Guest Post by Amy: My New Year's Resolution To Quit Smoking Cigarettes (and How Vaping Has Helped)

Sunday, 22 January 2017

KIK Vape review
Words by Amy / Photos by Evelyn: When I was younger, I was always very anti-smoking. My parents didn't smoke and neither did any of my friends, so it was something that never appealed to me. It was only when I was in my last year of University that I started smoking as a coping mechanism for the amount of stress that I was experiencing with my finals. Smoking helped to calm my nerves, and I was soon puffing away on a pack of 20 cigarettes a day.

Fast forward four years and I found myself chain-smoking constantly due to the pressures of my new job as a Social Worker. I knew that this career was going to be challenging and difficult at times, but I found myself struggling with the stress of it all, and I used smoking as a way to take my mind off things. All of my work colleagues smoked as well so I was constantly surrounded by it.

After a particularly bad chest infection four months ago, I decided that 2017 was going to be the year that I quit the cigarettes for good. I've tried to quit many times through various methods such as nicotine patches and gums, counselling to reduce my stress levels (which definitely helped with the stress, but I still found myself smoking anyway), and even hypnotherapy, but nothing seemed to work for longer than a week or so. I was always back at the off-license the next morning on the way to work buying another a packet of cigarettes.   

I saw an advert for vaping, and thought that it looked like a good way to cut down on my nicotine use, so when Evelyn got in touch with me to ask if I'd like to review a vape kit that she'd been offered by KiK, I said yes straight away. I've been wanting to try my hand at writing a blog post with the intention of starting up my own blog in the near future, so this sounded like a good opportunity to get my thoughts together on a topic that I hope will help other people who are also wanting to quit smoking.
KIK Vape review
Trying Vaping for the First Time
The KiK Vape 02 Starter Kit* (£19.95, link) is the first vape kit that I've tried, and I instantly liked how easy it was to set up and use. The Starter Kit comes complete with everything that you need; a rechargeable 900mAh battery, the KiK ProTank Clearomizer and a USB charger. Some e-cigarettes require you to build them up first, but the KiK one came ready-made and already had a charged battery. All I needed to do was add some e-liquid, and it was ready to go.

The KiK e-cigarette feels nice in your hands. It's slim, feels high quality, and comes in a variety of colours. To fill it with the e-liquid, I carefully unscrewed the ProTank (the clear glass part) and added the e-liquid at a 45-degree angle as instructed, and then it screwed it back into place. To switch it on, you just press the silver button on the front a couple of times and then you can 'vape'.  

I have to admit, it took me some time to get used to vaping. I imagined it to be the same as smoking, and whilst it is in a way, it's also quite different. With cigarettes, you don't have to inhale as much, but with vaping (or certainly my first experience with it), I had to change my inhaling technique to get used to it.  It's hard to explain but after a few days or so, I quickly got the hang of it. Vaping is very satisfying because you still feel like you're smoking, just without all the toxic chemicals and that horrible smell. It doesn't stain your fingers, clothes, bedroom walls, and I haven't noticed it staining my teeth either.
KIK Vape review
The E-Liquids & Lowering My Nicotine Intake
With the starter kit, I was sent three flavours of Kik e-liquid to try out alongside it. These were Energy Drink, Blackcurrant and Super Bubblegum (all 10ml, £3.95 each, link). The bottles are hard to open as they have a child safety lock on them, but a little strategic squeezing here and there finally pops them open. Each e-liquid is made from 100% natural and organic ingredients (with a base of Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycol). Each of the KiK e-liquids taste just like their names, and the Super Bubblegum is my favourite. 

They come in different nicotine strengths and as I wanted to eventually quit nicotine for good, I started off with the Energy Drink e-liquid in 16mg which is the middle strength (for reference, one 10ml bottle of e-liquid is the equivalent of around 200 cigarettes, although strengths vary). It gave me the same satisfaction as an ordinary cigarette, and after only a week, I decided to downsize to the 11mg strength in Blackcurrant and Super Bubblegum. 

Have I managed to quit smoking cigarettes?
I'm proud to say that my last cigarette was on 1st December 2016, and I'm intending to keep it that way. I'm current vaping with 6mg strength e-liquids with the intention of moving to nicotine-free e-liquids by the end of this month which isn't far off. I feel a hundred times better health-wise (NHS states that vaping is 95% better for you than smoking cigarettes) and I've saved an absolute fortune as the costs of cigarettes continue to go up. I'm so happy that I tried vaping and look forward to being nicotine-free by February. 

Thank you to Amy for sharing her experience in this guest post for We Were Raised By Wolves, and thanks to KiK for providing the products for review. For more information on vaping and how it can help you to quit smoking, visit NHS Smokefree here

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