The Secret to E-cig Success

Or why is vaping making it where billions of dollars haven't? What's the idea behind electronic cigarette that made it so powerful?

Even the most conservative estimates admit supremacy of electronic cigarette as a means to quit tobacco. I mean to quit for real, not just for a day or week.  According to their calculation, success of e-cigarette surpasses that of  NRTs by 100%.

Our own observations speak even more favourably of e-cigs, but then again someone may say we vapers are biased. And some of our own observations and conclusions may well be based on us talking mostly to ourselves.  

Also, when it comes to e-cig success, we may include smokers who combine their tobacco habit with their newly acquired e-cig use. There's much good to be said about reducing your tobacco consumption and combustion. The benefits go through the roof! And aren't released into the air as harmful substances.  

Now, trying to explain this last thing to some landlords in California and lords of the World Health could be a daunting task, so I've heard. 

You can hear anti-s express their  "grave concern" about dual use, but let me tell you something about that bs. If you manage to replace 30 of your 40 cigarettes with anything you can vape and remain on 10 tobacco cigs daily, it's not only a success in my book. You may well start breathing normally again, just like my uncle.

But, I digress.  So, let's go back to the beginning and ask ourselves how come? Why has this simple device with so many variations got so many users and proponents? Why does it have forums, supporters, even a political party? Why does its success dwarf the  products whose research and development was heavily funded by big pharma and their millions of $$?

Since picture tells a thousand words, here it is, courtesy of another Twitter pal, @vaper_the 

the secret to e-cig success

Willpower mantra temples

That's how I call all those places on the internet and elsewhere publishing excessive nonsense that comes down to quit or die. In most cases, they seem to be started by a non-smoker, who normally doesn't really understand anything about the whole  issue, except that s/he can't stand smoke(rs).  

They may even be initiated by an ex-smoker with a view  if I could do it, anyone can. Newsflash, Einstein – that's not necessarily so. People are different when you take into account psychology, anatomy, physiology and youname it. All these realms house our differences and in each one of them more research is – you guessed it – needed!

That very variety is a large part of our sexiness if you ask me! Otherwise, we as species would be excrutiatingly boring. Unfortunately, some of us still  persist on Borg-like assimilation requirements being imposed on everyone who simply may – or dares to  be - different.

How willpower fails us 

The Secret to E-cig Success

So, lately I've been reading about willpower and found out something refreshingly new – it's overrated. Although I'm not convinced of the validity of such a claim in all cases, as for overcoming any addiction - that's spot on.

Often quoted as a statement of about sheer  determination, the old English proverb „Where there's a will, there's a way“ has probably misled as many as it's helped..Construe willpower as just a call for character and you miss its other equally essential element: timing. It's a critical piece...

Gary Keller, Jay Papasan  The One Thing  (non-affiliate link)

Even the strongest ones among us have their ups and down as far as the power of their iron will is concerned.

Famous Oprah diets from late eighties and nineties come to mind. She successfully lost much weight more than once, but couldn't keep her new fit looks for long. What happened in the meantime was life. And it has an unpredictable quality, no matter how meticulously you schedule it. Although Oprah's iron will-power made her train with dedication for hours daily and for months on end, not even she could keep on the routine only professional athletes can (since it's their livelihood). 

Is Motivation Overrated, Too? 

It may well be. You can stay motivated for some time. Then it starts going down and eventually fades away.

There's another interesting book I've read lately – Mini Habits by Stephen Guise in which he advocates very small steps to start exercising your willpower muscle.

Although I consider writing 50 words a day or doing just one push up too little of a goal, even if just initial, the concept itself isn't bad if you are starting something at which you absolutely suck. (Still I'm rather doing 10 crappy push ups instead of one good one). However I'm bringing this up here because there's  an entire chapter on why motivation doesn't work long term.

Motivation is unreliable because it's based on how you feel, and we've known for centuries that human feelings are fluid and unpredictable...How easy has it been to motivate yourself when you're tired, sick, have a headache, feel "off", or just really want to do something else more fun? ... It's hard to change your feelings by thinking... It's not a problem when you would like to be motivated, but when you can't do anything unless you're motivated. This is the perfect way to enter a laziness spiral...Motivation sets us up for failure through the law of decreasing enthusiasm

Stephen Guise Mini Habits (non-affiliate link)

The point I want to make is -  use your motivation and willpower ups to form a habit. Then when both of them go down, you have your habit left to hold on to. You'll need anywhere between 3 to 9 weeks to form a habit.  

Once you've established a habit that brings you satisfaction - if for nothing then for the feeling you have afterwards! - your willpower and motivation may vary as much as they please. What you have now is a daily routine that you'd hate to break. You'd really feel worse if you didn't exercise today than if you did. Even if it was hard to find time, even if you'd been doing some physical work most of the day.

This huge digression from e-cigarette to fitness was made with an aim to show universal principle at work here – at some point in time you may get motivated to quit cigarettes. You search the net and other places for solution, you find what you need and now you replace your old debilitating addiction of smoking with much less harmful habit. Then you keep doing it for some time while your motivation is still strong. What happens is that a new habit is formed and what follows is a repetition of the same thing that's already ingrained in your subconsciousness. Easy. 

What Do Fitness And E-cigarettes Have in Common?

The Secret to E-cig Success

First of all, both are fun (or should be). Second, since they are such a fun and come in so many variations, both have large fan bases and communities.

But even if you are a lone wolf and can do better without all that community stuff, e-cigarette (like fitness) is a matter of habit. Once it is formed, and especially if it is formed properly – which means you have the right fitness routine for you or the right e-cig -  it gets much harder to break it and relapse to your old ways  than to keep it on. You actually do not need motivation or will power anymore to sustain it.

Of course, you can take a nicotine gum, patch or whatever.  Although NRTs might be prescribed in anti-smoking willpower mantra temples and excessively praised by them, fact remains they are no fun and thus have no dedicated fan base. But that doesn't really matter. The problem with NRTs, however, is that they are  supposed to be abandoned after some time. Question remains - where do you go from that point? Exactly nowhere is what many may feel. Or back to tobacco. Hence NRT's dismally low success rate.

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Written by Ljubica, @Switchtoecig, ex teacher, translator, passionate reader, ex smoker and now vaper, e-cig reviewer and vaping advocate.

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