"The Dinner Lady Vape Pen was my break-through"
Freeing up cash for weekends away with his young family and a little bit of vanity helped to inspire Dinner Lady Senior Account Manager Richard O’Doherty in making the switch from cigarettes to vaping. This VApril, he shares his recent transition to help others make the change.
“I’ve been shopping for a caravan with my eldest son,” Richard tells vapedinnerlady.com. “That’s the investment we can make as a family with the money I’m saving having given up cigarettes. We can buy a touring caravan, pay site fees and head there every weekend – or take it away for holidays too.
“I’m so proud that we’ve been able to make that decision as a family, and having that goal has really helped focus my mind too.”
Since joining the Dinner Lady team in August 2020, as EG account manager for the UK and Europe, Richard has come to better understand how vape can help a smoker make the switch to a less harmful alternative. He recalls starting smoking at university, and despite trying to quit several times, he's not been able to kick the habit in the past.
When a colleague suggested trying the new Dinner Lady Vape Pens, Richard looked again into making the switch away from cigarettes to an alternative tobacco product.
Now, Richard is three months cigarette free, and based on Dinner Lady’s vape savings calculator is saving upwards of £300 a month.
“WITHOUT REALISING IT I’D HAD MY LAST CIGARETTE”
"I had tried vaping before, but I don’t think I had the right e-liquids or devices," Richard explained. "Now I know and understand more about vaping and how it helps people find an alternative to cigarettes.
“The Vape Pen was a real break-through for me. I very quickly found myself smoking less and vaping more. Almost without realising it I’d had my last cigarette. But the biggest turning point with the Vape Pen was the flavours, they were so good – especially Banana Ice, Bubblegum Ice and Strawberry Ice.”
While many smokers making the switch to vaping initially lean towards tobacco flavours, Richard – like many others – found the flavour failed to live up to the experience of combustible cigarettes. “I tried the Smooth Tobacco Vape Pen, but didn’t enjoy it; it’s so different from replicating actual cigarettes – whereas something like Banana Ice was clearly, obviously different I wasn’t trying to mentally compare it to cigarettes."
Richard also credits the 20mg salt nic e-liquid in the Vape Pen as supporting his switch. The salt nicotine vape juice is best suited to those looking for an alternative to cigarettes, as it offers the most similar nicotine delivery - from the speed of absorption to the way it hits the throat - to combustible cigarettes.
The Dinner Lady Vape Pen disposable e-cig is designed to support adult smokers in making the change – providing a simple introduction to vaping, to support the nicotine cravings but one which requires no specialist kit or knowledge to use.
TAKING THE NEXT STEP
Once a smoker – or rather ex-smoker – has made that change, they can look into other options, such as the full range of e-liquid formulations manufactured by a UK premium vape brand like Dinner Lady.
Richard is now using a pod-mod device, refilling the simple tank units numerous times before replacing. From a monthly cigarette spend of up to £400, he’s now spending around £20 a month on e-liquids, after the initial investment in his device and refillable pods.
“I’ve moved on from the Vape Pen now, which was costing me around £100 a month,” Richard said. “Compared to £350 to £400 on cigarettes, that’s a massive improvement, but I realised if I went onto a pod-mod device, I could save even more.
“But, the Vape Pen gets you started, it’s a step in the process. I’ve been able to get one of my favourite Vape Pen flavours, Bubblegum Ice, in an e-liquid – at the same strength and formulation, 20mg nic salts. I know it won’t be long before I reduce that nicotine strength too.
“When you compare £20 a month, to what I was spending on cigarettes – it’s ridiculous. It was so selfish now I think about it.”
CHOOSING TO CHANGE
As well as freeing up cash to spend on his young family, Richard was thinking more seriously about the health implications of smoking for himself and his children.
“In my 20s, I just didn’t think about the health side of smoking and it didn’t seem to be having an impact. I was just used to how I felt, I guess. I played football and ran, but as I hit my 30s, I needed to work harder to do the same levels of exercise.
“My wife Emma is really into health and fitness and she’s put up with me smoking – and hated it – for long enough. I’ve made more concerted efforts since the children were born as I didn’t want to be that bad example parent; I didn’t want them to see me smoking or wonder why I used to make excuses to leave them and go outside.
“My boys are five years old, two years old and nine months. I’d come back in from a cigarette, have gum, wash my hands, take off the smoking coat, but I had become so conscious of then going to hold my baby with the chemicals lingering around – I felt awful.
“Now, that feeling has gone, and I’m looking forward to seeing my football team again soon and seeing what a difference being smoke-free has made.”
MAKING VAPE WORK FOR YOU
Richard has three tips for anyone making the switch from cigarettes to vape.
- You have to be in the right place with your will power, making the decision yourself, for your and your family’s benefit. You cannot be wavering at any point.
- Planning was really important. I bought Vape Pens in bulk because I did not want to find myself without one at any point and to then be nipping to my local shop for cigarettes.
- Talking about my plans was exciting – thinking about the things we could do with the money I’d be saving, how I wanted to feel healthier, and all that it would mean for my family.
HOW IT FEELS TO BE SMOKE FREE
“I feel a lot better, and my wife says I look better now that the cigarette chemicals are out of my system, or at least on their way out,” Richard adds. “I haven’t changed anything else lifestyle wise these past three, four months – only the cigarettes, and I definitely feel better.”
In terms of harm, nicotine itself is not the primary concern when it comes to cigarettes. The evidence shows that nicotine – while it causes serious addiction – actually carries minimal risk of harm to health compared to smoking. It is the 5,000-plus other chemicals in cigarette smoke which cause most of the harm such as tar and carbon monoxide.
Besides cancer, the other main health concerns attached to cigarettes are heart attacks, strokes and heart disease. The NHS regards smoking as the biggest preventable cause of death in the UK.
But away from the health benefits of quitting cigarettes, Richard’s noticed another change: “Interestingly, I feel more confident – which isn’t something I anticipated, but I think it stems from how smoking is frowned on in society now. When I’m going to an important meeting, I know I don’t smell of cigarettes, I don’t have to remember to have gum before going, etc. I am image conscious, but I didn’t make a connection in terms of smoking versus vaping until I made the switch.
“Now I can confidently say ‘I’ve quit smoking’, there are more things I’m thinking about from a health perspective – getting fitter again, eating more healthily, drinking less. It’s all stemmed from that first step, by trying a Vape Pen.”