My journey to becoming smoke free

Thoughts and ImpressionsCategory Archives

One Year

One year. ONE YEAR! I have made it one full year smoke free.

At 12:15pm on 2/22/12 I started with my V2 ecigs and now, a year later, I couldn’t be happier about the results. Let me tell you about it.

It has been a great year, but there have been some challenges along the way. In spite of those challenges I would recommend switching to anyone who smokes.

Now, when I say “smoke free” that’s not technically 100% true. Over the past year I have bought, as closely as I can remember, about four packs of analogs. When my kit arrived I had three or four analogs left which I smoked over the course of my first two weeks. I also bought a pack there in the beginning as a kind of crutch. As anyone who has smoked can attest, one of the worst parts of smoking is the urge to have a pack with you at all times. You are planning to buy one before your last pack is gone. So I bought one “just in case”. I smoked some of them, even though I quickly had come to hate the taste. That pack lasted me over the next few months. My next (and last) two packs were purchased due to power issues, one of the downsides to ecigs, which I’ll describe later. The first time was pure user error – I forgot my charger at work on a Friday. An ecig battery without a charger is about as useful as a car without gas. You ain’t goin’ nowhere. The last time was when my charger, for some reason, didn’t seem to want to charge. But that has been it for the past 365 days.

Before I weigh in with all the positives, let me be honest and describe a few negatives.

  • Power – as I mentioned above, when you are out of power, you are out of luck. You need to have enough spare batteries, and the means to charge them, to make this work. Which leads me to the next negative.
  • Standardization – There isn’t any. The number of configurations is amazing. It makes finding something that suits you easier, but that is countered by the incompatibility of one setup with another. There are three major components to any ecig system, the battery (or power source), a place to hold the liquid, and a heating element to turn that liquid into vapor. The parts are not interchangeable from system to system. There are inside threads and outside threads, and threads of different sizes. There are containers of different sizes and heating elements that require different ohms and watts and things that make you think that you need an EE degree to operate. That’s before you even start talking about DIY mods.
  • Availability – Currently the majority of ecigs and accessories are purchased online. While the option to purchase ecigs from retail stores is increasing rapidly, there is nowhere near the options that are available for analogs. When you can find items you are faced with the standardization issue and quality that can be all over the map.

The overwhelming positive is the utter lack of desire for an analog cigarette. As long as I have a charged battery and a filled cart I have never thought, “I’d rather have an analog instead.” Of course there are many more positives.

  • I feel better. Reputable ecig companies make no claims about the health benefits of switching from smoking. I certainly don’t have the medical background to say that I am healthier, but I can tell you with out a doubt that I feel better. The first thing that Cindy noticed was that my persistent coughing had stopped. I noticed that I didn’t tire as quickly. In short, I just feel better.
  • I Smell. Wait, that didn’t come out right. I can smell things again. That can be good and bad, especially when you have an eight year old boy living in the house. I am still struck by this when I smell a freshly mowed lawn or orange blossoms.
  • Things taste so much better. That may not be the best thing for a fat old guy like me, but I sure do enjoy tasting food again.
  • I’m a rebel! It’s kind of fun to vape in a store or restaurant. I’ve received some strange looks, but in the entire year not one person has said a word. That was probably the hardest thing to overcome, vaping away in the aisles of Wally World.
  • Variety – For the most part I stick with my menthol flavored liquid, but I love trying all of the many options that are available. Fruit flavors, food flavors, more flavors than you can imagine, and even a few that are too weird for me.
  • $$$ – One of my prime motivations for switching was financial rather than physical. And the savings have been tremendous. I wasn’t the heaviest of smokers, probably a little under a pack a day. Even my cheep-o brand was costing me $25-$30 a week. When I realized how much that added up to in a year, I was motivated! I have a spreadsheet that tracks my costs and calculates my savings. I don’t have it here at home, but the last time I updated it my projected savings for the year was about $850. That’s huge.

That’s my first year wrap up. If you are a smoker and your looking for a way to stop I really recommend giving ecigs a try.

Going forward I want to continue to educate others, and work to keep the government from doing anything stupid with regards to vaping. As I wrote in my comments to the FDA,

The positives of electronic cigarettes are many, and I ask that you cautiously and honestly consider their benefits when adopting any policies related to their use. Please do not regulate them out of existence, or make them difficult to obtain or less attractive to use. I don’t want to go back to smoking, and electronic cigarettes have made that possible.

On to year two.

Cross-posted at bRight&Early.

Two Weeks

My starter kit arrived two weeks ago and I could not be happier with the outcome. It has really been an educational 14 days.

What I’ve Bought

  • Standard Kit
  • 10 Limited Edition Carts
  • 1 10ml bottle of Menthol Juice
  • 20 Pre-filled Carts
  • 1 Sampler Pack

The last two items should arrive today! I am very anxious to check out the sampler pack.

The bottle of juice I purchased from a local e-cig retailer. Refilling my pre-filled carts was easy, although the bottle design wasn’t that great. Instead of a dropper the entire bottle was a dropper, kind of like eye drops. It felt like the drops were too big. That may not make sense to you, but that’s how it seemed to me. The flavor is fine, although at 2.4% it’s a little stronger than I really want. I just needed some to tide me over until my V2 order came in. I had a long road trip on Sunday and I knew I wouldn’t make it on the pre-filled carts I had on hand. That brings me to my next point.

What I need

  • More Batteries – Two is nowhere near enough.
  • Another charger – very possibly more than one more.
  • Some blank cartridges.
  • Juice – some good quality and a bit of a variety.
  • Storage – I’m thinking about something like a tackle box to hold everything.

Just to wrap up my two week (and two day) post, a few impressions of how it’s going. I love the fact that I am starting to smell things again. That doesn’t include the cat’s litter box or my almost eight year old son. I haven’t noticed any great increase in breathing, but I’ve been fighting a really nasty cold. Best of all, I haven’t felt a need for an analog the whole time. I did smoke the three or four I had left, but I really wasn’t happy with them at all. And that’s good.

One last thing, I created a spreadsheet to track my progress. I’ve been analog free for 15 days. In that time I would have spend $46.56 for 240 analogs. Instead I’ve spent $184.15 which includes shipping and, of course, my starter kit. As of today I am $137.59 in the hole. The good news is I have my sampler pack, 15 unopened menthol, and a half a bottle of juice. I shouldn’t have to put out any large amount of money very soon.

While I had this post sitting around my order came in. I dove into my sampler pack last night. I’ll let you know what I think of the different flavors in another post.