Improve Your Chances of Switching to Harm Reduction Devices
At one point quitting was presented as the only option for people who wanted to give up traditional cigarettes, but the recent rise in popularity of the harm reduction movement has presented alternative options for individuals that are often more achievable than quitting cold-turkey.
Harm reduction is a principle that promotes the idea of reducing risks. In terms of cigarettes, harm reductionists focus on limiting nicotine intake or switching to safer products rather than eliminating risk altogether. Some individuals may wonder ‘why bother reducing the level of risk that you expose yourself to when you could get rid of it by quitting?’ Those individuals have never tried to quit.
Quitting traditional cigarettes is not easy. For most people, it takes between 8 and 14 tries to actually be successful. Many people struggle with kicking the habit of smoking when the rest of their habits remain the same. If you light a cigarette every night after dinner, it proves difficult to get out of that routine. Moreover, when you quit you will go through an intense withdrawal period that, depending on how many cigarettes you smoke and how frequently, may not be alleviated by nicotine patches or gum. Our team members have all found that the best way to give up traditional cigarettes is to ease out of it with harm reduction products such as a HnB devices or e-cigs.
Now some people view harm reduction products as kind of a stepping stone that leads to eventually quitting, whereas others are content to simply replace cigarettes with something healthier. Some people even continue using cigarettes after having switched. No one outcome is preferred over the others; it’s all dependent on the individual’s wants and needs. Even if unable or unwanting to quit fully, the intent to reduce harm is meaningful and will most likely have a positive impact.
Keep in mind, however, that no matter how small the change, switching will be difficult, so our team here at Heat180 has arranged some steps that you can take to help choose what harm reduction option is best for you.
Number 1: Research
Switching from traditional cigarettes to a harm reduction product is a big process and one that is specific to you. Not everyone has the same smoking habits and so there is no universal guide as to what course of action should be taken. What satisfies someone else might not satisfy you and vice versa. Take some time and think about your smoking habits. They’ll give you insight into what alternatives you might want to try. Below are a list of questions that can get you started on this process:
- Why did you start smoking? (e.g. friends and family smoke)
- What do you like about cigarettes? (e.g. easily accessible, can buy them anywhere)
- What brand(s) of cigarettes do you like and why? (e.g. Marlboro Red because it has a strong tobacco taste)
- What do you dislike? (e.g. the lingering smell)
- Why do you want to quit? (e.g. have high blood pressure)
When you’re done, try to analyze your answers for clues about what you need or want in a cigarette alternative. We’ve provided some example answers above. If we were to analyze the answer to ‘What brand(s) of cigarettes do you like and why?’ we would be able to conclude that this person likes a strong tobacco taste and therefore might want to look into a Heat-Not-Burn device since it contains real tobacco and several brands have HeatStick flavors available that mimic Marlboro Red. Alternatively, if an individual answered that they didn’t like the taste of tobacco under ‘What do you dislike?’ their answer would indicate that perhaps they should try vaping as there are a range of flavors available that taste nothing like tobacco.
After completing this step search the web and see watch catches your eye, that also fits the profile you built with your answers. YouTube is a great place to learn, as are blogs and forums. As well, some manufacturers, in a bid to gain and keep customers, offer free support options beyond just device maintenance and troubleshooting. For example, IQOS, one of the most popular HnB brands, has official retail outlets in some regions. Once there you can speak with an IQOS Expert for free who will suggest what device and best fits your needs. However, keep in mind that brands will only promote their own products and at the end of the day are looking to make a profit from you, the consumer.
The best advice we could give is speak with a professional, someone in the industry who knows what they’re doing. Don’t be afraid to call around to your local vape shops and/or tobacconists and ask questions.* Their recommendations are often invaluable as they know what products are most popular and are able to discuss your specific needs.
Number 2: Look to Others for Support
Much like professionals in the industry, the harm reduction community is almost always friendly and welcoming. The community is somewhat divided into subsections, such as vape enthusiasts, Heat-Not-Burn enthusiasts, and general harm reduction proponents, but that shouldn’t hinder you. You can find individuals or organizations belonging to this community on virtually all social media and social networking sites. There are also numerous blogs that discuss and review harm reduction products, much like Heat180. Feel free to reach out at any time.
Number 3: Commit
External support will help when transitioning from traditional cigarettes to HnB or e-cigs, but still the biggest factor in your success is yourself. You have to want it.
Whether you quit flat-out or switch to harm reduction products, there is going to be an adjustment period. One of our lead team members, who is now a devoted HnB user, reported feeling unsatisfied and irritable for nearly 2 weeks after first switching. He said the biggest difference he noticed was the dramatic reduction of smoke that went into his lungs when he inhaled. However, once he went through the withdrawal period, he no longer dealt with these feelings.
Part of the draw with harm reduction devices is that they are similar to traditional cigarettes in design, performance, and effect. In any situation that you would have smoked cigarettes you can switch and smoke these devices and, in most cases, they will provide some form of satisfaction that will help with the transition.
Nevertheless, if you don’t succeed on the first try, don’t get discouraged. It sounds cliche, something that everybody who was successful says, but think of it this way; the harm reduction community wouldn’t be so immense if people didn’t experience and believe in its process. Switching is all about finding what cigarette alternative works best for you. If you are dedicated to doing so, you will eventually succeed.
Do you have any tips for switching? Feel free to comment below! We usually reply within 24 hours.
*This article was written in-part due to the expertise of the staff at The Nekkid Monk Vape Shop in Ontario, Canada.