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 Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)

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EricHaven
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PostSubject: Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)   Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:13 pm

OK, a fact about me that most of you probably don't know. Forgive me, as this is going to be lengthy. But I think it's important, and for some of you, it might actually be of some help.

Ever since I was 13 (34 years ago last I checked), I've battled the evil seductress known as smoking tobacco. Sure, I've quit before. Several times....and I've always fallen back into it. For those of you that have done the same, I don't need to explain why this is so. For those of you that have not ever danced with the evil stuff, well, I know it's hard to understand why anyone would want to do that to themselves. I'm not being melodramatic when I call smoking an evil seductress.

My latest period of doing so began in Spring of 2008. In that time, I've averaged about half to one pack of Camel 99's a day. Blech. That means that I've had somewhere between 20,000 to 40,000 cigarettes since then. Double-blech!

I've always known the threat to my health. My father died in 2002 at the age of 62 after his third heart attack. He suffered his first one in 1992, and had a defib unit put in after his second one in 1998. You would think that would have been enough to get him to stop smoking. Yeah. He quit alright....right after his third heart attack claimed his life all together too soon. And, was this enough to make me stay away from smoking? Nope.

My 13-year old son is well aware of what took his grandfather's life. I mean, I've always made sure I never smoked in his presence, and that he understands how dangerous it is. So what has my answer been every time he has asked me, "so, why do you smoke, Dad? Are you going to die?" What does one say to such questions from their child?

I won't lie to you Guys. I like smoking. No....scratch that....I LOVE smoking. Well....let me rephrase this statement. Aside from the stink, the cost, the burnt clothing and car seats, the cough, the sore throats, the threat of cancer/emphysema/asthma/COPD/heart attack/stroke, well....shoot....I LOVE IT!

My doctor has told me that, even though I am fine for now, there are signs of things yet to come if I were to keep it up. He would just shake his head at me when I would come in complaining of shortness of breath, chest tightness, sore throats, and clogged sinuses. "It's quite simple, Eric" he would say to me, "if you want these things to continue, and even get worse, keep smoking. If you want it to stop, then quit."

My wife Linda knows all about these things, since she has also smoked for as long as I have. But we both recently came to the same conclusion: that we want to stay on the planet as long as we possibly can.

Gum is not the answer. Neither is the patch. These may work for handling the nicotine fix, but they are lacking the majority of the experience. The whole oral fixation (get your minds out of the gutter, Lads & Lasses), the social aspect, the simple act of BSing while holding a coffin nail, the feeling of inhaling, the exhaling of the smoke, etc. Yeah, you smokers know exactly what I am talking about. If only there was some way to get a nic fix, and retain the rest of the upsides, but without any negative effects. Must be a dream. Or a fairytale. If only there was some other way. If only....wait....hold on a sec....what's this? WHAT???? Wait for it....wait for it....

VAPING!!!! HA! REALLY?!? Can this be true??? OK....let me get this straight....you get your nic fix....you get the oral thing happening....you get the "holding something" thing....you get the inhaling/exhaling sensation....with no stink....no tar....no cyanide....no ammonia....no carbon monoxide....and from what ten-year studies from England, Italy, and New Zealand have concluded....no negative health effects, either first OR second-hand....somebody kick me!

Water vapor. Read that again, my friends. Water vapor. NOT smoke. Vapor. As in, steam. As in, what your tea kettle produces. As in, fog. As in H2O. Savvy?

I started using Blu disposable e-cigs on Thursday, November the 7th. As a check, my last regular cigarette was Saturday, November the 9th, and even after only two days of vaping, it was absolutely disgusting. I have not even craved an "analog" cig ever since that day. A few days ago, I invested in an electronic vaping unit, and I am now down to 6mg of nicotine. My wife Linda also started using the Blu's, but she (like I) was not too impressed with the experience, although it did help her go from smoking half a pack a day to only one or two a day. She tried my vape unit, absolutely loved it, and now she has one. We are not buying anymore regular cigs.

We did some math. Smoking regular cigs have been running us between $200 and $250 a month. After our initial investment in our vape units, and considering the costs to replace the parts that need replacing (about $3 for wicks, which last almost a month, and atomizers which are around $5 and last for up to a couple of months), we are now going from $200 to $250 a month to (drum-roll please) around $25 a month. No, that is NOT a typo. $25 a month. A 15ml bottle of vape juice runs about $4 to $5, and lasts the equivalent of an entire carton of "analog" cigs. You do the math, Friends.

A few words about the negative press that e-cigs have been getting. You may have heard "experts" on talk shows talking about how dangerous e-cigs are:

"They contain anti-freeze!" WRONG. One of the two base mixture options for vape is propylene glycol, and this is used as an ingredient in anti-freeze....BUT....it is also used in the production of ice cream, asthma inhaler meds, and many of the foods that we take for granted. PG is also the very same agent that is the primary ingredient for smoke/fog machines. So if you've ever spent time checking out a band, or standing on a stage yourself, with smoke/fog machines going, you've breathed in vape! Besides, the other base option for vape is vegetable glycerin, which is basically a carbohydrate that doesn't feed bacteria, and appears in all sorts of food products as well.

"They contain cancer-causing agents!". Hmmm....let's see here....either propylene glycol, or vegetable glycerin as a base, water, flavoring, nicotine (or nic-free if you so choose....YES, that IS an option!). That would be about four basic chemicals....compared to the 4,000 proven nasty chemicals in regular cigs.

"E-cigs are a gateway drug to regular smoking in kids, since they contain nicotine!". First off, e-cigs are regulated just like any other tobacco product (ironic, since they don't contain tobacco). Under 18? Fuggedaboudit. Not gonna happen. Second, the initial start-up costs are usually prohibitive to kids working minimum-wage jobs anyways. Regular cigs are much cheaper in the extreme short-run. Third, vape is available without nicotine, and even these versions are not legal to sell to minors.

A side note about nicotine. Yes, it is extremely poisonous, (Hell, handling the pure stuff with bare hands can kill a human being easily). But as far as the effects on the body when inhaled (and this applies to both smoking or vaping), nicotine is much like drinking a cup of coffee. Same as caffeine, too much can hurt you. But properly moderated, it is tolerated well.

So, why has your not-always-humble-admin decided to write a novel about this subject? Simple. I want to reach any and ALL of you, my bass trem brethren, who mean the WORLD to me by being here, who might be battling with tobacco addiction right now. I want to offer you a new lease on Life. I want to present to you an option that will result in prolonging your Life, while not asking you to sacrifice any of the things you love about "the habit", except for the negative aspects.

I'm not an expert on vaping by any stretch. Don't get me wrong. I've only just begun this new chapter in my Life. But I have learned a thing or two in my brief foray into vaping, and I am here to answer whatever questions I can if any of You are curious.

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PostSubject: Re: Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)   Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:00 am

Hey Eric,

Nice to hear that you found a more healthy alternative to smoking. I light up a pipe occasionally, but not so much that it affects my health noticebly.

As a chemist I would like to ad about the chemicals that you mention:

Nicotin: okay, toxic thats true, but is in regular sigarettes as well.
Glycerin, and water: ever ate anything that has a gelly kind of structure, probably made up of these components that occur much in food.
Propylene glycol: only toxic in very high concentrations, so if you are not vaping all the time you'll probably be fine.

What it comes dont to:

In a health sense beats a cigaret anytime! So great you found a healthy alternative!
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PostSubject: Re: Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)   Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:13 am

Thanks Jim! Wink 

Been two weeks today since I had my last regular cig. Still vaping, still loving it. Cool 

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PostSubject: Re: Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)   Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:06 pm

That`s great Eric.  I am really happy you found something that is comparable enough to hopefully keep you off the real thing forever!

My dad smokes, same story as you, has since before he could drive.  I don`t(he always said he will be the first person in line to come down and kick my *** Wink ).  He has been struggling to quit for almost 23 years now, ever since he found out mom was pregnant....

Good luck man.
-Jake
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PostSubject: Re: Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)   Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:53 pm

Yeah, I remember my father telling me the same thing, but I didn't listen. For my own health, I wish I had, but I am grateful that I found vaping. It has been almost three weeks as of today, and my wife is into her third day without cigarettes.

As I posted earlier, my father died in 2002 at the all-too young age of 62. He had been a heavy smoker for most of his life. I miss him every single day. How much I wish this technology had been around in those days. The very first e-cig was developed in 2003 (although there was an electric steam unit that was developed in 1963, but it never caught on).

Jake, maybe suggest to your father that he try vaping? I would be more than willing to share the information I've learned if you want to share it with him. There are literally thousands of former smokers who have successfully gotten off the stink butts using vapes. It really does work! cheers 

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PostSubject: Re: Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)   Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:03 pm

I`ll tell him to check it out. He is the kind that would rather get online and do the reading himself then decide. If he gets really curious I will give him your email.

Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)   Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:40 pm

Just wanted to give an update. Still vaping after all of this time, and feeling light-years better as a result. My wife Linda is almost one month without cigarettes, and she is also feeling the positive benefits.  cheers 


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PostSubject: Re: Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)   Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:36 am

Recently there were some questions posed by the governement here in the Netherlands about the dangers and health risks of vaping. The main issue was that companies act like it is healthy, which it is not. They just should mention that it is not as healthy as quiting all together, but certainly has some health benefits over smoking.

But as always in governements a lot of talking, no clear point, no understanding of the thing they were talking about so....
It made vaping come out bad, which it kinda is, but it is a healthier and viable alternative for smoking which was completely overlooked Sad

Governements.... dont get me started!
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PostSubject: Re: Quit Smoking Cigs - Now Vaping (LONG Post-Sorry!)   Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:33 pm

You strike me as a wise person Jim, and that you (like I am) are not about to be snowed by “them”. To that end, I’d like to expand upon things if I may.

To be clear, I went into vaping only after doing a lot of research, since I am one of those that is ultra-paranoid about what I put into my body (of course, that didn't prevent me from smoking for 30 years, but I digress). I just want to share with you why I have put so much faith into vaping, because I sincerely believe that the "dangers of" talk is only that which is generated by those who gain nothing from the existence of vapes, and more to the point, are losing a lot of money because of them. But believe me, the second I ever got any definitive evidence of vaping being dangerous from what I consider a trusted source (meaning, any group that clearly had nothing to gain from banning vapes other than protecting the public), I would drop the whole thing.

Jim wrote:
Governements.... dont get me started!

I could not agree more Jim, especially when it comes to issues that generate no money for the aforementioned governments.  Mad 

You have to ask yourself why it is that governments and pharmaceutical companies are screaming for the regulation (and possible banning) of e-cigs louder than they do for regular cigarettes. Oh sure, "they" say vaping is dangerous, but let's just overlook the volumes of evidence about the dangers of smoking, shall we? I mean, remember that governments get a ton of tax revenue from tobacco sales, and big pharma earns HUGE revenues from the sales of nicotine gum, the patch, Chantix, etc. For every former smoker who quits due to vaping, "their" profits fall like lead.

Now, it is true (and well-documented) that modern e-cigs originated in China (in 2003), and the early days had all sorts of wonky product with next-to-no quality control hitting our shores (which BTW, is what the FDA used to do their single test on vape liquid a few years ago to declare that it was “questionable”, despite calls to re-test using U.S.-made product). Today, the vast majority of liquid available here is made here in the United States from all-U.S. ingredients that meet or exceed USP standards, many of which are also in a lot of the foods we eat (not that this means they are any safer because of this, but again, I digress).

To make the distinction, no reputable company that produces vape items will (nor are they even allowed to here in the U.S.) say that vaping is healthy. Only that it is healthier than smoking. This is along the same lines as driving a car. It is never completely without risk, but is much safer if you wear a seat belt.

What follows is but a small sampling of what I used to make my decision to start vaping.

I have copies of long-term vape studies recently completed by Italy, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. None of these studies found anything remotely dangerous in vape, either first or secondhand. They only found water, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings.

I have another more in-depth study from Canada that shows the amount of toxic material in cigarette smoke vs. vape. They used a control of nine puffs on a cigarette, and found toxic levels of all sorts of the nasty chemicals you would expect to be there, with carbon monoxide topping the list. They then turned to vapes, and discovered that they needed to use 99 puffs on an e-cig just to get a usable reading. The results were that they did detect trace amounts of chemicals in vape, but these fell so far below the detectable levels, they almost didn’t see anything at all. They determined that, while there were detectable levels of dangerous chemicals in vape, they were about the same as in ordinary air.

I also have video testimony about the safety and effectiveness of vaping from Dr. David Baron, who is chief of staff at Santa Monica-UCLA.

I also have my own personal physician’s views. For many years, he tried to get me to quit smoking (he is a former smoker himself) to no avail. Last year, he told me about e-cigs. I hadn’t done my reading yet, so I didn’t wish to pursue it back then. I still remember him saying something along the lines of “they still have to do some more research, but so far, the results are really positive”.

And all of this weren’t enough, I have personally spoken to (either in person, or via the web) dozens of people who are long-term vapors of more than five years, who have all shown no adverse side-effects from vaping. In fact, the majority of them have been evaluated by their personal physicians, and determined to be in much-improved health after quitting smoking, and showing no signs of degraded health due to vaping.

So, in conclusion, we have two very different groups, with two very different opinions about vaping.

On one hand, we have the published testimonies about the safety of vaping from health research groups from four different countries, a doctor at UCLA, and several long-term vapers given the green light by their doctors, as well as my own doctor, all of whom say that, to date, there is no clear evidence to suggest that vaping is dangerous.

On the other, we have statements from governments, and government-controlled/financed agencies about the dangers of vaping, none of which have any clear, published evidence to suggest this is true, and who are losing money every day from the loss of tobacco sales.

Given all of the aforementioned evidence, I felt reasonably safe in becoming a vaper in order to quit smoking.  Wink

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