1. Look into kits.
There are so many different types of e-cigarettes you can purchase – one-off pipes, stylish cigarette-shaped simulators and customisable mechanical mods. Start off with a basic kit that includes everything you need to get started, knowing that you can branch out here from here later if you want to. Kits usually come with a couple vials of e-liquid, all the chargers you’ll need and –most importantly – two batteries. You’ll realise how important the latter is the first time you battery runs out of charge while you’re out on the town. Having a backup will stop you from breaking down and buying a packet.
One of the problems with e-cigarettes in general is that they are largely unregulated. This means that the e-liquid you purchase doesn’t necessarily have to conform to any specific standards – especially if you order it online (in which it might come from overseas). When it comes to your e-juice, the most important thing is that the supplier conforms to clear standards and (when available) some level of oversight. Beyond that, flavour matters, and you’re more likely to stick with the e-cig if you have a high-quality juice that you really enjoy.
3. You may not go through nicotine withdrawal, but your lungs will still react.
When you start vaping, your body will still receive the nicotine it craves (albeit through a slightly different delivery mechanism, as we’ll see in the next section). At the same time, your lungs are going to their first chance in a long time to expel all of that tar and other gunk that has been accumulating. This means that you are going to develop a cough for the first few days. Coughing after quitting is normal, and it has nothing to do with the electronic cigarette.
4. Prepare yourself for a different inhale / reward system.
The vapour molecules emitted by an e-cigarette are much larger than the smoke molecules produced by a cigarette. This matters because it affects the uptake of nicotine in your lungs. The nicotine from smoking makes it into your blood stream in as little as five seconds, while the larger molecules from vaping take roughly 30 seconds to do the same. While that may strike you as fast enough, it is slow enough to offset your body’s threshold for instant gratification. In other words, the buzz comes a bit too slowly for you to develop a built-in craving for the e-cig – at least at first.
5. The way you puff on an e-cig is different.
As a follow-up on the previous point, a different uptake process means you may have to experiment with how you enjoy your new e-cig. As it turns out, the gums and inside of the cheeks can absorb the nicotine in an e-cig faster than your lungs can. You don’t have to inhale at all if you don’t want to.
6. Start drinking more water.
Finally, e-juice contains propylene glycol, which happens to contribute to mild cases of dehydration. During your transition to e-cigs, make a point of drinking more water than usual, and remain mindful of how you feel. Dry mouth, concentrated urine or general lethargy could all be signs of dehydration. This isn’t to say that you’re going to experience a dangerous level of dehydration, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to drink a couple extra glasses of water each day until you’re comfortable.