Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 30, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I rather suspect hypnotists plant "the hypnotizable" in the crowd so some people will do it. Then, if anyone who is not subject to peer pressure (such as myself, anymore anyway) says "That didn't do JACK for me" they become part of the rare 10% or whatever percentage of people who don't go along with the crowd.

    Hypnosis is like those jackrabbits "talking to the dead" it's all social psychology.

    Hypnosis has never been proven in double blind studies to work.

    I hate "hypnotists" and I think they should be drummed out of psychiatry.

    That's just me though. I prefer not to be weak. However, maybe it would be nice to be weak in this one area where the hypnotist said, "Anna, you no longer desire to smoke" and instead of thinking, "I can't wait until I get to the parking lot RIGHT THIS SECOND actually" I thought, "Wow some human is telling me the truth and I HATE CIGARETTES."

    Only, no thanks. Vaping may be more trouble, but I am GLAD I am not a weak, easily persuaded person. We should all be AWAKE!

    Anna
     
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  15. vaper1960

    vaper1960 Super Member

    Apr 24, 2019
    California, US
    Ditto!
     
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  16. Blitzdonlife

    Blitzdonlife Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 24, 2012
    Central Texas
    Yep those too.
     
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  17. *RJ*

    *RJ* Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 28, 2015
    Vaping since 8/9/2012
    Hand to mouth is huge to me. I quit smoking many times the longest being seven months. I think I just missed the hand to mouth.
     
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