For 20 years I smoked a pack of Marlboro Reds a day. Or there about, I didn’t have a schedule. Some days I smoked more (some days a lot more), some days less, but I averaged about a pack a day. I tried quitting many times. Gum, patches, nicotine inhaler (hey you know what would be awesome? If I could somehow get all of the pain, yet none of the pleasure of smoking! – said no one, ever), cold turkey. None of it really worked for me. I’d do ok for a couple days, and then the anger would start. By the end of a week I was ready to rip someone’s head off at the slightest provocation (or no provocation at all). I never stuck with it for fear of getting fired (or you know, going to jail for committing a homicidal rampage).
In 2005 (or maybe 2006, hard to say really) I tried my first Electronic Cigarette, the Red Dragon. It was… not good. It wasn’t terrible, but all the cartridges tasted like wet cigarettes smell, and it just didn’t work very well. The cartridges would leak (why am I nauseous and my leg feels like it’s on fire? Oh because this thing has been leaking liquid nicotine on me for who knows how long, and it’s absorbed into my skin!), or spit droplets of scalding hot nicotine liquid into my mouth. The batteries lasted about two hours, and it was just… not satisfying.
I lasted about two weeks with the electronic cigarette before I felt like I was turning into Gary Busey, and was ready to rip out someone’s entire endocrine system for breathing too loudly.
So I smoked (I was a manager for a tech company at that time, and I think one of my employees actually gave me a pack of cigarettes and a lighter with the Denzel Washington “if you do not smoke this we have got a problem” line from Training Day).
My wife was not happy (she quit smoking like literally the same day I proposed to her). My doctor was not happy. But I was not deterred.
In the spring of 2013 a friend of mine bought a Halo G6 electronic cigarette. It was pretty cool, but I was leery. It seem like not a whole lot had changed since the Red Dragon fiasco of 2005. But I decided to do some research into it.
WOW. Things have changed. The electronic cigarette community refers to the Halo G6 and its ilk as cigalikes, and they suck. Not really much different than the Red Dragon from 2005 (I won’t lump the Halo G6 in with that, as it has some of the features of better electronic cigarettes). So I started doing some reading. I discovered ego style batteries and clearos. Then regulated mods and tanks, and mechanical mods, and cartos and atomizers, and rebuildable atomizers for dripping, and with tanks even! And juice. Woah, every flavor you can imagine (and some you shouldn’t).
It was pretty daunting. I spent a few days just lost in trying to figure out what all these acronyms and terms meant, and how it related to me. I was just completely overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a local shop that I could go to and ask questions (we still don’t have any Brick and Mortar vape shops here). I had to post to forums and wait for someone to respond. Which often just led to more questions.
Now, I’m going to preface this with the statement that I am an IT professional. I spend large portions of my life researching and solving problems using the internet. I can do amazing things with google. There is no easy to find “introduction to vaping” information on the internet. Not that can be readily found and perused without wading through a lot of confusing shit first.
So I just figured fuck it, and bought an ego starter kit that I saw recommended on reddit.
I lucked out, and got a good deal on some quality gear. Not top end stuff, but it was decent starter gear. I ordered some juice and waited.
I got lucky and it all arrived on the same day. While I was at work. I smoked a cigarette before heading home to check out my new electronic cigarette gear.
That actually ended up being the last cigarette I smoked.
I’ll post a log here of the first thirty days of my vaping experience (the act of using an electronic cigarette is called vaping), and hopefully save somebody the trouble I had in finding answers to all the questions that popped up.
I don’t want electronic cigarette makers to claim that they are good for smoking cessation, simply because that is the shortest road to regulation and destruction of this wonderful thing that we have.
On the other hand, I most certainly will tell everyone I can reach that these things made it stupid easy for me to quit smoking, and many others have had the same experience.
Of course like everything that is new, there are plenty of people just clamoring to tell you how bad electronic cigarettes are.
Most of these people have a financial interest in the technology going away. Like tobacco companies or pharmaceutical companies.
What really surprises me is the number of groups that are supposedly pro health that are coming out against electronic cigarettes when all of the actual research has shown that any health concerns for use of electronic cigarettes are trivial at best. The only study to find anything harmful so far was conducted in 2010, and they found trace elements of potentially harmful elements in one electronic cigarette cartridge. Other cartridges from the same manufacturer did not contain any traces of those elements, nor did any of the dozens of other cartridges tested.
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association website has plenty of information to back this up.
Yet the groups that are for smoking cessation seem to be the loudest detractors of electronic cigarettes. Gee I wonder why that is?
As someone who tried the “approved” methods of smoking cessation and found none of them to really work, I am taking it upon myself to try to get information about the method that did work for me (and many others) to people who want to quit. Actual information that I have no vested interest in. If there is a scientific study done that legitimately shows some health risk or harmful impact, I will make it the most prominent thing on this blog.
Until then, I will do anything I can to help other people get out from under tobacco by providing all the information I can about this far healthier (and infinitely tastier) alternative.