Vaping and Relative Self-Improvements

Choice between cigarette and e-cigarette

Choice between cigarette and e-cigarette

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.

Enter vaping.

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:

  •  Nicotine
  • 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.

NEXT:

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.

Exercise:

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!

Writing:

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 (seapeachcove1@gmail.com)

Oh! I forgot to add, I’m getting a lot more French kisses than I used to get 😉

41 thoughts on “Vaping and Relative Self-Improvements

  1. Congratulations on so many positive health changes! Very impressive, especially kicking those cigs. I wish you the best of luck.

    E-cigs are a tough one for public health practitioners. On the one hand, they’re far better than smoking tobacco, and for people who’ve smoked for years, e-cigs may be the only thing that can help them quit. But on the other hand, the number of teens using e-cigs has tripled (a recent report documented the numbers). For them it can be a gateway to cigs. So the jury is still out on whether to promote e-cigs or not, but again, for people who have smoked for years, and they get them to quit, I think that is only a great thing.

  2. Congrats on the victories. Never got into smoking, so I’m kind of lost on some of this. Need to fix the diet thing. Fruits and veggies are just so expensive at the supermarkets and I can’t find a local farmer’s market to get cheap stuff.

  3. Congrats on all the positive changes you are making. I’m a reformed smoker who quit over 20 years ago. Tried multiple methods and finally kicked it cold turkey. What I remember most is that the first three days were utter hell. When day four rolled around I told myself if I picked up a cigarette again I would have to relive those hellish three days all over. Then it was four days, five days, a week and so on. That mind game actually worked for me.

    Stick with it. I have friends who even now are struggling to quit. Kudos to you for taking that step and other positive changes for a healthier life!

    • Thanks Mae. Seems it’s been harder to kick the caffeine than the smokes. Vaping is a good substitute. But about five in the afternoon, I felt so groggy and foggy. I ate supper and went to bed. Just woke up about eight thirty feeling all perky again.

  4. I’m excited that you’re working on a kick-ass thriller! YAY!

    Glad to know you’re vaping as opposed to smoking. And making positive changes regarding diet and exercise. Super news.

    Keep up the good work, Susan. Look forward to reading that new book once it’s finished.

  5. Just wanted to add my support, I switched from cigarettes to vaping just over a year ago and have not felt the need for a cigarette since. I now buy the materials and mix my own as it’s much cheaper than buying premixed and I can get exactly the flavours I want. Right now I’m on sweet raspberry with a touch of tangerine. It’s like smoking your dessert! 😀

    Lungs are as clear as a bell, which I need for my narration.

    • KUdos!!! That makes me so happy. I love the success stories and am doing good. I have thought about picking up a cig twice in four days, but picked up my vaporizer instead. IT was satisfying. I’ve been ordering juice online and stopped by a couple of shops. I am finding the ecf forum people more knowledgeable than the clerks and they have me about ready to mix my own already…lol 🙂 Thanks so much for your support.

  6. I decided I needed to quit smoking twenty years ago and stopped. Good for you for putting them down. I’ll not go into the evils of nicotine since you are a medical person and don’t need to hear them right now. I am especially pleased you have given up the diet cokes. You will now be able to see the advantage of getting your metabolism back into a more normal pattern. Artificial sweeteners are the worst when you want to lose weight. I was 60 pounds overweight and gave up diet beverages plus went on the fit for life diet.Simple version No carbs and proteins eaten together. You want protean?eat only that (salad meat) You want carbs? eat only that (pasta with no meat and bread). Alternate every other day. In addition we gave up beef in any form. I have kept the weight off for 19 years so I know it works. Last thing. Throw in some exercise. Walking a half hour a day is good. Here is rooting for you.

    • Yay! Thanks, John. We don’t eat pork and only lean beef. Have to separate that from carbs though. We eat too much together. Can’t even stand the taste of diet coke now that my taste buds are alive. Planning to wean down the nicotine. I don’t want to do it too fast and feel compelled to pick up a cigarette though. Hopefully I’ll have my self detoxed and my metabolism revved up soon. I desperately need the weight loss.

      • Yeah. I would take care of the weight and let the nicotine be the last thing to go. You could keep going on the weight and try to go 10 or 15 below your target. When you get off nicotine that’s about what it is worth in weight gain.

  7. Sue, keep a journal daily. That way when you get completely off nicotine and lose the weight you want you can turn it into a memoir. I’m sure many, many people would be interested in your journey. Who knows, could be a bestseller. At the very least it’d be very cathartic, and perhaps give you the strength you need on the bad days. Good luck!

  8. I’ve been vaping for almost two years. June 9 will be two years for myself and my husband. We went to the vape shop on Friday afternoon and quit smoking Friday night. Neither of us miss it. But we loooooove vaping 🙂 My doctor and dentist were pleased, as was most everyone in our lives. Once we started, most of our friends did as well. We’re all a lot happier and healthier, but we have all gained a bit of weight!
    I vape 0 and 3 and I don’t vape near as much as I smoked. Feels like I got back a lot of time, energy, and sanity.
    Congratulations!

    • Wow! That’s awesome and such an inspiration for me. My first vaperanniversary is May 13th. It will be one year. I started the DIY ejuices two weeks after I picked up the personal vaporizer and now I’m building coils for a REO that I LOVE. It’s a squonker, a lot like dripping, so full of flavor. My weight has dropped forty pounds…but that’s been d/t a strict diet.

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