Research shows that vaping is a highly effective way to quit smoking cigarettes. In one 2021 review, researchers found that people who used e-cigarettes as well as face-to-face support were up to twice as likely to succeed in quitting smoking than those who used other nicotine replacement therapies.
But while vaping has been frequently touted as a great way to fight nicotine cravings, there’s another major benefit that people who make the switch from cigarettes have discovered: vaping can be an excellent way to relax and wind down. For former smokers who struggle with anxiety or stress, vaping can help them practise mindfulness, promote relaxation, and reduce nicotine consumption for improved sleep.
Here are some of the ways that former smokers now use their vape kit to relax and reduce stress.
Choosing soothing vape juice flavours
Much like you might use your favourite lavender-scented bubble bath, light a candle that smells of fresh linen, or burn some jasmine incense in order to wind down and relax, the right vape juice flavours can create an instant sensation of relaxation and calm.
Some of the most popular e-liquid flavours in the world include powerful-tasting tobacco and fruity flavours, but there’s also a growing trend towards soothing and more subtle flavours. Botanical-inspired vape juice is increasing in popularity, while soothing and refreshing flavours like simple menthol are also favoured by many vapers.
Smells and tastes can be a great way to reduce stress, promote feelings of calm, and even invoke memories. For example, choosing to vape a nostalgic flavour that reminds vapers of their childhood could bring a sense of peace, or choosing a particular flavour to vape when winding down in the evening can trick vapers’ brain into feeling that calmness even when they taste the flavour during the day.
On the whole, when people start vaping they will choose a vape juice that contains nicotine. Nicotine e-liquid is a great way to avoid the cravings and discomfort that comes with quitting cigarettes, so continuing to vape with nicotine is a key way to avoid the temptations.
Nicotine stimulates your neurotransmitters, causing the release of hormones like dopamine and serotonin which promote positive feelings. While these hormones may cause you to feel more relaxed in the short term, overactive neurotransmitters can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle, causing nicotine users to find it harder to fall asleep and get lower quality sleep when they finally drift off.
Many vapers find that even if they started out vaping high-nicotine e-liquids, gradually reducing their nicotine intake or opting for nicotine-free formulas part of the time can be a great way to relax, de-stress, and enjoy better sleep. For example, vapers may choose to use a pod kit where they can easily switch out pods, using a pod with delicious, invigorating 10mg vape juice during the day, and a pod with soothing 0mg juice for winding down in the evening.
Eventually, vapers can reduce their nicotine consumption until they are vaping nicotine-free e-juice all the time. This means that they can enjoy all the relaxing benefits of vaping their favourite e-liquid while avoiding the stimulant’s impacts – a great way to enjoy a relaxing vaping experience and restore your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
Taking a break out of the day
Another way that vaping helps people relax is by encouraging them to take a break out of their busy days. Stepping outside for a few minutes to vape can be a great way to chill out, spend some time in nature, and get a little exercise in as you walk around.
If you work a busy job or find yourself overwhelmed by worries or stress throughout the day, taking a break to vape can help you step back and ground yourself for a moment. This much-needed relief helps many vapers manage difficult emotions or high stress levels.
Moreover, the social element of vaping cannot be ignored. Stepping outside to vape means that they may be more likely to start a conversation with another vaper, helping distract them from stress or anxiety.
If you’re looking for top quality low-nicotine or nicotine-free vape juice, head over to Vaping 101 for a wide range of flavours.
Mindfulness and breathing exercises
Mindfulness, or the practice of being present in the moment, and breathing exercises are known ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Vaping provides users with a focal point for mindfulness, encouraging them to stop whatever else they are doing and focus on the motions and sensations of using the e-cigarette. This calms the mind and helps vapers be present in the moment.
Furthermore, taking slow, deep breaths while vaping can help to regulate breathing and reduce stress and anxiety. By focusing on your breath and the sensations of vaping, you can create a sense of calm and relaxation.
Although vaping is often associated with super-sweet fruity flavours, satisfying nicotine buzzes, and competitive cloud-chasing, it is also being increasingly used by former smokers as a way to relax and wind down. For people who have quit cigarettes using their vapes, choosing relaxing e-liquid flavours and reducing nicotine consumption are important aspects of using vapes to de-stress.
While vaping has been estimated to be 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes by Public Health England, this does not mean that vaping is entirely risk-free. Even though vaping can be an excellent alternative to smoking which vapers find relaxing, it’s not the best way to deal with stress and anxiety for people who have never smoked before. If you are dealing with high levels of stress and anxiety, talk to your GP.