Vaping has become a popular alternative for smokers looking to move away from their old habits. The similarity of inhaling, hand-to-mouth action and being able to access familiar flavours makes the transition from cigarettes less jarring and alien than other methods like nicotine patches and gums.
Many people who do choose vaping as their alternative often begin their journey with an intent to step down their nicotine strengths and eventually cease their consumption of nicotine altogether. While this may sound simple on-paper, the reality is quite different.
Much like any process that moves us away from an addictive substance, we must be careful not to underestimate its hold on us. You can learn more about nicotine addiction and the way it influences your brain in our guide, Nicotine and Health.
How can I reduce my e-liquid nicotine strength?
The answer to this question is not cut-and-dry, it’s very subjective and all depends on your goals, lifestyle, and attitude.
Whether or not your end goal is simply to move to the strength below your current, or if you want to completely follow the journey to a nicotine free lifestyle, there are some universal tips that can help make the process smoother.
Choose a device that can support your whole quitting journey
chances are if you want to reduce your nicotine intake, you aren't going to want to keep choosing new flavours just to find a product in the strength you need. Thankfully you can stick with your favourite EDGE flavours in either 10ml or convenient disposable GO pods.
You can get the whole range from 18mg all the way down to 3mg and 0mg. That means you can stick with your chosen flavour and effortlessly switch up or down to adapt during those difficult times on your reduction journey.
having a system like this in your arsenal will always make managing your behaviour as you decrease your nic intake that much easier!
Small steps equals Big changes
Setting achievable milestones is an important part of any reduction journey. For many of us taking a step too far can lead to falling further away from your end goal.
If you vape an 18mg product for example, suddenly dropping to a 3mg or 6mg is going to leave you wanting more.
Your cravings will not easily be met by such a low comparative strength, and you are likely to relapse. Instead, choose to move down through the strengths available; dropping from 18mg to 12mg is a smaller step, but one that you are more likely to maintain. Before you know it, you will be feeling ready to drop to a 6mg and so on, until you reach your goal.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
One of the best things about vaping is the freedom of flavour and strength choice. While we all have our favourites, when trying to reduce our consumption it can sometimes help to mix it up.
Enjoying a new or exciting vape flavour can help distract from the fact the new strength isn’t delivering quite as much nicotine as before. This can help you get through that initial phase while you body adjusts to your new lower nicotine lifestyle.
There is no right or wrong approach here. For many, sticking to their favourites is the best path, as the familiarity can also help you get over the shock of dropping down a strength.
It’s all dependent on your attitude, the main thing is to remember that going up and down the strengths a little or experimenting with new flavours is nothing to worry about, so long as you are trending down towards your personal goal.
Try not to compensate
When reducing your nicotine intake as a vaper, one of the biggest pitfalls to avoid is over using. Once you have swapped to a lower strength, keep an eye on how often you are vaping and how quickly you are getting through your e-liquid. It’s very easy to unconsciously increase the frequency of your vaping because your body wants to match the level of nicotine it was getting before.
Keep Things Positive
As with many of the vices in our lives, the first steps towards overcoming them are taken in our minds. Keep thinking positively and embrace the challenge; If you start your journey from a place of negativity, you will have made it that much harder to succeed.
Even if you have tried and failed before, don’t let that hold you back. If you can look back at why you failed, learn from it and then take positive action to make sure that doesn’t happen again – treat failure as a lesson, not a defeat.
Multiple scientific studies tell us that just 5 minutes of exercise a day can help cut cravings. Not only is the act of exercising a great distraction, but there is even evidence to suggest that the endorphins and other chemicals released by your brain during physical activity can actually have anti-craving effects!
You don’t have to go it alone
Whether you are trying to quit smoking, or simply reduce your e-liquid consumption or nicotine level – you don’t have to go it alone. Tell the people close to you and they can be an invaluable support.
Resources like the NHS can also give you excellent general advice regarding addiction management too. We also have a dedicated area for smokers and vapers alike who want to explore their options and access well-researched impartial advice.
Head over to our Switch with EDGE area to find out more and take the next steps on their personal journey.
If you are still looking for your ideal alternative to smoking and want to explore the facts, you can compare the positives and negatives of vaping alongside a whole range of different nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) in our guide, Finding the Right Alternative.
With over 6 years within the vaping industry, Ian has amassed a wealth of knowledge that is unparalleled throughout the industry. His knowledge extends beyond e-liquids and devices, but covers safety and compliance as well as best practice and more to name but a few.