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What Happens When You Quit Smoking and Start Vaping?

Vaping is not the same as smoking, so what happens to your body when you stop smoking and start vaping? You might think nothing will really change as you are still inhaling something other than air into your lungs. This blog is going to go into what vaping and smoking is, what it does and what happens when you quit smoking and start vaping.

What is Smoke?

Smoke is the result of combustion. When combustion occurs, new chemicals are formed through the process of oxidation. Smoke contains thousands of new chemicals that are different from the product that was initially burned. This isn’t just related to cigarettes, it’s any fire in general from a campfire to forgetting you left your dinner on the stove. At the end of the day fire is what creates smoke. When anyone smoke’s a cigarette, a fire must be involved to create smoke.

What are the Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke?

There are way too  many to list them all, literally thousands including and at least 70 that are carcinogenic.

Some that you may know of include:  

Acetone – Also found in nail polish remover
Acetic Acid – Another beauty ingredient in hair dye
Ammonia – Yep, house cleaner
Arsenic – used in rat poison and mob assassinations
Benzene – used in rubber cement and gasoline
Butane – used in lighter fluid… funny how they don’t light themselves!
Cadmium – active component in battery acid. Don’t think it will start your car though
Carbon Monoxide – car exhaust fumes
Formaldehyde – embalming fluid
Hexamine – another lighting fluids used for BBQs
Lead – another battery ingredient
Naphthalene – used in mothballs
Methanol – yep, another fuel-based ingredient
Tar – what lungs get clogged up with
Toluene – used to manufacture paint

And of course Nicotine which is also used as a insecticide (not a carcinogen however toxic in large doses). 

What is Vapour? 

When a substance becomes gaseous, at a temperature that is lower than its point of combustion, it is considered vapour. 

What are the Chemicals in Vapour?

The chemicals that are in vapour are the same as those found in the un-vaporized substance. There is no chemical change. 

What is Nicotine and Does it Cause Cancer? 

Nicotine isn’t added to tobacco to make it addictive. It is actually a natural defence toxin produced by the tobacco plant to prevent insects eating it. This natural defence toxin remains in the leaves and stems during the drying process, ending up in the final tobacco product.

Nicotine itself isn’t a carcinogen however in very large doses it can be toxic or even lethal. 

What happens when you Stop Smoking?

There is a general timeline of what happens to your body when you stop smoking: 

8 hours – Nicotine and Carbon Monoxide levels in your blood fall by 50%
24 hours – Lungs start to clear out debris
48 hours – Improvement of sense of smell and taste
72 hours – Breathing becomes much easier
2-12 weeks – Blood circulation accelerates and improves
3-9 months – Lung function increases by up to 10%
1 year – Risk of having a heart attack is reduced
10 years – Risk of lung cancer is ½ of that of a smoker
15 years – Risk of having a heart attack is the same as a non-smoker

What to Expect

Everyone is different and it does depend on how long you were smoking and how much you were smoking. Still, there is no carbon monoxide or other chemicals produced (other than what is in e-liquid) when vaping. This means that your body will essentially go into detox from other chemicals that were consumed while smoking tobacco products. If you are using liquid nicotine in your e-liquid, you shouldn’t be experiencing nicotine withdrawals. If you feel you are, you may have the wrong nicotine level in your e-liquid. 

Do Your Lungs Heal?

Studies have shown that eventually your lungs will be healthier and it will be easier to breathe. Vapour from vaping doesn’t impact the process of lungs recovering from cigarette smoke.  Remembering to keep hydrated, especially when vaping will help accelerate the “cleaning” process and in turn reduce “smokers cough”. 


Everyone is different and it can take either shorter or longer time to recover from being a smoker. The best takeaway knowledge is what you’re no longer doing to your body and those around you. Second-hand vapour is not as dangerous than second-hand cigarette smoke

What’s Your Experience? 

We would love to hear how your progress has been if you have made the switch from smoking to vaping!