This post is a bit personal because my writing muse has just come back to visit me. For the last few months, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster and there hasn’t been much time for writing.
Things have settled down. Even with my meds cut in half three months ago, I haven’t gone off either deep end and have managed to keep my cool throughout some intense family drama for the past two months. So that’s good news.
First, I’ve stopped smoking. So far, I have 3 days and 19 hours, have avoided 115 cigarettes and saved $34.40, possibly my life. I have no desire or obsession to smoke.
I was up to a pack and a half. It’s only been four days, but with the vaping it has truly made a difference. I know vaping has not been proven to be harmless, but it has been proven to be tremendously less harmful than smoking. It’s satisfying. I have tried cold turkey, gum, lozenges, patches, Wellbutrin, Chantix (three times), and those nasty little electronic cigalikes that you can pick up at the 7-11.
Cold turkey= terrible cravings, substituting with food to get the hand to mouth thing, gaining 70 lbs in six months. (Was only able to lose half of it and slowly gained that back.) And the shortness of breath that goes with being overweight.
Gum=still wanted the analog cigs, hiccoughs, heartburn
Lozenges=Not satisfying at all, hated the chalky consistency and strong mint flavor, heartburn
Patches=Staved off the cravings. Put me in the hospital with cardiac arrhythmias and panic attacks
Wellbutrin=Did not stop cravings and gave me severe diarrhea.
Chantix=Three efforts, prescriptions required, two different doctors and had to call offices every month to get script renewed, I won’t bother you with the severe side effects. Trust me, there were many. And ended up smoking right through all three attempts because it was not satisfying at all.
Electronic Cigalikes= They were awful, both in taste and effect. Most are 100% propylene glycol (a medical antimicrobial liquid used in vaporizers like bronchial inhalers and nebulizers) and smoke very harsh on the throat and lungs. They tasted like medicine and weren’t very satisfying. You also could not control the nicotine.
None of these methods gave me the pleasure I get from separating myself from my anxieties, going off alone to reflect and meditate, like the caterpillar sitting on the mushroom. There is something about exhaling a cloud that I find most relaxing.
My half-sister was vaping at my father’s funeral and I talked with her about it. When I got home, I did a few weeks of research. You can get anywhere from 0 mgs nicotine to 24 mgs, if you are over eighteen. Nicotine in and of itself is NOT carcinogenic. It’s the tar of burning something organic, like tobacco, the carbon monoxide, over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins , including substances to make your body quickly absorb the nic, and flame retardants, and so on, found in cigarettes that are harmful.
Vaping gives you:
- Propylene glycol (not Ethylene glycol – which is toxic). Used in asthma inhalers and nebulizers. An experiment using animals determined “air containing these vapors in amounts up to the saturation point is completely harmless”. The USA FDA has classified propylene glycol as “generally recognized as safe”.
- Vegetable glycerol – low toxicity. Used in respiratory medications, cosmetic and food items.
- You can get flavorings, which do have TRACE amounts chemicals, but nobody really knows, according to scientific research, if these will be harmful in any way. There simply is not enough data.
The risks are slim. It’s a risk I am willing to take to get off of analog cigarettes. After just four days vaping, I already feel like a new person. I can breathe, taste, and smell with absolutely no side effects whatsoever. Vapor is not smoke.
There’s a lot of propaganda out there, primarily by Big Tobacco and FDA/gov’t. because of their missed opportunity to tax and make money off of vaping. Children will want to vape for the fruity, sweet flavors (not yet happened, but let’s get everybody scared, I mean, after all, it’s not like adults might like watermelon, peaches, custards, and crème brulee).
Exciting flavors and attractive packaging appeal to everyone, regardless of age. The range of age groups who vape crosses the spectrum, but doesn’t include minors. You’d be surprised how many elderly people love vaping, and love the different flavors they have at their choosing.
The trendy packing will attract young people. Maybe that’s true, but it’s a lot less harmful than smoking or getting wasted on booze. Trends come and go. You can get anywhere from 0 mgs nicotine to 24 mgs nicotine. The young people in the RS’s AA group who vape 0 mg have told me they have no desire to add nicotine to their regimen. Most are former smokers who are weaning themselves down and plan to stop vaping altogether at some point, and that is my objective.
My breath, hair, body, clothes, and back porch smells better already. I can actually smell my Shalimar perfume all day with just a tiny dab in the morning J
If you, or someone you love, would like to quit smoking, click the contact button above and I’ll send you some links, get you started in the wonderfully supportive ecf forum where you can ask questions (or simply lurk) and “meet” other more experienced vapers, and use Google Hang Outs, if you choose to, to connect if you find a good support group, like I have.
I cut out the diet cokes. I was drinking six to eight a day. Way too much caffeine, and now that my taste buds are alive, I don’t even like the taste. I get a bit foggy in the late afternoon, but that’s about the only withdrawal symptom I seem to be having. I’m drinking sparkling water with a hint of flavor and no sugars to get my fizz fix.
Finally, eating better:
I had a salad for lunch with mixed greens, golden raisins, apples, watermelon, blueberries, walnuts, a bit of balsamic vinaigrette, and oil. The melding of fresh flavors and crisp, cool deliciousness had me drooling. I topped it off with a peach vape (instead of a nasty cigarette), and I’m in heaven. I’m looking forward to exploring my once dead palate again.
I can breathe. Did I say that already? Where I was SOB just putting on my shoes a week ago, yesterday, I swam 100 laps in a 36 ft. pool, swept, vacuumed and mopped the entire house, and walked two large blocks around the neighborhood late at night without panting. That felt great!
Dumping the emotional garbage of the last few months, engaging in better lifestyle choices, my muse has returned as of last night. I got deep into what is going to be a kick-ass psycho thriller, I’m certain. Nicotine improves concentration, attention and focus enough to qualify as a cognitive enhancer. And, oh yeah, it’s long been associated with weight loss, with few known safety risks.
Have you kicked the habit? Do you want to? Know someone you’d like to see have a better alternative to smoking? Are you making any positive lifestyle changes? Send me a note if you don’t want to comment (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Oh! I forgot to add, I’m getting a lot more French kisses than I used to get 😉