Vaping – How I Quit Smoking And Started Living Again

People have frequently asked me about my blogging patterns, and why I stop doing this/that or change how I’m blogging, how often etc. Well one answer is that I get involved in other things which take up my time.

One such thing is health. Smoking cigarettes had clearly been affecting my health, it’s almost universally accepted that it’s damaging to health, and the longer one does it the more risk one has of dying of cancer, or other things like blockages in circulatory system. The risks are real and obvious, but many still light that tobacco and puff away, almost carefree.

“Ecigarettes” and “vaping” – I had various friends who care about me suggesting it as an alternative. September last year, I nearly was ready to try something new. But smoking tobacco had a powerful hold, and it took me until Christmas time to actually get started on stopping smoking. This journey has taken up a lot of my spare time in researching both the ecigarette equipment, and the liquids used to generate the “vape”.

Briefly – ecigarettes heat a liquid to produce a vapour. The vapour gives a similar sensation to smoking, and has in some cases nicotine added to help with nicotine cravings that soon to be ex-smokers “need”. All the common ecigarette systems work on the same principle.

In more detail – Most ecigarettes contain a battery, often some clever electronics to modify the electricity from the battery – to make the ecigarette work “better”, a heating coil and a material called a wick which helps to transport the “eliquid” (or “juice”) from it’s container onto the heating coil at a steady rate. The eliquid is comprised usually of a mixture of 1) Polypropylene Glycol (“PG”) , 2) Vegetable Glycerine (“VG”), and often but not essential 3) Nicotine, 4) Flavourings. PG and VG are both considered by most as safe for ingestion, and are already used in MANY food and pharmaceutical products. To taste by putting a little on a spoon for instance, they have a thick sweet taste.

Nicotine on it’s own and in limited quantities isn’t thought to be harmful, in fact many argue that it’s actually beneficially. It’s a misnomer that nicotine and smoking tobacco are one in the same. SMOKING TOBACCO IS HARMFUL, absorbing nicotine in similar quantities is thought not to be harmful, arguably beneficial.

As ecigarettes are fairly new in the scale of human existence, and there’s like a million and one flavourings, it’s still unclear if every single flavouring is as safe as the purest driven snow. One thing that’s fairly certain, is that a very high percentage of the flavourings used, are already approved as food safe, and 14 million vapers worldwide are already vaping many of these flavouring, whilst admissions to accident and emergency are very very few and far between. The anti-vaping lobbyists driven by money from big tobacco and big pharmaceutical companies, have been quick to criticise ANYTHING which is even suspected of being unsafe which goes into ecigarettes. This is more sour grapes on their part, and anti-competition, than any real danger in vaping, because they stand to lose FORTUNES (trillions of dollars) as people abandon sterile patches and gum, which are of little benefit in stopping smoking anyway, and obviously the proven cancer causing cigarettes, in favour of vaping.

AS FOR ME PERSONALLY, I wanted to understand the equipment and the everything vaping, at least enough to be able to sensibly purchase both the ecigarette hardware, and the eliquid software. I don’t have a massive budget to spend on anything, and how I keep within my budget, is extensive research and shop around for economical solutions.

My first purchase was on impulse, and not really that informed. I used it for a week or two until my “better” equipment arrived. Initial purchase was what’s known as a “CE4” pen, from a generic no name brand. “Crap” basically, cost me around £15, but it was good enough to prove to me that it would be something I’d use and would help me stop smoking.

After some quite extensive research, I upgraded, and I’m now vaping with a Kangertech “Subox Mini Kit”, well two in fact, I liked the first one so much I bought a spare. The Subox Mini Kit, included everything I need PLUS allows me to explore the DIY aspects like making my own coils, which saves a lot of money. It’s obviously not “the solution” or “the only solution”, but it’s what’s working for me right now. There’s a bewildering array of ecigarette hardware out there, narrowing it down to make a purchase can be a tough call.

I’ve been now these last few weeks, virtually cigarette free. I say virtually, because there is a problem here in Thailand, as there is in other countries for vapers. The powers that be have imposed bans of varying degrees of severity, largely most feel are related to lost tax revenue governments are experiencing through people ceasing to buy cigarettes. Bottom line, my understanding is that vaping is tolerated in Thailand, provided you’re vaping for personal use and doing so in private. Imports and sale of everything ecigarette were prohibited in Thailand end of 2014, retail outlets raided etc, except for personal use which seems to be allowed, and people aren’t having problems with this at the airport. So, basically, my preference is to vape at home, in order to do my best to comply, so I do smoke the occasional cigarette “in public”. Not out of desire to smoke, but in order to fit in.

My research has helped me save money through several of the DIY avenues open to me. One of which is making coils myself, which saves me approximately £3 per week (per coil). I’ve also figured out how to use the same coil virtually indefinitely, so my coils are almost free, still need to replace the cotton wick, which is a negligible cost. Eliquids can be made oneself using PG (around £3/litre) and VG (around £1.50/litre), plus some other things obviously if one wants nicotine and flavour. OVERALL, I reckon I will save money, even with cigarettes in Thailand being approximately 1/10 the price of the UK. For someone making their own eliquids in UK, versus smoking tobacco, the savings are CONSIDERABLE.

Saving money isn’t the point though. Money spent on ecigarettes vs money I would spend on healthcare for lung cancer treatment or operations to remove my extremities because of blocked circulation causing gangrene, well let’s just say it’s a minute fraction, plus I have my health back, hopefully. At the end of the day, you can’t really put a price on life, it’s priceless.

Health wise I’m more active, feel healthier and a more positive dynamic happening in my life, and very happy actually to be finally free of smoking cigarettes.

In summary, I blog less when I’m busy on other things, I’m not omnipotent, don’t have an army of staff to blog for me. For the good of my health – Recently I’ve had to divert a lot of time and energy into getting a good grasp of ecigarettes and vaping, enough so that I may write an informative blog post and stop smoking myself. Vaping is my cure to smoking, and I’m now informed enough to blog about it. Read the lines above if you want to find out more.


Don Charisma

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62 thoughts on “Vaping – How I Quit Smoking And Started Living Again

  1. Hello old friend. I’ve been away for so long, deleted my old blogs, then back for a few months now only to lose you. I did some searching and found this much of
    your site, heard from Irene that you are taking some time off, and read about you quitting the cancer sticks. Happy to hear that. I’ve revisited my Angel Award, putting it back up for a new generation of bloggers to post and enjoy. As for me, my doc gave me a month at the most over a year ago but I didn’t believe her. Good thing I don’t listen, huh? Still love ya Don! Angie

  2. Well done! I found this article riveting because I used the Kangertech also after researching and getting recommendations and have now been cigarette-free for seven or so months. In fact, I hardly ever seem to vape these days. I knew I finally had to do it because I was diagnosed with COPD about 18 months ago. Hope you’re even better as I’m writing this on 22 February ’18 and you’ve been off here a long time. Take care.

  3. I’m fortunate that I never got addicted to nicotine. I did try a Winston when I was 8, having stolen a pack from my mom. That was the first, last, and only time I ever smoked a cigarette.

  4. Hey Don, long time no see! So happy to see you are tobacco free. I quit on July 4, 1997 (yes independence day) and never looked back. I never ever see you in my reader! I only stumbled upon this.

  5. I am very fortunate. Although I have tried a few smokes as a teen, I never took up smoking.
    There are several people using the e-cigarettes at work. I never really understood how they worked. Found this post very informative.
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Pingback: talk 2 enjoy
  7. The U.S. Govt. doesn’t want e-cigs to succeed either. They make an enormous amount of money of the sale of cigarettes. Well above and beyond the Big Tobacco lawsuit settlement. In 1996, I could buy a carton of cigarettes for about $12 in my hometown. Today, it’s nearly $60 a carton. Over half that increase, is Federal, local and state taxes. the remainder is still paying out on the Big Tobacco settlement.

    1. Yup, thanks Kevin … this is known to me – big tobacco, big pharma and govts all stand to lose out on mass take up of e-cigarettes … it’s pretty bad news for vapers, and I don’t know where it’ll end, or if it’s anywhere that vapers will be happy with, remains to be seen … my guess is large scale scrutiny and taxation, which I suspect fat cats are already discussing how to best profit from it, once they’ve “legalised” it … bans will probably happen before the “legalisation”, as they already have in a lot of Asia …

  8. i bought an i-stick from eleaf in december and I haven’t smoked a cig since..granted, the first 3 days of not smoking cigs were slightly difficult (been smoking cigs for 30 years) but after that it was as easy as 1,2,3..and best part is I save about 250 dollars a month…and now I am vaping with no nicotine

    1. Very good and well done. And yes, I’m hoping withdrawl symptoms will ease over time, and would like to get to a point of nicotine free vaping, perhaps stopping completely.

  9. I’ve been vaping now for about nine months. However, most recently I have fallen back to the ugly sticks more than vaping. Them cigs are a psychological crutch. I’m currently trying to find my way back to vaping sensibility. The absolute best thing I could do is just eliminate it all. Nicotine is a very sneaky and powerful drug.

    BTW – I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. You can check it out on my page if you like. Wishing you and yours a great day. Thank You 🙂

    1. Thanks very kind 🙂

      I think what a lot of vapers do to keep themselves going is make a hobby out of it. Some are always buying new gear and making coils. Personally I’m doing DIY eliquid. Or just join a forum and contribute to the discussions.

      And, yeah, totally, cigarettes are very sneaky and powerful, I don’t think nicotine is the problem, personally. Also, as I said to another commenter, there’s a whole emotional side to addiction, that isn’t really acknowledged or estimated in many stop smoking paths.

  10. My boyfriend has an ecig mod that he built. He spends most money on his eliquid, and goes through it quiet quickly, as he’s always vaping. But it’s WAY better than the cost of cigarettes. Plus he got me to try it and I’m not a smoker.

      1. Maybe! I’ll have to ask him if he’s looked into it. And i must say, I rather like kissing him and tasting the different flavors rather than the cigarette taste 😉😉😉

      2. Lol, sweet tasting guy ! … I worked out for unflavoured / no nicotine, I can make 10ml of liquid for less than 10 cents … Flavourings and nicotine bring price up a little, maybe 15-20 cents … Dunno prices in U.S. But glycerin and polypropylene glycol are cheap in most places …

  11. Congratulations, Don! You’ve taken a huge and difficult step toward prolonging your life and the lives of those around you. I appreciate this post because I’m sending it on to my son, who’s been trying to quit smoking for years. Thanks!

    1. You’re welcome, and glad to hear some use may come of writing. I tried to write as accurately and simply what my current opinion is. And I’m already smoking 99.5% less than I was, been like that for weeks now.

      1. Happy for you to show her what I wrote if that helps … Vaping has worked for many people, so far so good for me … I had a couple of friends who “bugged” me about stopping smoking via vaping, and glad I finally took the plunge 🙂

  12. Good for you. I’ve smoked a lot and quit a lot & right now I’m smoking again. Here in NYC you can’t smoke in public so I mostly smoke at home (I smoke 5 cigarettes a day, tops) but I quit drinking 3 years ago, I’m in therapy for depression (as opposed to being untreated and unmedicated), I meditate, and so while I indulge in smoking, an admittedly unhealthy vice, I’m healthier in many ways than I once was.

    1. TVM and well done you taking control and steps. I found nigh on impossible to cut down, so was on 20-30 a day. My body has been telling it’s had enough for while since. Be worth you giving vaping a look, I know it’s not right for everyone, but doesn’t hurt to investigate 🙂

      1. I’ll investigate. Some other people said “Chantix”, a prescription medication that helps you quit…but depression is a common side effect, and the mental health professional who treats me for the depression I already have says Chantix is a bad idea for people who have pre-existing depression.

        Patches and gums are…well I don’t know what they are, but they don’t do anything for me.

      2. 🙂 as I said to another commenter, smoking is a complex thing and involves ones emotions, so needs to be treated with care and patience … I use gum and patches on flights for short term interruptions in nicotine levels … Not tried the pills but heard of them … Personally they weren’t right for me, I seem to remember them being pretty expensive in the UK … I don’t think medicines should ever be expensive, it brings a level of suffering to the world I don’t agree with, and puts profit before helping people … I found vaping the most smoking’esk solution, but obviously realise that it’s down to individual to choose what suits them.

  13. Good for you, quitting cigarettes isn’t easy. I’ve been off them since 2009 after many failed attempts but honestly getting shot in the chest helped that last attempt along some. You can’t put a price on your health escapes us in our youth but becomes so important at some point later on. Good Bless.

  14. Good to see you’re still around, missed your posts. Also goo to hear you’re trying to give it up. I’m not sure about Thailand, but here in the states they’re having a problem with some “flavors?” have three times the nicotine of cigarettes. As in most places, regulations are slow to keep up with technology.

    1. Thanks, and yes I don’t think I’m much longer a smoker. I blog when I have time, bottom line.

      Widely publicised and heavily funded by big pharmaceutical companies are allegations of a couple of flavours that “were implicated in”, not “the proven cause of” potential problems for vapers. There is no proven link, and reputable e-liquid manufactures have been quick to remove these chemicals from their products. Big pharmaceuticals are keen to keep their monopoly of nicotine replacement therapy products, which are sold at MASSIVE profit margins, and to be honest actually don’t work for majority of smokers – so this is why they pay lobbyists to keep putting out sensationalist stories, with little or no basis in real fact or evidence.

      Largely, the vaping community is certain that big pharmaceutical, big tobacco and governments losing tobacco revenue, are behind and responsible for anything and everything anti-vaping. I’ve seen no evidence so far that struck me as as deviating from that. In fact I’ve not seen any convincing evidence that vaping is more dangerous than smoking, completely the opposite, smoking has MANY toxic substances, and is widely believed by most to be the cause of serious illnesses.

      And, yup, there’s a lag, but vaping’s been around a good 10 years now, and around 14 million vapers worldwide, so regulation is catching up and governments will want their cut, like they would have got from tobacco.

    1. Been there, didn’t work, not smoking’esk enough to be a viable alternative to smoking. Best alternatives to vaping I found was hypnosis, managed not to smoke for nearly a year after one session.

      1. OK. I didn’t mean to be smug. I’ve never smoked though I understand addictions. (Try tearing me away from chocolate.) Just wondering if vaping is really more healthy. Best wishes to you on taking control.

      2. I understood sharron, and didn’t think smug. My grandpa bought me gum years ago, and he was ex-smoker himself, he quit cold turkey himself. I tried gum, patches, stop smoking books, hypnosis, cold turkey amongst other things myself. What non-smokers don’t understand is that it’s more than just addiction to the nicotine, it’s a more complex emotional addiction, with multiple aspects. That’s why so many find it so hard to quit, and that big pharma didn’t succeed in making non smokers by producing gum and patches.

        I think you’d have trouble backing up the argument that smoking is safer than vaping, so I won’t comment any further than that, other than to say all the evidence I’ve seen shows it’s factors of 1000s safer than smoking. The comment I made to modern theologian sums up pretty much what is going on in the media right now, and how money is trying to manipulate common sense.

        Ps sorry “some non-smokers”, my bad 🙂

  15. That’s inspiring and I look forward to reading more. Thank you so much for reblogging my “Top 10 Movies of 2015”. I appreciate you’ve been busy but it’s great to have your writing back again. 🙂

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