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How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

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How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Endo Rockstar » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:32 am

So I’m going to put this out there because people have been showing a lot of interest in my e-cigarette when I’m out and about.

I quit smoking a while back, but like a lot of people, my will power sucks when it comes to cigarettes. Nicotine and more specifically the act of smoking was more than I could kick on my own. So, I’m going to break this down into a few posts, but I’ll walk you through my experience with e-cigarettes and vaping in general. I’m going to put a disclaimer on this whole thing by saying, I don’t necessarily think e-cigarettes and vaping are a healthier alternative to smoking, but it does have some benefits that made it worthwhile to me.

Lets start with what you’re “vaping”. Flavored nicotine fluid, commonly referred to as “juice,” is a combination of Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, Nicotine Extract, and an added Flavoring. Propylene Glycol (wiki), is a food additive (among other less appetizing things *cough antifreeze) and has not shown signs of being a carcinogen. It has health risks in large doses, and some people have reported a mild allergic reaction to it (most juice vendors will tailor your percentage of Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin if you ask). Vegetable Glycerin or Glycerol wiki is another food additive used to dilute nicotine and produce the “smoke” you see when you’re vaping. Once again, its considered fairly safe for human consumption, but there is still a lack for research for using it as an inhalant. Nicotine extract is fairly self explanatory. Most people buy their juice premixed and flavored but some people prefer to mix their own juices and buy nicotine extract in various strengths – usually notated in mg/ml. For example a “high” strength juice might be advertised as a “36mg” fluid. Meaning there is 36 mg of nicotine in each milliliter of fluid. For the record most fluids with levels this high will knock your socks off. A Marlboro Red cigarette has about 1.2 mg of nicotine. So a pack is only about 24 mg. There are some devices that make it really easy to vape through a ml of liquid in an hour or less so its easy to over do it if you’re not careful. A personal recommendation is if you’re trying to get over the hump of smoking, start with an 18mg fluid. It’s enough to get you through the cravings. You’ll probably overdo it at some point, but it’s really no worse than being really jacked up on caffeine. The flavors in juice you’ll find are FDA approved food additives/flavorings. Once again, they are approved for consumption, but the long-term effect of inhaling them has still to be seen.

I vape a few different flavors. Mostly, I stick with the tobacco realm of flavors as a lot of the menthol, the sweet, the spicy (think cinnamon), and the baked goods (yup, seriously – there’s a banana bread flavor that would be impressive if it weren’t so overwhelmingly pungent) aren’t my cup of tea. I currently vape 0mg of nicotine but as I was reducing my intake I started with a 24mg American Red Label tobacco flavor and worked my way down to zero mg. I also like a French Pipe flavor that’s a consistent favorite of mine. Now I have a about 6 different flavors in my kit, even some coffee flavors and an “Ecto Cooler Kool-Aid” flavor that even though its not something I vape often, its kind of fun sometimes. Its hard to recommend flavors though, because everyone’s taste is different.

Next up: the things that make the vapor.

Dan Motor
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Mad Howler » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:35 am

Dan,

1) This north central boy wishes you well in kicking the butts.
2) I kicked the butts many years back with the aid of a product named after a city in Denmark.
3) I am definitely having trouble kicking the replacement. I dropped it for a couple of weeks last summer and felt like shit, so I went straight to the gas station to resume.
4) Wagg's please weigh in here and let me know how things have worked out. In my googling (several months back) about the Swedish stuff I caught some interesting posts of yours.
5) I like the stuff named after the city in Denmark, why does the kiddy/fruity stuff cost roughly half as much? Must be something to do with freedom or, maybe, a bunch of slippery corporate whores with a strict play book that occupy our state legislature.
MH
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Ned Flanders » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:04 pm

You've quit smoking, but have you quit toking?
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Endo Rockstar » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:07 pm

Cartomizers vs. Atomizers

Next up you get decide how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. The device you choose to vaporize your fluid is completely subjective and you’ll read and hear people swearing by specific products in overwhelming numbers. If you break it down their simplest differences you’ll have two options: either a “cartomizer,” or an “atomizer” setup. Both use a coil hooked up to a power source to vaporize your fluid. The main difference is a cartomizer’s coil is buried in a metal tube that’s stuffed with wadding to act as a wicking material. The juice is soaked up by the wadding and coil heats up to vaporize the fluid. An atomizer has a similar coil but instead of being buried in a tube of wadding, the coil is exposed and wraps around a wick. The wick is dipped into a tank of fluid which is transported by the wick to the coil to be vaporized.

The setups like the “Blu” Brand electronic cigarettes and the ones you buy at the mall are cartomizer systems. Most people who have been vaping for any length of time generally think these “disposable” cartomizers are crap. I wouldn’t go that far, but they’re definitely entry level, and force you to rely on buying prefilled cartomizers from the company (which in the case of Blu, happens to be Philip Morris –huzzah!)

Full disclosure, most people who get into vaping start with one of these setups, myself included. They’re simple, effective, and you don’t have to put much effort into learning how to use them. More often than not their size and shape mimics a cigarette so they make an easy transition for a smoker. The biggest drawback for them is the cartomizers aren’t designed to be refilled easily and the battery life sucks. Once people realize these drawbacks but want to continue vaping they’ll usually make the jump to some sort of refillable option.

-Dan Motor
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Endo Rockstar » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:08 pm

Ned Flanders wrote:You've quit smoking, but have you quit toking?


i don't understand what you're asking.

-Dan Motor
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Endo Rockstar » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:38 pm

I’ve used 4 different setups to get to the point where I’ve found a happy medium of ease of use and a good vape. As I stated before, I started with a “Blu” disposable cartomizer system. It worked okay but its biggest advantage is the replaceable cartos are available at walgreens for about $14.99 per package of 5. They’re a good entry level product but don’t produce a great vapor and having to throw away and replace the cartridges was annoying to me.

Next up I bought a small “tank system” that uses a separate refillable juice tank which is attached to a reusable atomizer. Here’s the actual product I bought. Its still roughly cigarette shaped, but had a better battery and charging system than the Blu. The biggest advantage was the little refillable tanks. This meant I could buy 30ml of juice at a time and refill my tanks whenever I needed to. This was the system that got me over the hump of smoking.

I liked the tank style systems but I found myself running out of juice a little too often and the battery life of my first tank system left a lot to be desired. I was going through about 2 batteries a day and 4 or 5 tanks of fluid. I decided to opt for more battery life and a bigger tank. this tank system was amazing to me when I first got it. It had a manual battery rather than an automatic and the battery life lasted all day. I still was going through 1.5-2 tanks of fluid, but having a battery that didn’t need to be recharged until I slept was huge. It was with this setup, that I reduced my nicotine intake to zero. I also started playing with different flavors and vendors of e-juice at this point. The reason I finally moved away from this system was the tank setup was a little messy to fill and clean. Also the atomizers really only had a usable life span of about 2 weeks and they weren’t as cheap as some other products out there.

My current setup is by far my favorite. Its called a Vivi Nova but generic versions of the same idea are called clearomizers. It’s basically a atomizer that sits in a refillable tank of juice. It works on the Ego style batteries which came with my previous tank system and it holds a ton on juice, more than enough for a day. Awesome vape, and all the parts are inexpensive and easy to replace.

Battery choices up next.

PS I realize this is probably boring as shit to most people. especailly non-smokers or smokers who have no interest in quitting.....but hey, at least its not Ukrainian spam!

Dan Motor
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby massimo » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:25 pm

No, please continue, this is great information. Thanks for taking the time to share!

Edit: 1500th post!!
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Ducatista » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:54 pm

What massimo said. Thanks for posting, Endo. I'm an indifferent smoker—can go through a pack in a night under the right circumstances, but can also go months without even thinking about smoking. I am fond of the ritual, though, and I'd love to have something to "smoke" while I'm steeping in secondhand cigar smoke at Maduro.

I think I'll try a Blu disposable single (no replacement cartridges), which I've heard produces more vapor than the regular system, and might be just the thing for a casual smoker like me. They're a Wisconsin company, aren't they?

And: Happy 1500th, massimo!
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:18 pm

As I always kinda suspected, turns out e-cigs aren't nearly as harmless as the manufacturers wanted everyone to believe. It just took some time for the science to catch up to the emerging technology.

Posted not as discouragement, just for informational purposes.

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-me ... cigarettes

The money quote:
As vaping is still fairly new, there just has not been enough time to do the necessary long-term studies regarding health risks. Though these early studies do hint that e-cigs are a better option than traditional smoking, that isn’t really saying a lot, because cigarettes are pretty terrible. Even if vaping is better than smoking, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. As its popularity continues to grow, it is important to understand the full risk associated with vaping for both the user and those exposed to the vapor secondhand.
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Endo Rockstar » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:18 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:As I always kinda suspected, turns out e-cigs aren't nearly as harmless as the manufacturers wanted everyone to believe. It just took some time for the science to catch up to the emerging technology.

Posted not as discouragement, just for informational purposes.

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-me ... cigarettes

The money quote:
As vaping is still fairly new, there just has not been enough time to do the necessary long-term studies regarding health risks. Though these early studies do hint that e-cigs are a better option than traditional smoking, that isn’t really saying a lot, because cigarettes are pretty terrible. Even if vaping is better than smoking, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. As its popularity continues to grow, it is important to understand the full risk associated with vaping for both the user and those exposed to the vapor secondhand.


Uf-da-- careful of that study, Prof -- I have a feeling its the same one that's been making the rounds on the interwebs and has been heavily debated as to its legitimacy due to the sources of e-liquids they tested. I'll google-fu it tonight.

Regulation of e-liquids and e-cigs is coming -- hopefully to the advantage of the industry (there are far to many, "juice companies," that are just some dude mixing liquids in the basement as opposed to sterile lab environment with certified ingredients).

Dan Motor
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:39 pm

Endo Rockstar wrote:Uf-da-- careful of that study, Prof
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "that study", given that this link refers to multiple studies -- and I most definitely did exactly zero followup research, so I'm not putting this out there as hard facts. I simply saw the link on FB, remembered this thread, and relayed it here. I Fucking Love Science is a reliable source for well-established science, but yeah, they're often as guilty as anyone of relaying new information uncritically. But given that long before I'd ever heard of an e-cig, I've always assumed that inhaling anything that wasn't air was probably not good for your lungs (well, helium's probably ok :)), I was by no means surprised when I saw the headline. So sorry if I came off too strong in my opening statement -- I did make a point of highlighting the conclusion of the article, which clearly says there simply hasn't been time for long-term studies to be done on the health effects of e-cigs yet. But the flipside of that is, as also stated in my link, that there've been no studies demonstrating the safety of e-cigs, either. They just kinda showed up on the market with assurances from their manufacturers about their safety, a phenomenon which inspires me with exactly zero confidence. The fact is, nobody really knows if and how harmful these things are.

All that said, I did give them a try for a while in order to hopefully kick the smoking habit. It didn't work for me at all, but I was willing to take the risk myself, and I'm not here to tell anyone else they shouldn't do likewise.
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Re: How Dan Motor quit smoking -- Sort of....

Postby Endo Rockstar » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:16 am

haha, no worries prof, you didn't come across too strong at all -- there have been a couple of "studies on facebook" making the rounds over the past year or so with some very questionable methods and results. OveralI I think that research looking into the effects of electronic cigarettes is extremely beneficial.

I want to make it clear, I really am not a vaping evangelist, and I think promoting vaping as a "healthy" alternative to smoking is short sighted and bound to result in backlash. I will say from my personal experience I think its healthier than smoking (granted that isn't saying much).

To address some of the concerns about some of the nastier chemicals in vapor, one of the resident chemists on r/electronic_cigarette posted some perspective here

Cigarettes are bad for you, vaping is probably less bad for you and severely limits second hand exposure (to almost zero). I picked my poison (along with bourbon, rye, beer, soda, pizza, and cheez wiz).

-Dan Motor
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