Electronic Cigarettes – the good, the bad and the ugly!

First off, you really need to do your research on on electronic cigarettes & e-liquid. There's a lot of rubbish products and vendors (as vapers) call them.

Where can I get an ecig e-liquid from?

I use 2-3 vendors, and I am quite picky that they are Ecita members. Generally for my hardware, I want to know that it's safe, has been tested, and has been manufactured to a good standard. As I say to my friends- you can buy cheap electronic cigarettes for a few quid but its a bit like buying a car for £100 you won't get very far!! The first kit I had was from a local vape shop but I soon advanced onto some more sophisticated mods. Don't get me wrong, ciggalikes' are great for a newbie, but once you get into vaping, you'll most likely find you need something a bit more heavy duty, particularly with a better, larger battery. The 180mah batteries that come with your average ciggalike only last a couple of hours at most.

As for my juices, I buy my e-liquid from www.Ecigwizard.com. They have 5 different ranges of e-liquid, all at pretty decent prices. You can try and get some of them from the US, but frankly when you add shipping costs, its a bit of a ball ache. They also offer good customer support I've emailed them 3 or 4 times and had a response within a few hours.

For mods, you may need to look to the US for a wide range. However, my personal preference is not to carry round a 6 foot battery case, because it gives me a better battery life'. There's a real diverse community of vapers' round there such as UK Vapers in the UK to check out.

Try different flavours, and make sure you buy in small bottles. Don't splash out on a 30ml bottle, and certainly don't buy in 50ml+ as some people do, then whinge that they don't like it. It's a bit like buying enough coffee to last you and your family, a year, then when you try the first cup, you moan about the flavour!

So yeah, I have quite a few e-liquids!

So yeah, I have quite a few e-liquids!

Test and try and be open. You may have to go through half a dozen ‘bad' flavours to find the one you like. Taste is very subjective, so one man's treasure is another man's poison.

As far as helping me quit smoking though, my electronic cigarette and a good range of e-liquids (I've got three personal favourites) keep me away from the cravings.

Update: 07/03/2017 - I have to say as of right now, the Nautilus 2 ecig tank by Aspire is ticking all my boxes. However, that said, the TPD compliant Aspire Cleito Exo Tank is winning me over.

The Truth About Smoking

If you want a fun and exciting story regarding how I first started smoking, you may want to not expect to much. I wish I had a Stand By Me moment where I smoked a cigarette with my best friends on a warm summer evening as part of some blood oath where we would remain friends forever. To be honest, my first cigarette was outside a friend’s house when I was 15. My friend, who was 17, smoked a bit and I wanted to try one so I did. It wasn't like I suddenly became a two-pack a day smoker just off of that one cigarette, I actually didn't fully pick up the habit until college when I started smoking to combat stress. While I may have looked cool with a cigarette in my hand, I was really only doing it because I had a dozen papers to write during the weekend and I needed something to mellow me out. I never did drugs, just smoked when I was stressed. Not a good excuse, but if you think about it, cigarettes do help with stress, and when you are in college, stress is always there.

Hello, dirty habit

From the time that I picked up the habit, the amount I smoked ebbed and flowed for years. I never really smoked more than a pack and a half a day (at my worse), and some days I could get away with smoking as little as two or three cigarettes. For me, smoking was never something that I did for social gatherings or because I thought it looked cool, I did it to combat stress. In a sense, being a stress smoker is worse than any other type of smoker because, unlike those who simply smoke when they drink or eat fried foods, you are always stressed, with work and such. Strangely, I was able to control the smoking addiction in times where I was on vacation or not working as heavily, though when that stress started up again I was outside smoking cigarettes.

The quit game

Every couple of months I try to quit smoking. Sometimes I am serious about it, sometimes it is just a passing fancy. Sometimes I last a couple of weeks, while other times it last a couple of days before I peter out. With all of the info that I have read, those who smoke cigarettes due to stress tend to have the hardest time quitting because the addiction runs deeper than just a need for nicotine. While other people eat when they are stressed, I smoke. If I look back at How I started smoking, I find it almost interesting that, while I could put it away back then, today I simply can't. Before I sound like a tragic addiction case, I would like to note that I don't believe I have been serious enough on the quitting front. When I am ready, I plan to really put my full brunt of effort into it, with patches, gums and everything else on the market. When that time comes, I'll know, in my heart, that I need to do it.

The Reasons That I Am Quitting Smoking

So how about a bit of balance here? My client Justin talks here about exactly why they are quitting smoking Justin, over to you!

You are going to read a lot of scientific data on why you should quit smoking. Open up any medical journal and you can find a study; click on a website and you'll read the &75 Reasons Smoking Will Kill You All of those are good motivation and worth a read if you want to scare yourself, but they are not the reason why I am quitting smoking. Sure, I want to live a long life, and I get tired of having to catch my breath when I go up a flight of stairs, but frankly, I am still in good health and my doctor says that he can't see a lot of ill effects of my habit yet. No, the reason why I want to quit smoking is that I am tired of it. I am tired of smelling like smoke, I am tired of always craving a cigarette every freaking time I go outside, and I am tired of having to spend £7 on a pack of twenty. I am just tired of it.

Call me a quitting hero..

Look, it is heroic to say that you are going to quit because you need to save your life and stuff like that, but the fact is that, as a smoker, there just hits a point where you have to make a choice. Smoking when you are in your 20's and always on the go can still be chalked up to social conventions and part of the “stuff “that young people do. Smoking in your 30's and 40's? Well, that just means that you are a smoker. There is nothing sexy about a 40 year old that smokes, and while smoking outside a club may lead to a fun conversation, smoking outside of a PTA meeting won't. There isn't even a really great story attached to me quitting smoking. In the movies, it is someone looking in the mirror and questioning their whole sense of being, or a false-positive on a lung cancer test, or a child saying that they want their parent to stop because “they don't want them to die.” Unfortunately, if they ever want to make a movie of my life, it wasn't that dramatic, I simply just decided one day I was going to try giving up smoking.

Is giving up smoking going to lead to (hopefully) a longer life for me? According to the info that is out there, yes it will. Will it lead to better fitness and a stronger body? That is in the info. Also, it is supposed to make things taste better, which is a good thing, considering that, well, I like taste. These are all great things, and in retrospect all great reasons to quit smoking, the problem is they didn't factor into my decision, at least at the time. I just didn't want to be a smoker when my kids are old enough to want to bum cigarettes off of more, or to have a voice that sounds like Lunchlady Doris from The Simpsons. Maybe these are all less than stellar reasons why I'm quitting smoking, but in the end, dammit, they are my reasons and I embrace them.

Can Ecigs Really Help a Person Quit Smoking?

Despite its various health risks, many of them potentially life-threatening, numerous people all over the world smoke on a daily basis. Many people start out by attempting to imitate others or even trying to appear to be “cool”, but nicotine is quite addictive and can cause a person to crave it constantly, especially in stressful situations. That’s what happened when I started smoking a few years ago. I had recently lost a great deal of weight after undergoing gastric bypass surgery, when I lost my job. Prior to weight loss surgery, I would overeat as a way to relieve my anxiety, but since my body could no longer physically accommodate large amounts of food, I began to smoke as a substitute. However, when the smoking started to aggravate my asthma, I knew I had to quit.

Going Cold Turkey

I attempted to stop cold-turkey, but that definitely didn’t work. I couldn’t go any longer than 6-8 hours without feeling as if I was going to go insane. When a co-worker gave me an e-cigarette to try one day, I believed that I could possibly use electronic cigarettes to help me stop smoking. I started to “smoke” an ecig whenever I craved a regular cigarette, and if it failed to relieve my craving, I would smoke a regular one. After a while, the e-cigarettes started to satisfy my cravings more and more, and in the process my asthma actually improved. I did do my research on electronic cigarettes before & the Ecita website in particular is good stuff, as well as UKVapers- a very friendly crew of vapers in the UK.

Hmmmmm – not going so great

After a few months of replacing regular cigarettes with electronic cigarettes, it seems like I suddenly began to backslide, as smoking an Ecig was no longer satisfying my cravings. I began to increase my use of regular cigarettes, since vaping was no longer satisfying, and my asthma returned with a vengeance. I became really curious, as I wondered why the e-cigarettes were no longer satisfying my nicotine craving, but what I learned while conducting my research wasn’t what I expected. I learned that although many e-cigarette manufacturers claim that the e-liquid that their products contain is a great deal healthier than the smoke of traditional cigarettes, as they supposedly contain only varying amounts of nicotine and a few other “harmless” ingredients. What I discovered is that certain electronic cigarettes were tested and that they actually contain various toxins that these manufacturers claimed their products didn’t. This was a total shock and made me stop using Ecigs cold-turkey, which wasn’t a good idea for my asthma. I was just so disgusted with what I discovered that I didn’t want to use them any longer. Since my asthma has worsened again, I would like to try them again in the future, though.

My conclusion

What did I learn from my experience? Well, despite the fact that e-cigarette manufacturers have failed to disclose all of the potentially harmful ingredients that their products actually do contain, I feel that they might be a great alternative to conventional cigarettes for some people. Perhaps for people who are highly motivated to quit smoking, and who can quickly wean themselves off regular cigarettes by starting with e-cigarettes that have the highest amount of nicotine and then tapering down until they actually quit, they can be successful. Since conventional cigarettes contain numerous toxins and possible carcinogens, and obviously e-cigarettes do as well, yet in lower amounts, it just might be worth it to use e-cigarettes to stop smoking. However, electronic cigarettes obviously won’t help everyone, since they didn’t help me long-term, but everyone will experience different results, and some people might end up being successful.