Last fact-checked 31 December 2023 | Report a content error
It’s New Year’s Eve 2023, and there has never been a better time to quit!
If you’re planning to quit smoking (or quit vaping nicotine) in 2024, then this is the guide for you. We’ll explain the best way to quit cigarettes with vaping, share tips on how and when to wean yourself off nicotine and take a look at whether New Year's Resolutions really do work or not. By the end of this short article, you'll have everything you need to get started with your 2024 New Year's Resolution!
Are New Year’s Resolutions a good idea?
We all know the familiar story about new year’s resolutions. Every January, parks and gyms are overrun with new trainers and supermarket shelves are packed with low-alcohol beer. Then, by the time February rolls around, everything seems to have gone back to normal. You might question whether a New Year’s Resolutions is a good idea in the first place. But, based on the evidence, it absolutely is.
Most of the time, New Year’s Resolutions do work. In December 2020, a YouGov survey found that a whopping 84% of Americans had managed to keep at least some of their New Years Resolutions that year. One in three Americans surveyed (35%) kept all of the resolutions they had made for the year (source: yougov.com). In America, New Year’s Resolutions really can drive long-term behavioural change. There’s no reason to believe it might be different here in the UK
Resolution #1: Use a Vape to Quit Smoking
E-cigarettes are one of the most successful quitting tools that have ever been invented. A vape can boost your chances of successfully quitting smoking … but it works best when you pair vaping with professional support.
If you’re going to try and quit smoking this 1st January 2024, start by signing up to the NHS Stop Smoking Service. NHS Stop Smoking is a time-tested, doctor-approved public service. It offers professional support to quitters all over the country. You don’t have to wait for an appointment to start using it. You can create your personal quit plan online, then book appointments with a trained smoking cessation counsellor later to help you stay on track. It’s easy to use, it’s free and — most importantly — it works.
Your odds of success shoot up when you vape and use the NHS Stop Smoking Service at the same time. In fact, “Almost two-thirds of people who use a vape along with support from their local Stop Smoking Service successfully quit smoking.” (source: NHS.uk). Those are great odds, so make sure you sign up as soon as you can.
If the thought of going a full year without smoking is too daunting, try shrinking the time period. Aim to go smoke-free just for January. Research shows that you are 5 times more likely to quit for good if you can stay off cigarettes for 28 days (source: gov.uk). Focus on getting just one smoke-free month under your belt and you will have dramatically improved your chances of quitting for good. Your NHS Stop Smoking advisor can help you create a 28-day plan if that feels more realistic for you at this stage.
Resolution #2: Stop Vaping Nicotine
As soon as you have become smoke-free, the next step is to quit vaping nicotine. While vaping is much less harmful than smoking, it is not risk-free. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance (source: NHS.uk), and you should aim to taper down to 0mg as soon as possible.
Based on what we know today, the fastest way to wean yourself off nicotine is to taper down in 3-4 stages over a 10-12 week period. If, like many vapers, you are currently mixing your own nicotine-infused shortfill, you can mix a progressively weaker nicotine strength e-liquid (roughly one-third weaker every 4 weeks) until you’re down to 0mg of nicotine. Learn more about structured weaning on our guide to tapering down.
If you don’t mix your own shortfill (if you only vape disposables, for example), then you could try gradually reducing your nicotine intake by gradually reducing your daily puff count. This might sound like an easier and more organic way to quit, but in practice it takes a lot longer and is much more difficult to stick to. You need to track the number of puffs you take each day, and the whole process can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months. You also need to manage the uncertainty of not knowing when (or if) you’ll be totally nicotine-free. We don’t recommend quitting nicotine this way.
Our guide to tapering down has more advice on how to safely wean yourself off nicotine. If possible, you should also talk to a stop smoking counsellor or GP. Just like smoking, it’s easier to stick to a nicotine reduction plan with professional help.
If at first you don’t succeed...
Try not to become disheartened if things don’t go your way this month. It can take a few attempts.
In the 12 months from April 2021 to March 2022, more than 178,000 smokers tried quitting with the NHS Stop Smoking Service. Almost half of those quit attempts did not succeed (source: nhs.uk). That doesn’t mean the people who failed to quit that year are now doomed to a lifetime of smoking. It just means that they haven’t quit yet and they need to try again.
Nicotine is a powerfully addictive substance; it might take a few false starts before you can finally quit. The 2024 New Year’s Resolution is a great opportunity to try and quit, but initiatives like VApril and Stoptober are equally important. You can — and should — take every opportunity to quit until you have broken free of your addiction.
As a nation, our collective efforts to quit tobacco are working. Slowly but surely, Britain is becoming a smoke free society. UK household expenditure on tobacco has almost halved since 2005 (source: statistica), and government reports show that smoking prevalence has dropped from 1 in 5 to almost 1 in 8 over the past decade (source: ONS.gov.uk). This is all good news. Society is changing, and as a nation we are leaving tobacco behind.
Whatever your goals are for the coming year, we wish you every success. Set your New Year’s Resolution and then keep at it! Let’s give 2024 everything we’ve got!
Stay safe and happy vaping!