E-cigarettes and me

The first time I saw an e-cigarette was couple of years ago at a bachlor party. A buddy of mine had one he bought from some store online. I don’t know the model but it was a pen style. Black with tappered tip and blue LED. He explained it to us but I didn’t pay a lot of attention. My first thought was “it’s coming from China and we have no idea what kind of chemicals you’re inhaling there, could be very dangerous, more so than regular cigarettes.”

About a year went by and I didn’t think about them again. Then in October of 2009 one of my bosses at work brought up that she was thinking about getting an e-cigarette and I made some ill informed comment similar to my first thought about them.
However this time I decided it wasn’t fair of me to be so biased without doing any research. So I hit the internet. I learned that e-cigarettes really are a great alternative to smoking. I learned that the ingredients in the e-juice (or e-liquid) are very few, usually 3-10 compared to the over 4600 chemicals found in a burning tobacco cigarette.

Over the next month I convinced myself that I too wanted to try an e-cigarette. Not only did I want to try one but I was in a super hurry to try one. I was amp’d up and didn’t want to wait for some online vendor to ship me one. So I hit a local smoke shop and bought the worst piece of crap e-cig available for an absurd $50. As I learned later on that same model could be bought online for $9 and no one recommended them.

Well I tried it and I hated it. It tasted like burnt dog shit. Not that I’ve ever had the pleasure of setting fire to dog shit and inhaling. But that was my basic interpretation.

Still I didn’t give up. I did some more reading, decided to be a little more patient and settled on a model called a KR808D-1 sold by Vapor4Life and branded by them as a VaporKing. Now this was more like I was expecting it to be. Good vapor, good throat hit and a decent taste.

They ended up screwing up my order because apparently I hit “buy” on a starter kit configuration they were “toying” with late at night and removed the next morning. So they ended up sending me a kit that wasn’t as complete as what I had ordered. As a result I got on their forum to ask about it and everyone pretty much thought I was just complaining and trying to scam them. Until that is, some other member decided to run a google search and check google cache pages to discover that indeed that kit configuration did exist for a few hours and I must have ordered during that time. Big apologies all around and a phone call from the head honcho at V4L who wanted to personally apologize and send me a whole bunch of freebies. A few days later in the mail I received about $100 worth of free stuff. Including a whole bunch of stuff I probably wouldn’t have bought myself at the time, but once I had it and tried it out, I got a really good idea of what stuff was my favorite.

Well I spend the next two months going through all of those freebies and only made one order for some juice. Deciding I would refill the empty cartomizers. Things were going great and I had completely kicked traditional (analog) cigarettes by that point. Then for whatever reason I stopped using the e-cig and quit everything. I don’t remember why exactly. I think I read something on an e-cig forum that spooked me a little and made me go back to those thoughts that maybe these things could be worse than analog cigarettes.

After a month or so of being completely free of everything, I got stressed out at work one day and bummed an analog cigarette off a co-worker. Suddenly I was right back on the pain train that is tobacco cigarettes.

I spend the next 6-7 months smoking again. Like the last time I had smoke I started having breathing problems at night where I would wake up and have to hit an inhaler because my throat would get constricted. That year of smoking machine rolled pipe tobacco before my first e-cig experience really took my health for a spin.

So I decided enough was enough. I’m getting off the analogs for good. Last time I used the e-cig it successfully helped me quit smoking and made my breathing problems go away. So it was the perfect device to do it again.

Here I am now. Ten days on the e-cig again and I haven’t touched a real cigarette. I feel better, I’m not as tired and worn out, I’m more active and my breathing problems have begun to shrink on me. These things really are a gift to smokers.

I’m going to spend a little more time talking about this subject in depth on this blog. This is my first post about it. So I’ve created a category called “E-Cigarettes” where all those posts will go. Check back often as I update this topic and other topics that might interest you.

5 thoughts on “E-cigarettes and me

  1. Hi,

    I find almost all the material I have read on the internet about e-cigarettes to be overwhelmingly positive, especially responses from supposed smokers. I have dabbled with a variety of such devices, and must say that almost everyone gives a metallic taste, and/or f burning plastic. All of these devices look cheaply put together (and they are, in China), without any quality control. Manufacturers have claimed they are safer but there is absolutely no regulation, and the devices are too recent for anyone to know what kind of long term health problems they will cause. How do we know it’s just vapour? most of the e-juice comes in little bottles with cheap looking stickers (often riddled with spelling mistakes). If you breathe in fumes from burning plastic or anything metallic, the poisoning could be severe, and one should never use a plastic inhaler that heats up a vapour because fumes from the combination of the heating elements could cause damage, and there have been no guarantees on safety. It is right for the FDA to ban this until it is deemed safe. People use the argument that they are safer than cigarettes? Says who? The people who made them? So far, people only seem to be repeating what the manufacturers state, and vaping communities seem a little too enthusiastic. Some people enjoy this because it helps them circumvent smoking bans, others feel it is a miracle, and do not want anybody to even suggest there may be something wrong with these. I am fairly young, and loved real cigarettes. People have known for years that cigarettes are bad, and what they do, and people make an informed decision to smoke, in spite of this. The reason is that amoking itself is what gives pleasure to many. The sensation of real smoke. Vaing just doesn’t provide that, even with the devices that produce a lot of vapour. The vapour usually has a nasty sweet taste, and has made me feel sick. Admittedly I have used them very rarely, but on two consecutive days of use, I had a nasty throat irritation, stomach cramps, and felt as if something was drawing energy from me. As soon as I stopped, on the third day, I felt a lot better, and then I tried it again a few days later, and the same feelings persisted. At present, the devices are crude, cheaply put together in China and refilling the cartridges is a chore. It is not hard, but it is another ritual that you would have to get used to. If somkers wanted to learn to quit, then they should actually avoid something that will give them a set of new rituals. Vaping, at present, is as much about learning how to use and maintain the devices for optimal performance. It is not something most smokers would want. Too much hassle for one thing, and an inferior experience of ‘smoking’. Most smokers quit because they become a slave to the habit and the rituals, so it is not sensible trying this. NRT is effective, and has shown to be, and the products are regulated. It takes years for a product to get a licence, and there are rigorous tests conducted to ensure safety, as much as possible, and I would rather take my chances with either going cold trukey or trying NRT because I have decided to quit because I don’t need cigarettes in my life anymore. I love smoking, but I would like to see my children grow up a lot more than that, and I would like to enoy life. It is short enough as it is, and while I think smoking is good fun, I enjoyed every second of it, and I may as well stop while I am still healthy. Vaping is for silly people who are such slaves to the habit, that they would rather carry stupid electric devices with vapout coming out of it, rather than just quit gracefully. Give me a cigarette anyday over these stupid devices. If you smoke to look cool, and a lot of people do, this won’t make you look cool at all. I would ask people to exercise caution when investing in these devices or reading about how effective they are. Look at who the information is being produced by, and what possible interest they could have. A lot of so-called ‘vapers’ are really worried that any negative information would bring about an outright ban on the devices, and because THEY enjoy them, they would be happy to ridicule anyone who criticises this practice. They are very selfish people and don’t give a damn about anyone’s health and on the internet, people are anonymous. Maybe people reporting on blogs are just people who are selling these new products to desperate people looking to quit.

  2. What an advice. I am a smoker and have even tried making rings but never successes. I never thought information could be written on this subject and that too in such a detail. Can you guide me for e-cigarette?

  3. I think you are way overreacting. First of all I trust first hand experience more than what someone says on the internet. In my first hand personal experience vaping is a godsend. I have been off cigarettes now for over 8 months, I can breath better, I can smell again and I can taste again. 

    Yes is it just as enjoyable or even more so than smoking. Part of the fun of it is the ritual and hobby. Finding new gear, trying new liquid, talking with other vapers on the forums. 

    I actually quit vaping completely for month earlier this year. Way easier to turn my nic level down and stop than it was to go cold turkey with cigarettes, which I also have done a handful of times in years past. But I decided I wanted to start vaping again with nicotine because I enjoyed it. So I did and I’m very much enjoying it. Very similar sensation to smoking without the smoke. 

    What you say about long term studies are true. They’re aren’t any. We’re all aware of that. But the short term results are convincing enough. 

    As for manufacturers pushing the products. This isn’t like big tobacco, there are handful for chinese manufacturers building these devices and a smattering of American mod makers. None of them are pouring huge amounts of money into advertising or bogus studies to get us to buy. Because they don’t have that kind of money.

    Oh as for the law and the FDA. Congress has made them legal and the FDA has backed off trying to ban them and will be working to help regulate these devices. Which is good news. So your doom and gloom outlook on e-cigs is as I said, overreacting. But thanks for reading. :)

  4. The vapour usually has a nasty sweet taste, and has made me feel sick. Admittedly I have used them very rarely, but on two consecutive days of use, I had a nasty throat irritation, stomach cramps, and felt as if something was drawing energy from me. As soon as I stopped, on the third day, I felt a lot better, and then I tried it again a few days later, and the same feelings persisted.

  5. url, it’s possible you have an allergic reaction to the PG in the liquid. PG is the most common base used in eLiquids and most people are fine with it but some people have an allergic reaction to it. Most cheap Chinese eLiquids are 100% PG. Most American made eLiquid is a mix of PG and VG. If you do try it again, you may want to try a 100% VG based liquid from a reputable American based manufacturer.

    Personally, I vape 100% PG, but I don’t have an allergy to it.

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