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.
Resources & Sources
Unless otherwise stated everything here is (c) DonCharisma.org, all rights are reserved.
Comments are often welcomed, provided you can string a legible, relevant and polite sentence together. In other cases probably best shared with your therapist, or kept to yourself.