So. I have again been neglecting my blog. Tweets and facebook tend to do that, and of course while I’m driving about here and there in the Taxi, my droid, while awesome, just isn’t a good bloggin’ platform. But I’m back with a new section for the blog-o-rama. The VAPING section. What is that, you ask? Well this post is here ta’ introduce it!
First off, a bit of background. For the last twenty nine years (that long already?) I’ve been a smoker. Of cigarettes. I started out with the things simply to just stay awake in boot camp when I joined the Navy, and quit for awhile right after. I switched out to a tobacco pipe thinking that would ease me off of a habit I really didn’t want…but…I was hooked on the nicotine, and within a year I was a confirmed smoker.
As the years have rolled on, I have thought about quitting many times, but…I REALLY REALLY like the habit itself. The nicotine helps me think, and the fiddly bits of smoking have become ingrained.
As a normally non-addictive type (no drug abuse, no alcohol addiction, etc., etc.,) what has always griped me about smoking is that the one thing in cigarettes that we smokers are after…and what “hooks” us…is also the one thing in cigarettes that is NOT a “kill you dead” ingredient.
Yep. Nicotine. With this legal product (cigarettes), there about 4000 (not kidding) chemicals and ingredients involved, and a TON of these bits WILL kill you. They are known as ‘carcinogens’, not too mention that you’re inhaling carbon monoxide as well. (think: wrap yer mouth around a car’s tailpipe and inhale while its running.)
From every study I’ve looked at, from every paper pushed out there, even from the flaming wacko anti-smoker crowd, nicotine is about as evil as caffeine in the doses a smoke provides. Its one drawback is that is HIGHLY addictive and about as hard a habit to kick as heroin once begun. The brain/body loves dis’ stuff once its been introduced.
While yes, its technically a poison, you would have to drink a bottle of the stuff all at once in one go for the nasty bits to kick in, and last I checked, that isn’t on my current short term or long term agenda.
So…for the last several years I’ve begun the search to replace the habit or just quit. (I’ve tried cold turkey twice and as for me this was NOT the way to do it.)
I tried the patch. (waste of time as although you get nicotine, you do NOT get the fiddly bits of smoking which are enjoyable to me.)
I tried e-cigarettes…the kind you can get at the mall kiosks/7-11 and smoke shops.
Naming names here: Njoy, BLU, Xhale02, Gamucchi are some of the main culprits.
They were mostly nasty tasting (njoy you listening?), produced almost little to no “smoke” and generally the batteries lasted…er…DIDN’T last worth a crap, and the nicotine cartridges were ridiculously expensive and ran out of “juice” quickly. So…
So…back to smoking. -sigh.
Recently though I ran across a web advert for e-cigarettes again, but it wasn’t one of the bigger rip-off outfits that I’ve just rambled about. It was a review site that put some of the products out there through their paces and wasn’t affiliated with any of them. I started reading…
…and like the tech I am at heart, I really started to investigate the “e-cigarette” scene, which isn’t called that at all. Its known as “Vaping”. As in water vapor which is the “smoke” that you exhale from an e-cigarette. Not only that, but this “scene” is exploding with small mom/n/pop online shops for not just the hardware, but the nicotine juice (called e-juice) that you can puff with these devices.
There are literally THOUSANDS of different flavors/strengths and combinations of juice to suit every taste/style out there, and on top of that, you can mix your own.
I was overwhelmed with information at first, and realized that I was seeing the beginning of a new industry. The last time I saw this kind of enthusiasm and participation was about twenty or so years ago…and it was called “The PC Revolution”. Hobbyists and small time operators getting together to create a new tool…and look what happened with that!
So after much reading, and some trepidation, I followed several YouTube reviewers, watched their videos on the hows whys and wherefores as well as a ton of product reviews, and ordered my first e-cigarette kit called the “eGo”. (This kit only cost me 49 dollars by the way, which is less than ONE CARTON of the cigarettes I was using at the time.)
So on the top there, you see the kit unboxing, and on the bottom an eGo e-cigarette. The little light there under my finger is a power button to run the battery that powers an atomizer which heats the juice to make the vapor.
After my first inhale on this device, I sat for a moment, exhaled a cigarette cloud of smoke…and got an immediate buzz. I also got a good throat thump (known as a throat hit) just like a cigarette. And the flavor of the juice that I ordered (see pic on top for the little bottles) was….awesome.
I took another hit. Sat a bit staring at this little unit. Then I smiled. I walked into the kitchen, grabbed the pack of smokes sitting on the counter and crushed it in my hand. Then I tossed that in the garbage.
Ten days later I’m still completely smoke free, and vaping has replaced a nasty habit with one that doesn’t stink, doesn’t kill me and tastes…well it tastes whatever I want it to! Kona Cream anyone? Cappuccino? Flue cured tobacco? Honey infused tea? Blueberry Waffles? —I’m not kidding on that last one.
Posts that will follow in this section will include mini-reviews of vaping stuff such as hardware and juices, and a continued diary of me NOT SMOKING.
As a final bit to this, in the last week, I’ve noticed I have my breath back. I am tasting foods and drinks almost as if for the first time. I feel better than I have in literally years.
And the FDA wanted to outlaw this, or control it as much or more-so than cigarettes. –this could loop back to my government is a bunch of morons sections. Thank goodness they lost their appeals on these products, as in my opinion, they have saved my life.
Last final bit, I need to SHOUT TO THE HOUSETOPS a MASSIVE THANKYOU!!!! to:
Grimm Green and Doctor Vapor on YouTube for their awesome reviews and instructional videos on how to “vape”. There are many others there but these two were my primary sources of info.