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What To Expect When You Quit Smoking and Start Vaping?

January 19, 2024

If you’re considering finally quitting smoking and making the switch to vaping, you’ve come to the right place. While it might seem like smoking traditional cigarettes and vaping are one and the same on the surface, there are several key differences that you should know about. You may be curious about what happens to your body when you first quit smoking and how vaping will affect that.

In this article, we’ll review all that and the side effects you might experience. Read on to learn everything you need to know about switching from smoking to vaping.

Quit Smoking Timeline: What Happens When You Start Vaping and Stop Smoking?

After 8 Hours

You might be surprised to learn that there are changes in your body after only eight hours of quitting smoking. Crucially, your blood oxygen levels will increase since you won’t be inhaling carbon monoxide from tobacco. Even better, vaping won’t affect this at all, so you can use vaping as a good way of dealing with withdrawal symptoms.

After 24 Hours

After just 24 hours, your body will have successfully cleansed itself of all the leftover carbon monoxide from your last cigarette. Your lungs will also work overtime to remove all other debris and leftovers. This might mean you cough a bit more than usual, but that’s a good sign - you’re getting rid of all the toxins.

Furthermore, your blood pressure and heart will reach a more normal level.

After 48 Hours

After 48 hours, you may notice something unexpected - a heightened sense of taste and smell. Because it’s not a complete loss, some smokers don’t even realize that those senses are dulled. But after no cigarettes for 48 hours, those senses will come right back to you in all their glory. The receptors in your mouth and nose will no longer be affected by cigarettes and will start to return to normal.

After 72 Hours

Another one that might surprise you is that after only 72 hours of quitting smoking and taking up vaping instead, you’ll get your breath back. You’ll feel more alert and energized, noticing you are no longer struggling to breathe like you used to (such as after climbing a flight of stairs), and generally feel much healthier.

The even better news is that you won’t be feeling the same level of withdrawal that those who quit smoking without taking up vaping feel.

After 1 Month

Did you know smokers have a much higher chance of catching colds, flu, and other viruses? And even worse, when a smoker does catch one of these viruses, it will likely be much more severe than if they weren’t smokers.

So, great news. After only one month of vaping instead of smoking, you’ll be much healthier and might even notice a decline in feeling unwell, especially if you vape without nicotine.

After 3-9 Months

Once you’ve got to month three, you should be very proud of yourself - the most challenging part is over. You can expect less wheezing and coughing and further improvements in your breathing and overall health. You’ll also see that your home, clothes, and hair no longer smell like smoke.

Furthermore, if you’ve switched to vaping, you’ll also continue to avoid any withdrawal symptoms - a win-win.

After 5 Years

The main improvements that come with being smoke-free for five years are around your heart health and - in turn - your life expectancy. After not smoking for five years, your risk of a heart attack drops by an incredible 50%. And the good news doesn’t stop there. In fact, the chances of you having a heart attack decrease with every year you continue not to smoke.

In addition, your chances of getting cancer of the mouth and throat are halved.

After 10 Years

When you make it to 10 years without smoking, the first thing you should do is give yourself a big pat on the back - it’s an incredible achievement. By this point, you probably feel like you never even smoked. At this time, the likelihood of you getting lung cancer is now at about half of that of a smoker. Moreover, the chances of getting bladder and kidney cancer also dramatically decrease.

The Benefits of Vaping

Aside from the obvious benefit of completely cutting out all the toxins known to be in cigarettes, there are some other benefits of switching to vaping that might not be as obvious. For example, the NHS reports that you are much more likely to be successful in quitting smoking if you switch to vaping rather than using other methods.

Furthermore, vaping allows you much more control in the sense that you can adjust the amount of nicotine in your vapes. So, not only can you kick the habit of smoking, but you also have the opportunity to quit nicotine as well.

What to Expect: The Potential Side Effects of Vaping


Due to the extreme changes in the chemicals you’re putting into your body, as well as the general withdrawal you may feel from quitting smoking, there’s a chance you might experience more headaches than usual. This is entirely normal - your body is absorbing nicotine differently than it’s used to. An excellent way to combat this is to start with a lower level of nicotine.

Throat Soreness

Ultimately, vaping is a whole different experience from smoking. Even though you end up with similar results and feelings, the way you inhale and how you absorb the nicotine is entirely changed. That said, you might likely feel a minor soreness or irritation in your throat when you first start vaping. That should pass as you get used to it.


Along with the fact that your body will make you cough more as you quit smoking to expel any leftover toxins from cigarettes, you’ll probably find some of the coughing will be from getting used to vaping. Vaping is a different process from smoking, and although they have similar outcomes, it can take some getting used to. To begin with, though, a little coughing is very regular and will pass with time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens to Your Body When You Switch From Cigarettes To Vaping?

When you quit smoking and start vaping instead, your body will go through a series of changes across the time you make that transition. The good news is that most of the changes are for the better. You’ll be able to breathe better and lower your chance of many types of cancer, but you might experience some coughing and throat irritation to begin with.

Final Thoughts

If you're considering making the switch from smoking traditional cigarettes to vaping, there's only good news. You'll become far healthier, breathe better, your sense of taste and smell will improve, and your chances of getting many types of cancer will reduce.

To begin with, you'll likely experience some coughing and throat irritation, but that will pass. With research showing that vaping makes you almost twice as likely to succeed in quitting smoking, it's a no-brainer.

To buy your starter vaping kit, check out RELX's collection now.

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