One week ago, I traded my smelly old habit for a new, hopefully healthier, way of hanging on to the nicotine monkey. Like I’ve said, this addiction has been pretty much lifelong. When I was a kid, smoking was not only accepted but encouraged. My first smoke was at 10 years old, a stolen menthol (blech) out of Mom’s pack. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked. I’ve stopped before, once for over five years. Quitting, however, has not yet happened.
I’ve been reading up on this vaping craze. While research shows it’s “safer” than cigarettes, vaping still helps one ingest nicotine. There are various reports which suggest there are still possible health concerns, but the facts aren’t truly in yet. From what I’ve read though, vaping is about one percent (1%) as dangerous as lighting up a Camel, which has thousands of harmful chemicals.
Vaping involves heating a coil, which in turn vaporizes the flavored nicotine liquid. As someone who wants to quit smoking, I opted for a relatively high nicotine level, 22mg. In one week, I have saved almost $50 from not buying cigarettes. More important, I’ve reduced the amount of toxins entering my body. Sure, nicotine itself is harmful, but minus the thousands of chemicals contained in a traditional cigarette, it is much safer.
The medical community maintains e-cigs are not as safe as they’re touted. As some studies have shown, it is possible to take in enough nicotine to lead to nicotine poisoning. They say the fluids contain a chemical found in anti-freeze (propylene glycol), but what they don’t say is it is a chemical used to make the anti-freeze safer*. In the form of an e-cig, however, the concentration is very small and not clearly linked to tissue damage. The fluid also contains glycerin and food flavoring. When the thousands of toxins shoved into a traditional cigarette filter, I think I’ll take my chances with these as I endeavour to get the monkey off my back.
Some folks have traded in their smokes for vapes. Most of us (81%) have successfully replaced cigarettes with vaping devices. Others vape without any nicotine in their liquid at all.
My plan is to gradually ease off on the nicotine level, and try not to become as dependent on this device as I have been on traditional smokes. I truly want to quit, not just replace the delivery system. One good thing about this is that I can have it around when I’ve weaned myself from the drug and use it to satisfy that hand-to-mouth habit that you end up missing almost as much as smoking. It can be a crutch later to fall back on rather than buying that fateful pack of cigarettes.
I don’t kid myself. I am an addict. After 54 years of living, it’s the one vice I’ve failed to stop. It’s the most harmful thing I could do, and I want to stick around a while. I’m also keen to the vape dealers’ modus operandi: keep the customer happy and perhaps they’ll keep using the damn thing. I applaud their helping me quit cigarettes, but from a businessman’s point of view, it is obviously in their best interest to encourage me to keep vaping. I get that, and I don’t hold it against them. They certainly have no qualms about my desire to quit altogether and in fact have encouraged me to do what I need. Unlike the big pharmaceutical companies, they seem to actually care about me personally. (In Portland, visit Rose City Vapesters at https://rcvapesters.com/info.html#)
Today I purchased fluids with 20mg of nicotine. I have a licorice that’s delicious, peach and orange flavor added to my vape arsenal. Next time I’ll choose an even lower level, and so on. The most important improvement is my relationship with Stacers. She kisses and hugs me again without recoiling from the tobacco stench. Having an extremely close relationship with her trumps any desire for a traditional smoke!
The commitment is there, the jury is still out. But I’ll keep you posted.
Informational links on vaping pros and cons: