Vaping as Cessation

e-juice supplies

As a smoker for two full decades, I decided in March 2013 to find out exactly what the e-cig was all about. I have not had an analogue cigarette since.

In February 2013, my wife and I found out that we were going to have a baby. I decided it was time, yet again, to quit smoking cigarettes. There aren’t enough fingers and toes in my household to count the number of times I have tried to redirect the lung dart, but I just wasn’t willing to quit trying to quit.

I have an older child too and I recall my best efforts to stop smoking when she was born. I used patches, gum, lozenges, and medications to supplement my efforts to exert my will-power. Some of these smoking cessation aids helped me get through a couple weeks, and even a month once or twice, but I always went back to the heater, the cancer stick, the coffin nail.

I believe that my research and testimony can help other smokers who are at their choking point. Once a hopeless smoker, I opened myself up for assistance and finally found help with the e-cigarette. I had five primary questions about e-cigs before they gave me room to breathe.

  1. What is an e-cigarette?

An electronic cigarette is also known as an electronic vaping device, a personal vaporizer, or an electronic nicotine delivery system. The newer vaping devices are far superior to the older generation models. An e-cig is a battery-powered device which uses a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution. The user then inhales the vapor which replicates the act of puffing on a death cylinder.

  1. Is it dangerous?

This is the question of the season for folks trying to quit smoking and e-cig marketers alike. E-cigs had their start in China by a company named Ruyan in 1992. Today, you can get e-juice and e-cig paraphernalia online, or at stores and kiosks that seem to be popping up at the same rate as Starbucks did in the late nineties.

I was initially concerned about using the standard lithium battery to vaporize my e-juice. After all, it’s a heavy metal. I then came to a conclusion that became the answer to many of my concerns about e-cigs: It can’t be worse than a cigarette! Cigarettes, if used long enough, are almost sure to cause cancer and are certain to wreak havoc on your respiratory system.

I have also heard of folks who fret about the battery exploding. This is as likely as your camera battery exploding while taking a picture as it uses the same battery. And even if the battery exploded in my face, I had gotten to a point where I could honestly say, “It can’t be worse than a cigarette!”

  1. What’s in the juice they put in there?

E-cigs are only recently regulated in Minnesota. There are dangers to not knowing what chemicals are being used in creating the vapor that a user ingests. Typically there are four chemicals used in making e-juice: propylene glycol (a colorless, odorless, sweet tasting organic compound), vegetable glycerin (a food safe sugar/alcohol compound used as a base), and food flavoring. A user can make e-juice with or without nicotine.

Nicotine levels can be as low as 0 mg/ml and as high as 28 mg/ml. I have heard of higher levels, but I wasn’t a three-pack-of-cowboy-killers-a-day kind of guy, so I started at 20 mg/ml and worked my way down. There are 178 chemicals in a cigarette and when combined create an amalgamation of thousands of different chemicals that are harmful to the consumer and those around them. Smoking tobacco is a known cancer causing agent and the other effects are horrible as well. In my ejuice, the vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol are food safe ingredients that I guarantee you and everyone else who has ever eaten food from a gas station have already ingested. They are approved by the FDA. Food flavoring is also safe. Nicotine is a horrible and addictive drug but it is literally only bad for your bones. Not your lungs, not your heart, not a cancer inducer – etc. Also, from the Harvard University peer-reviewed articles that I have read, the vapor from e-cigs are not harmful to those around the user. My personal opinion is that I would rather ingest one drug that is bad for my bones that I have full control over rather than ingest a death cylinder created by a corporation who doesn’t care that they are killing you while they fleece you of your money. (It can’t be worse than a cigarette)!

  1. Is it expensive?

Years ago, I was a pack-a-day smoker but I had cut that down to about a half pack by the time I switched to e-cigs. I invested in a higher-end gadget because I knew that if I had a cheap e-cig that ended up leaking juice I would have just the excuse I needed to go back to the lung cookie.

I purchased a starter kit for $30.00 which included a battery, a USB charger for the battery, a cheap tank in which you put the e-juice. I also purchased an extra battery for $25.00, and a really good tank for $25.00. I find myself investing about $5.00 per month in the ingredients I use to make my e-juice. I buy in bulk.

For me, the price for one year of vaping ends up being an initial investment of $80.00 and a monthly investment of $5.00, for a total of $140.00 for the first year and $60.00 per year ongoing. With a low-end cost of $6.00 per pack in Minnesota, smoking cigarettes will cost a half-pack smoker $1095.00 per year. So, is it expensive to convert? It can’t be worse than cigarettes!

  1. Does it really help you quit smoking?

It helped me. I have a serious oral fixation and e-cigs are the only cessation device that has satisfied it. As Dennis Leary once said, “I tried the smoking patch but I just couldn’t keep it lit.” As I write this I am puffing on a Tropical Punch flavored, 5 mg/ml e-juice solution. I am not quite at the no-nicotine level but plan on being there by the end of the year.

I don’t use it around my kids but don’t feel the need to go out to the garage to use it either. There is no second hand smoke. I don’t smell rancid anymore. I am not out of breath simply walking up the stairs to the bedroom. My wife no longer threatens divorce, and the guilt – I don’t miss the guilt. I admit that e-cigs are not as good as smoking nothing at all, but hey – they can’t be worse than cigarettes!

Here are four links for those who have decided to move to vaping devices and would like to start making their own e-juice. (Disclaimer 1: Making e-juice can be harmful if not done correctly. One who has any reservations should not do this and those without reservation should watch someone with experience before trying themselves. Disclaimer 2: I am not affiliated in any way with the entities whom I am linking to.)

Here is a post from an e-juice maker who subscribes to the same logic within a forum on the topic.

Making your own e-juice. Why or why not?

Here is the e-juice calculator that I use.

E-juice calculator.

Here is a YouTube video on how to make your own e-juice.

How to make your own E-Liquid. (Video)

Here is a site dedicated to DIY E-Juice.

How to make your own E-Juice.

DIY-RECIPE-CARD_revised2

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2 thoughts on “Vaping as Cessation

  1. Very informational post.

    However, I think that until you quit inhaling anything except oxygen into your lungs, you can never be totally safe from some sort of lung infection, or worse, cancer. There is always going to be the danger of automobile and other types of machinery exhaust, diesel especially, but that can hardly be helped, unless you live away from all of the stuff that causes all the exhaust.

    Don’t get me wrong. I was a smoker for just about as long as you. I tried quitting many times, like everyone else. I never tried any patches, gums, or e-cigs.

    The thing that helped me was a book called, “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” Sounds kind of absurd, I know. And I didn’t quit immediately after I read it. In fact, it took me about two years and two or three more tries to stop smoking (Each try, I quit for a little longer). The key was that the book’s message stuck with me. I think where the book works best is that it wants you to continue smoking while reading it, so that you think about what you’re doing to yourself while puffing away.

    I’ll say one last thing about quitting. Until I finally quit, I had quit for about 4-5 months, noticing that I started breathing easy pretty quickly; started back up for about 4 months (due to a trigger situation) and noticed that my breathing went back to pretty poor almost immediately.

    This time it’s been almost a year I can’t find much of a reason to light up again. I think the fact of my getting older is a great help as well. Things just affect us more when we age. Also, having watched what happened to my mom when she had a piece of her lung cut out due to a lifetime of smoking was a real eye opener. Anywho, I wish you luck in your attempt to give up smoking for good.

  2. Really interesting post. I’ve never been a smoker but watched others try e-cigs to quit. I’ve always been skeptical on whether or not they were any better than the actual cigarette. Thanks for the info.

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