Electronic cigarettes are a fairly new invention to help making quitting smoking a little easier. Anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows exactly how hard it can be, even for people who desperately want to quit. Nicotine, which is the addictive substance in cigarettes, releases a chemical in the brain known as dopamine, which is also know as the reward response and the reason why we become dependent on substances. Your body and mind think that they need tobacco smoke to be okay, and to function properly.
Electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, but in smaller amounts and do not release toxic substances into your lungs. They give you the same feeling as smoking a cigarette, because you go through the same motions as when you would put a cigarette to your lips and inhale something, only this time, it's a water vapor instead of toxin-filled smoke.
Since the amount of nicotine in an electronic cigarette is so much lower than regular cigarettes, you will have a hard time at first with the transition. It would be the equivalent to smoking five cigarettes in a day instead of ten. Some people who attempt to use an electronic cigarette by itself to quit smoking will have a harder time than others. Everyone's body chemistry and propensity for addiction to certain substances is different. Another playing factor is how many cigarettes you smoke and how often.
If you are a chain smoker, it will probably be much harder for you, at least at first. You will find yourself having to smoke your electronic cigarette constantly to handle the craving for nicotine. In this case, you will need a back up method, such as a nicotine patch. You'll still have the urge to put a cigarette-like object to your lips, such as the electronic cigarette, or chew on some nicotine gum to take care of the oral fixation part of the habit.
Another way you can use them to quit, is to slowly cut down on the amount of cigarettes you smoke in a day, with the help of the electronic cigarette. This method isn't as recommended by doctors, since it involves still smoking tobacco, but it might be the most effective for people who find it the most difficult to quit. This is what someone would do if they've tried various methods to quit, including nicotine patches and gum, tapering off or quitting cold turkey, and they still ended up going back to them.
How you quit is up to you, but as long as it works for you, that's all that really matters. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your future, since it contributes to so many chronic diseases, such as Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis (forms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD) and killers, such as cancer, down the line. However you manage to quit smoking, it only matters that you quit and never start back up again.
Eventually, you can continue using the electronic cigarettes with lower and lower doses of nicotine, until you don't need it altogether.