Article - E-Cig to Quit Smoking
A Personal, Practical Guide to Using an E-Cig to Quit Smoking
Cigarettes are an outdoor toy, e-cigs are an indoor toy.
If that was the only statement you read, (And that is highly likely, considering the average attention span of the typical internet user), and you understood it, you now have all the tools you need to quit smoking using an e-cig. I did not set out to quit smoking, it just sort of happened as I incorporated my new e-cig into my life. And even that happened by accident, I bought it on a whim. I was impressed by the fact that it did not stink and I live in a place where smoking inside is grounds for eviction. So, I got lazy. Instead of putting my beer down and putting the movie on pause to go out and have a cigarette, I would just puff on my e-cig once or twice to take the edge off and finish the movie. Two days later, I realized I hadn’t lit up a single cigarette, and two months later, I realized that my landlords couldn’t possibly smell my vapor and evict me for smoking inside.
I quit smoking by accident.
I also understand smokers and their concerns, so I will list my advice in FAQ format. You need to understand that there is a lot of misinformation out there on both sides. Some vapers are exactly like those horrible, well-meaning souls with a brand new religion. And the tobacco and pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in discouraging e-cig use. Government is torn as well. If you look at England and the growth of a userbase now exceeding two million former smokers, then you realize that they have lost a great deal of tax revenue, but could potentially save even more when certain cancers and other smoking related health problems start to decline. You will need to do your research and make up your own mind. I will tackle these issues in a later post. And I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that I will be lying to you as enthusiastically as both camps in the debate.
I already tried to quit smoking with one of those cheap little starter kits and it didn’t help me at all.
One thing I have noticed as depressingly common with people and those inexpensive starter kits is that the entry level devices typically do not have a mechanism to adjust airflow. Trying to smoke one of those things feels way too much like trying to suck talcum powder through a really thin straw. Unpleasant and I can completely understand why someone would give up and declare that it is not for them. But if you purchase a unit where you can adjust voltage and airflow, you can fiddle with it so it feels like a proper draw on a cigarette. You can simulate the satisfaction of a heavy, dirty puff on a cancer stick.
I found the flavor to be way too sweet, I hated it.
There are a lot of flavors to choose from. Sadly, there are a lot of exotic, candy flavored juices on the market. E-juice makers seem to be competing with each other with the enthusiasm of ice cream stores, desperately trying to one-up the competition by introducing new flavor combinations that no one has ever heard of. This is because there are a lot of recreational vapers out there that are not using e-cigs to break their tobacco addiction.
There are two main issues that new users’ flavor problems break down into.
If you are a smoker, go with tobacco flavored juices. Some juice makers put a lot of effort into simulating your favorite brands. Lower your expectations though, it will not taste right at first no matter what you do. After a few days, when your mouth is cleaned of ash and tar and the detritus of cigarette smoking, the flavor of the juice will start tasting like your favorite tobacco flavors again. There is nothing greater than the flavor combination of eggs, bacon, coffee, and a good cigarette. You will get that feeling back. The only flavor combination that could possibly be considered better is a good steak, with possibly more steak on the side and a cigarette with your beer. (On a personal note, my e-cig passed the beer test with me. I was worried I would still desperately want a cigarette after two or three beer. Nope)
The overpowering sweetness that some people experience is either a consequence of poor handling when refilling your e-cig or the seals of a number of threaded components stuck outside manufacturing tolerances. The juice contains vegetable glycerin. Think of it as liquid sugar. If you drip a little on the mouthpiece, then you will get that horrible, overpowering sweetness. Try to drink a small cup of coffee that someone has spent half an hour dissolving spoon after spoon of sugar into. It is that sweet. As long as you are careful, have a decent quality e-cig and a bit of common sense when handling liquids (such as washing hands, wiping off parts that will come into contact with your mouth, etc.), you should not experience that sickly, stupidly sweet flavor.
I heard those things can blow up and really hurt you.
Yes, they can. But so can your smart phone, and your laptop. And you are at the same risk with an e-cig as you are with those devices. If you buy a quality unit and refrain from stabbing the battery pack, you have nothing to worry about. E-cigs use the same lithium ion batteries as smart phones and laptops, so the same care in preventing accidents applies as well.
Know that lithium ion batteries do not ignite when exposed to oxygen. They ignite when the non-conductive separator between the anode and cathode is degraded, penetrated, or just of such poor quality that it fails. This will cause a short and the heat from the discharge will cause the electrolyte to heat up and release gas. Then things get exciting. So if you avoid stabbing it with your keys because you bought a cheap e-cig battery and it was in your front pocket with your keys when you jumped off the garage roof, you should have nothing to worry about.
My last piece of advice is not to plan to quit smoking. Let it happen. When you light up a cigarette, you stink and you offend someone. You have to go somewhere you can smoke it where no one will be offended and you won’t be charged and fined. Also, once you light up, you are committed to that blasted thing for at least five to seven minutes. That can be a long time out in the cold and you don’t dare pinch it off after a few puffs for later, it will taste awful and will utterly stink up your clothing. An e-cig is very convenient in that regard. Push a button, simulated smoke comes out. Release the button, smoke stops and there is no residue or smell. Your habits will change simply because the e-cig is much easier to manage and much more discrete.