Gregoria Neal

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Is Vaping the best way to Quit Smoking? Has the nicotine patch died a death? Not quite, but in 2015 sales in the UK declined for the first time since the financial crisis of 2008 (when sales in everything declined). At the same time, we consistently see double and triple digit growth figures for UK sales of vaping goods such as starter kits and e-liquids. So why is it so popular among those trying to quit smoking? Well, relapse rates are lowest among vapers compared to other substitutes such as patches and gum. In scientific terms the other methods deliver the addict a nicotine hit but they foraske the other feelings that smokers become attached to. For instance, especially since the smoking ban in public places, smoking is a very sociable endeavour which can very quickly make a quitter feel left out. It's bad enough for non-smokers when their friends get up and leave for a few minutes at a time, usually coming back having started up a whole conversation which no one else is part of. Imagine the effect of this on someone who is fighting the (seemingly to them) natural urge to have a cigarette. Vaping removes this reason for people giving up smoking to fall back into old habits; you have to go out of a pub or restaurant to vape in the UK anyway, so you go out with all of your friends, have a good time and maybe meet some new friends. Vaping has it's own culture and is a conversation point in itself; especially when you get to some of the more complicated kit setups. The men and women who are interested in what tank you've got and which coil works the best are potential friends for life. Let's not discount the simple force of habit that smoking becomes for people. For some, they have been smoking for the majority of their life (and certainly nearly all of the time that they can remember). This is not a simple thing to simply replace with a patch on your arm or a piece of gum; smokers find their hands craving something to hold and their mouths feeling the need to inhale. This is a physically enveloping addiction which non-smokers find hard to understand. Again, vaping is something which still caters to these needs; delivering a nicotine hit which also gives people the opportunity to inhale the vapour and have that tactile contact which they crave. Where are the negatives then? This is pretty subjective but there are certainly concerns about how good vaping is for you; one thing is for certain, it's better for you than smoking - there have been enough studies to prove that. One thing that is undeniable about vaping is that many people do not shift their addiction to nicotine; they simply carry on consuming it through a different medium. However; it is very common for smokers to start with a high miligram rating in their e-liquid to start with and reduce it over time. You can even go to zero miligrams of nicotine if you wish to stop consuming it but still like the social or habitual aspect of smoking and vaping. Many smokers give it up due to the cost; most nicotine substitutes are not cheap, however most of them are designed with the idea of being a short term fix, therefore the initial pain to the pocket is soon taken away. Vaping on the other hand is more likely to be an ongoing thing and therefore incurs ongoing costs. This is a potential negative point although comparing the cost of vaping to that of smoking we see that on average a typical vaper will spend around £40.50 per month, this includes enough e-liquid to keep someone going, as well as a replacement coil or two. You've also got your upfront cost of a vaping kit, which can run from as little as £20 but also up to around £70 (or more if you want a really snazzy one). Smoking on the other hand tends to cost around £270 per month if you're smoking a pack a day. Patches cost around £17 a pack which should last a couple of weeks, so on average you would need £34 worth to quit smoking. You also have inhalers and gum which are priced at around £17-£20 - these may require repeat purchases as someone weens themselves off the nicotine. These methods are certainly cost effective as long as the relapses do not occur. Overall then, vaping is certainly becoming the most popular way to quit smoking in the UK. It tends to have the lowest relapse rates due to the similarities to smoking in all but the most harmful ways. It is one of the more costly ways of doing it but it so much cheaper than smoking that if you're currently shelling out for a pack a day or even every three days, it will be very cost effective for you.