Update: Two Weeks Tobacco Free

I smoked my last analog cigarette (traditional tobacco) on Thursday, August 14, 2014. In those two + weeks I’ve discovered some things about vaping. The day I stopped smoking I bought my first vaping device, an Evod 2 from Kanger Tech (a review of that product is available here). Actually, I’d experimented with vaping since March of 2014 with the Blu starter kit. But that was rather hit or miss, so I count my vaping history as starting on that Thursday with the purchase of the Evod 2.

I kept the receipt from that last pack of smokes.
I kept the receipt from that last pack of smokes.

So here’s a little bit of what I’ve managed to learn in my vast two + weeks of experience as a citizen of planet vape.

There’s a learning curve. I figured there would be, there’s an entire new vocabulary that I’m learning, techniques, tricks. It’s a lot more than simply pouring some ejuice into a tube and inhaling. But the one thing that I didn’t expect was that I’d have to figure out when I was done vaping. With a traditional tobacco cigarette that was a pretty simple and obvious call. When your cig had burned down to the filter, you put it out and went on about your business. Not so much with vaping. And since I’d never actually timed myself or counted the number of drags it took to finish an analog cigarette, I didn’t have a solid reference point for just how long a vaping session should last.

Turns out, it doesn’t matter. When I feel satisfied, I stop vaping. And it turns out that this method is much more enjoyable, and liberating than smoking. After all, I was leaving it up to Big Tobacco to determine the duration of my smoke sessions because somewhere along the line they’d fixed the length of cigarettes. Who did they think they were? So now I vape for as long, or short, as I desire.

Vaping is controversial? Who’d of thought? This one actually surprised me. Here I was, under the impression that anything that would minimize or eliminate the use of tobacco cigarettes would be celebrated by the medical and health industries. Oh, how naive I was. Just in the past week or so, several major “health” organizations have come out with rather scathing reports on what they insist on calling “e-cigarettes.” (If you’ve noticed, I’m making a conscious effort to minimize my own use of that term, in an effort to further distance vaping from traditional smoking.) They insist that since nicotine can be derived from tobacco that vape juice be classified as a tobacco product and subject to the same regulations and legislation. That’s like saying that since your leather jacket is derived from a cow the entire leather industry should be subject to the same regulations and legislation as the beef industry.

What organizations like WHO, the American Heart Association, CDC and others are either willfully ignoring (or hiding) or just not bright enough to realize, is that vaping is an excellent (perhaps the greatest) tool in harm reduction when it comes to smoking. The vaping industry doesn’t officially market vaping as a “quit smoking remedy,” but some scientists (even the American Heart Association) have said that vaping is probably more effective than other nicotine replacement therapies  in helping people give up smoking tobacco. I’ve talked to dozens of people in vape shops who have totally given up tobacco since they started vaping. My sister hasn’t had a tobacco smoke in months, my wife in about a month, and I haven’t in more than two weeks, all thanks to vaping.

The danger is not in the nicotine. As a matter of fact, nicotine has been proven in some studies to have health benefits, and evidence from other smaller studies suggests that nicotine may be proven effective for relieving or even preventing a wide range of neurological ailments, among them Parkinson’s disease, MCI, Tourette’s and schizophrenia. The danger of tobacco use is in the delivery system, the smoke, and the thousands of chemicals the smoke contains, creates, and places in the human body.

(Editor’s note: Here’s the video version of this story)

Vaping is a social experience. I’ve discovered that vaping is far more enjoyable than smoking for more than health reasons. Sure, I feel much better since I started vaping; things taste and smell better. I don’t wake up with that cruddy taste in my mouth, my fingers don’t stink and my chest doesn’t rattle when I breathe. As a bonus, the vaping community is very welcoming, eager to help, advise, educate and share experiences. From hanging out in vape shops to checking out vaping forums, watching reviews online and following other vapers on social media, the vaping community is extremely warm. And vaping is proving to be an entirely enjoyable hobby. There are tons of new things to learn about and try. New flavors of ejuice, accessories and new vaping devices to research, drool over and eventually try. I think I’ve already decided on my next mod, and I’m eager to run out and purchase it, once I can justify the cost.

I smell better. I knew that the smell of tobacco smoke lingered and clung to things. I just wasn’t aware of how much and of how objectionable the odor. When I was a smoker, I never smoked in the house. Now that I’m vaping I do vape indoors, but you would never know it by the smell of my home. I did smoke in the car, and you could tell. But after two weeks of vaping, even my car smells better. My daughter came for a visit a few days ago. She still smokes tobacco. When she’d come back into the house after a smoke, I could smell that pungent stink of tobacco smoke on her as soon as she came in the door. My apologies to everyone whom I subjected to that same terrible odor on my person over the past 40+ years.

So there you go, highlights of what I’ve learned in my two odd weeks of vaping. I know there’s much more to come, and I look forward to it eagerly. And I look forward to sharing it here with you. If you’re just starting to vape or haven’t quite made up your mind yet, I hope this may have helped answer a few of your questions.

And if you are a vaper and have a story you’d like to share, please tell us about in the comments section below.

Embrace The Vape.

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