Quitting cigarettes can make you sick…



… before making you feel a hell of a lot better!

On a fine March day some nine months ago, I made the executive decision to quit smoking cigarettes and pick up vaping. I managed to quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey, and went 100% with vaping from that day onwards. It took a lot of resolve and effort, but after a week or so, I picked up a good ol’ cancer stick and threw it away after just one puff.

The transition wasn’t easy, but I managed to get through it with a bit of grit and determination. For a month or so, I was edgy, grouchy and suffered from uncontrollable shaky hands. I knew it was my body getting accustomed to my sudden change in habits, and looking back, I can confidently say that it was the mental aspect of things which was much harder to overcome than the physical changes that were happening to my body.

Over the months, I have successfully converted several of my cigarette smoking friends into vapers, and in that time I’ve heard a ton of complaints questions about the side effects that they had to go through.

I had never been able to properly address them besides saying that “it’s the way your body is acclimatizing to the change”, but hopefully with the help of this article, new vapers can have a better idea of what quitting smoking for vaping will potentially do to your body within the first month or two.

Post continues after the jump.

I stumbled upon this article by V2 Cigs from a Facebook share by Chris Chop (thanks buddy!) and pretty much every point that they highlighted hit the spot. I did add a few of my own points towards the end of the article, but you can view the original article on the V2 Cigs blog.

It is important to know about and properly attribute symptoms to tobacco withdrawal as these symptoms are widely known, reported and studied. Symptoms experienced by e-cigarette use are most commonly the result of this process and experienced by anyone  ridding their system of tobacco.

1) Why is this happening to me?

Cigarettes are made up of over 5000 components, and since it would be impossible for me to accurately list them down, the best known one would be tar. Tar is what we use to cover our roads, and is probably the best preservative known to man kind.

Why is it the best? Well, quite simply, you could preserve anything with tar and even insects wouldn’t attack it. This is how cigarette manufacturers ensure that their shipment of tobacco (which is usually in the hundreds of tons) don’t get gobbled up by pesky vermin before they are processed.

So rather than saying that the side effects from switching to vaping are caused by your body ridding itself of tobacco, it would be more accurate to say that it’s caused by your body ridding itself from the residues left over from smoking cigarettes. After all, less than 50% of a cigarette is actually tobacco…

Coughing is most commonly caused by the cilia that line your lungs cleaning out the tar and mucus. Your body is in the process of cleaning out all of the junk coating the surface of your tissues and will cough it up in the form of phlegm. It’s not pretty, but think of it as a makeover on the inside. This is a good thing.

2) I quit smoking, but I’m coughing really badly now…

Yes you are coughing, but take a minute to look at the mucus. I know it sounds a little disgusting, but it’s always good to know what is coming out of your own body.

Back when I was a pack or two a day smoker, I would almost always cough out thick wads of phlegm in the morning. This is a normal occurrence for heavy smokers, and most times, the phlegm would be dark brown or even black depending on how heavily you smoked the night before.

Of course, this prolonged morning coughing can cause your throat to get damaged, and I regularly found blood in my mucus too. Imagine that. Waking up and coughing out globs of black and red mucus. How horrible!

Thankfully, the initial bout of coughing from vaping is actually part of your body’s way of purging out the gunk that was left over. In about a month or two it should stop.

Personally, I haven’t been hit by a morning cough attack in over half a year.

Studies have shown that colds are more prevalent during this period. As your body is ridding itself of toxins and adapting to change, your immune system is working overtime.

3) Vaping has made me sick….

A close friend of mine was hit by the bad case of the flu when he just switched over to vaping. Besides the coughing, he felt weak and had runny nose for weeks. Again, I couldn’t explain what was happening to his body besides reassuring him that it was his body purging out the gunk from cigarettes.

My only advise; drink lots of water. I really can’t suggest much more.

Also known as the “quit zits”, mild breakouts are a common occurrence. They are the result of the body releasing toxins and more prevalent with those who experienced breakouts at a young age. This will pass as your body adjusts.

4) Pimples. Pimples everywhere!

Your body will not only try to purge out the toxins orally, and as the above point illustrates, it will also try to push it out through your skin. I was attacked by quit zits in the first month of switching, but like all things, they will stop with time.

When switching to e-cigs, you are most likely experiencing some change in your nicotine consumption. It may be more or less than your body is accustomed to. This fluctuation can cause these symptoms which shouldn’t last more than a few days.

5) Vaping is giving me bad headaches.

Now this is probably the most common symptom that I’ve heard from my friends, and I have only one answer to this; you’re OD-ing on nicotine.

It’s widely accepted that a stick of cigarette holds about 15mg of nicotine, and eliquids hold anywhere from 0mg to 18mg per ml. So why is vaping giving you OD?

Simple. It’s the taste.

A puff of a cigarette cannot be replicated with vapor. The smoke that comes from your eGo will always taste thinner and cleaner than the smoke from a cigarette. This is simply because it isn’t smoke at all, and while you’re trying to adjust, you probably over vape in an effort to compensate on the mental longing for a full mouth of smoke.

It doesn’t help that eliquids are almost always sweet and delicious too! Without realizing, you could be consuming more nicotine in a vape break than you would while puffing a single stick of cigarette.

Again, this is something that you’ll learn to cope with over time either by switching to an eliquid with a nicotine content level that’s suitable to your liking, or by tweaking your vaping habits.

Just because vaping doesn’t leave a lingering smell in an enclosed room, it doesn’t mean that you should vape in bed! Yes, I’m talking to you!

As more oxygen enters your system and circulation improves, you may experience some aches and pains. This is a normal part of flushing out your system and regeneration after you stop smoking tobacco.

On muscle pains.

Switching away from tobacco can cause dizziness as your circulation increases. Your brain is getting more oxygen! This should only last for a brief period of time until you adjust.

On dizziness.

Your body is going through changes and this life change also can affect you psychologically.

On insomnia.

6) What about all these other pains and niggles?

I’ve lost count on how many times that I’ve repeated the same sentence in this posting, but the fact remains; your body is going through hell because it’s adapting to the change. Be a man and fight it through, because it’ll eventually go away!


7) I miss the taste of cigarettes with my morning coffee. A morning vaping just doesn’t cut it!

The amazing thing about vaping is that there are so many tobacco flavored eliquids on the market too. I can understand that waking up to a full mouth of lychee doesn’t sound like something you’d get used to, so be adventurous and explore what’s on the market.

Personally, I’m absolutely loving how Pipe Sauce’s Shire Malt tastes with my morning coffee. Another favorite of mine is Dragon Juice’s Vanilla Custard (not tobacco based) when I’m having a latte.

The most popular recommendation for tobacco based liquids would be RY4 (most brands have their own take on this flavoring), but there’s a particular after taste in that which doesn’t agree with my palate. If you’re after a super smoky after taste which is more similar to cigar smoke than cigarette smoke, you could even try Halo’s Prime 15.

Notable mentions also go to Grey Matter from Mr. E Liquid and Kentucky Premium Blend from Vermillion River, which are two tobacco based eliquids that help me adjust to vaping in the early days.

There are also a ton of new local brews such as MIM and Full Stop which I have yet gotten the chance to sample. Hopefully, I’ll be able to test them out soon and give you more recommendations in the coming days!

8) I used to smoke while I was taking a shit. Vaping doesn’t cut it for me now.

Ah. Well. This one’s a little tricky.

Cigarettes are laxatives, but until scientists decide to find out which particular component in them help your bowel movements along, I shall not comment besides… do what you’re comfortable with buddy.

You could buy an eGo that’s specifically for toilet use if you don’t want to contaminate your regular mod, or well, you could just keep vaping as normal. That’s your call entirely.

9) I tend to vape much more than I smoke. 


Here’s a tip that I gave my friend who’s used to going on regular smoke breaks but is shocked at how fast his eliquid is drying up.

Get a dripper.

Every time you go for a smoke break, give your self a limit of 5 – 10 drops. Avoid chaining like mad, but instead, vape your dripper as you would a cigarette with long steady puffs. Give yourself an allowance to redrip your eliquid once or twice at maximum.

The time it’ll take for you to dry up a coil will roughly be equivalent to the time it takes to finish a cigarette. If you feel inclined to redrip, then consider it as you were taking out another stick of cigarette to puff.

This way, you’ll be able to gauge how much time you spend outside and also keep track of how fast your liquid goes.

Of course, this could go terribly wrong if you don’t practice any self control…


10) My battery ran flat, so I had to buy pack of cigarettes…

Buddy, you never have to smoke. Again, this is a matter of self discipline and self control.

Imbue the habit of always keeping a spare set of charged batteries on you. It’ll also help if you have a charger that can charge more than two batteries at a go like the Nitecore i4 or the Xtar WP6 II charger.

Certain vendors (like GadgetWorld) will bundle these chargers together with a car charger, so you’ll always have a way to charge your batteries!

I personally switched from the Nitecore i4 to the Xtar VP1 recently and am able to fully charge a flat 18650 battery in just two hours (by switching to 1 Amp charging mode) if I’m in a rush.

In a normal day I would go through either: 4x 14500 batteries or 4x 18350 batteries or 3x 18490 / 500 batteries or 2x 18650 batteries.

It sounds like a big investment, but spending that money to ensure I completely stop smoking is a no brainer.

11) But the temptation to pick up a cigarette is just too damn strong…

Stop smoking cigarettes completely for three months. Pick up a cigarette after. If you still enjoy the taste of cigarette smoke then there really is nothing that I can say or write that’ll help you. 🙂


2 Comments Add yours

  1. takawbelle says:

    A fellow vaper here! Glad to have come across someone with almost the same experience as mine. Vape on, man.

  2. Anon5 says:

    No one has had the chance to study the long term impacts of “vape” liquid on the human body. How do you know you aren’t sucking down cancer? At least with a traditional cigarette the user is perfectly aware of the risks.

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