It’s been just over a year since covid-19 reached pandemic status - in turn causing a whole lot of change in terms of how we live and what we can do. One of those things is the nature of how we’re looking after our own health. Back in March last year everyone was baking banana bread and doing at home workouts, trying to get their “quarantine body”. One thing we didn’t expect such a huge change in was the smoking rates in the UK. What with the concerns of lung health becoming such a strong point of focus, Brits have been working harder than ever to leave behind the cigarettes - many of them did so by switching to vaping. Well, Vapril is here again and if you’re one of those smokers still working on breaking the habit, hopefully we can help you out.
WHAT VAPRIL AIMS TO DO:
Vapril has been around for three years now, obviously happening each year in April (just six months after Stoptober) to help smokers make the switch to vaping. This year, Vapril looks a little different. Given the current on-going issues with covid, the worldwide organisation has moved everything online to continue to support smokers who need a helping hand in making their quit attempt. What with Public Health England’s statement that vaping is 95% safer than smoking(4), it’s become a key piece of technology in giving smokers a familiar, yet less harmful alternative.
One of Vapril’s key initiatives and goals is to dispel any myths and concerns about vaping. Misinformation about the use of e-cigarettes has made smokers less likely to give it a go in the past. Around 44% of smokers were unaware that vaping is considered much safer than smoking(4) making it less incentivising to try vaping as a means to quit. While there are plenty of other methods you can use to try and quit (including patches, gum and going cold turkey) vaping has the highest success rate. Quitting cold turkey, unsurprisingly, was the least effective method, while vaping with a support system in place has a success rate of around 63%(5).
Bearing in mind that a support system and information is so vital, that’s what Vapril is here to provide. Vapril offers you all the information (and support you need) throughout the month of April when you’re using a vape to give you the best chance possible of leaving smoking behind for good.
Quitting smoking for 28 days makes you 5 times more likely to quit for good. So, by the end of April you’ll have made it through that crucial period (and be feeling a lot healthier for it). The first few days are always the most difficult - mainly due to nicotine withdrawal (if you’re attempting to do it without a vape). So, all vaping really does is switch out the harmful chemicals in cigarettes, with something less harmful that’ll still deliver the nicotine hit that your body is craving. It also still gives you the familiar feeling of inhaling and exhaling (just with vapour instead of smoke). Sometimes the physical habit of that action is as ingrained as the craving for nicotine is - meaning vaping ticks both boxes to give you as comparable an experience as possible.
VAPING VS SMOKING IN THE UK
The landscape of smoking itself has changed rapidly in the last few years. Cigarettes have become progressively more expensive and in 2020, we saw the total ban of menthol cigarettes in the UK and EU. This continued pressure on smokers has been motivated by the UK’s smoke-free by 2030 goal. As such, more and more people are reaching for a vape instead. Back in 2019, there were over 3 million vapers in the UK and we creep closer to that 4 million mark everyday - those numbers rising even more quickly with the on-going covid-19 pandemic.
Aside from the health implications smoking carries on its own, with a virus that affects lung health so heavily, the conditions covid has put us in will also be a contributing factor - for better or worse. Some of the challenges that smokers face when they’re trying to quit have been lessened or removed completely. Our environment and routine play a huge part in our success in trying to quit. When we’re around other people who are smokers, it can increase temptation to give up on your quit attempt. What with lockdown preventing us all from spending so much time at the pub and in social situations - smokers have been less exposed to those factors.
Our routines have been turned upside too. More of us than ever have been working from home - meaning those usual cigarette break times have been removed. Being at home around children and taking their health into consideration has also likely been a strong factor in people cutting down, or cutting out the cigarettes completely. Depending on cash flow during covid, people may have less disposable income and in turn made the decision to reserve their cash for other things.
On the flip side, covid has led to a lot of extra stress. Whether that’s because of a job loss, or trying to balance working from home while also home-schooling kids, everyone has had a lot more pressure on them in the past year. A significant factor in smoking is stress - we get stressed, we need a cigarette which in turn increases heart rate and within our bodies actually elevates those stress signals in our brains. Add to that, without seeing other people as often, no morning commutes and in-office limits on how often you can smoke, people have more time on their hands than normal.
THE UK’S FALLING SMOKING RATES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Despite the added pressure, the UK has done outstandingly well in the past year with their quit attempts. If you choose to make a quit attempt now, you’ll be in good company - with 300,000 Brits having quit in the past year(1). Their main motivation was the mounting evidence indicating how much more vulnerable they were to the virus if they continued smoking.
“Evidence is growing that smoking is associated with worse outcomes in those admitted to hospital with Covid-19.Quitting smoking also rapidly reduces people’s risk of other health problems such as heart attacks and strokes – those are bad whenever they happen, so preventing them is an end in itself, but it’s especially important at a time like now when everyone is keen to stay out of hospital.”
ASH chairman Nick Hopkinson(1)
On top of that, a joint study between YouGov’s covid-19 tracker and ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) found a staggering number of 550,000 Brits having also made a quit attempt in the past year. And, 2.4 million smokers have cut down on the number of cigarettes they consume a day(1). How does this stack up in real terms? Between 2019 and January, 11.6% more smokers made a quit attempt than the previous year.
HOW VAPE SUPERSTORE CAN HELP
We know how overwhelming it can be when you walk into a vape shop (or, given the current circumstances with covid, browse a vape website). There’s kits all over in different shapes and sizes and hundreds of e-liquids to use in them. It’s very different from just going to the off license and getting your usual pack of cigarettes. That’s where we come in - we’re here to help you narrow down your options, discuss your needs and help you find a kit (and e-liquid with just the right nicotine strength) to give you the best chance of leaving the cigarettes behind for good.
There are two key things to consider when you’re choosing a vape setup. The first, is the kind of inhale you want. Some offer a very tight inhale, comparable to a cigarette. We call this mouth to lung vaping. As you probably guessed, it’s when you draw some vapour into your mouth, then down into your lungs. The other option is direct to lung vaping - where you bypass holding the vapour in your mouth and the inhale is a lot more loose and airy.
The second consideration is your nicotine. There are two kinds of nicotine - freebase and nic salts. They operate a little differently in terms of how fast they work and how they feel when you inhale them. They also come in a range of different strengths to suit your needs as well. Freebase nicotine is the most common form - it absorbs a little more slowly and carries a slightly stronger throat hit (that scratchy feeling you get from cigarettes too). Nic salts deliver a nic hit within seconds but also wear off more quickly - they have a more neutral pH so offer a very mild sensation on the inhale.
Vaping can really be as simple or as complex as you like. When you’re just starting out, we recommend going for the easy options. All you really want is something that will scratch the itch the nicotine cravings will bring up without any fancy bells or whistles. With that in mind - vaping technology has come along in leaps and strides in the last few years meaning you can have a super satisfying experience even with the most basic of kits. We have a bunch of recommendations for you depending on how heavy your smoking habit was. One of the biggest bonuses with vaping (aside from being that much safer for your lungs) is the selection of flavours. Let’s get into it:
THE HEAVY SMOKER
If you’re smoking in the realm of a pack or more a day, something that delivers a restricted inhale with a high nicotine strength is ideal for you. A kit that doesn’t require any maintenance is also ideal - you don’t want to be topping up e-liquid levels or recharging your vape. For you, one of our top picks would be the Geek Bar Disposable Nic Salt Pod Kit. This one will give you a strong nicotine hit, as well as a smooth and flavourful inhale. It comes prefilled with 2ml of e-liquid and will deliver you around 575 puffs. You don’t need to recharge it, just vape it until the tank runs out and the battery dies. These come in a huge range of flavours, meaning you can still pick up a tobacco or menthol option if you want something familiar but there’s also a huge selection of fruit flavours too. Fruits have become the most popular category amongst vapers - so pick up a few to keep in your pocket for Vapril. At just £6.95 each, they’re super affordable and equate to a little over a 20 pack of cigarettes per bar.
THE MODERATE SMOKER
For those of you smoking around 10 - 15 cigarettes a day, we’d recommend a pod kit like the Uwell Caliburn KOKO Prime. It’s a versatile option that’ll still give you an easy introduction into vaping. There are no buttons to press with this one - you just put your e-liquid in the pod and inhale to vape. It’s fully rechargeable and features replaceable coils (which is the part of the vape that heats your e-liquid). When you notice a drop in flavour and vapour, just pull the old coil out of the pod and press a new one into place. As far as e-liquid, we’d recommend you pick up a nic salt - either in a 10mg strength or a 20mg strength. Trying both will help you figure out which strength is best for you. If you want a stronger throat hit feeling to emulate that smoking sensation, instead, you could get a regular 12mg strength which will tick all those boxes.
THE LIGHT AND SOCIAL SMOKER
If you’re more of a casual smoker, only having a few a day (or smoking more when you’re around others) we recommend the Aspire PockeX. This kit is so well loved and has been the first kit for many an ex-smoker. You can vape with both inhalation styles using the PockeX - just choose your coil accordingly. If you want a tighter inhale, pick up a pack of the 1.2ohm coils - they’re perfect to use with 6mg or 12mg strength e-liquids. If you’d like a loose inhale and a lower nicotine strength, use the included 0.6ohm coils with a 3mg e-liquid instead. This one is still super easy to set-up - just open up the top of the tank and pour your e-liquid in. There’s a single button on the battery which you use to switch it on, off and to activate the battery. Just long press the button as you inhale. This one also automatically updates how much power you get depending on your coil choice. Taking the pressure off you, all you need to do is keep it charged up and full of e-liquid.
If you’re ready to join the hundreds of thousands of people making a quit attempt (as well as the millions of current vapers) we can help get you started. If you’re still unsure on which kits will work for you, or how e-liquids work - we have a whole host ofguides with more information. Or, you can message us on live chat, email us or give us a call and we’ll be able to give you a personal recommendation to start you on your Vapril journey.
- More than 300,000 Britons quit smoking over Covid-19 fears – survey
- This pandemic could help England meet its smoke-free goal
- Vaping in England: 2021 evidence update summary gov.uk
- E-cigarettes around 95% less harmful than cigarettes - gov.uk
- One person quits smoking every 80 seconds in England - gov.uk
www.vapesuperstore.co.uk contains general information about vaping and vapour products. The information provided is not medical advice, and should not be relied upon unless explicity cited. We do not make any warranties surrounding the health benefits, reliability and accuracy of written copy across all pages on our website, including blog content and content posted on social media.