When I decided that this had to be the time I actually succeeded in giving up smoking, it was fuelled by a ‘Desire’ to improve my health for the long term. The desire is then superseded by the intention to get in touch with our healthier self, valuable in maintaining the commitment to the idea, and in taking the initial step.
I woke up one morning and decided to remove all temptation, I discarded all smoking paraphernalia from my home to prevent aiding any temptation should a moment of weakness over come me, which consisted of several items: Tobacco, papers, filters, a rolling machine, Nicorette inhalator refills that were never used because they never worked, and finally Honeyrose herbal tobacco, a nightmare in itself. I tried it all over the years, these were just my most recent attempts.
I realize my will power has never been on point, and there is the chances I may find the occasional cigarette appealing – but if I can avoid it, I will. It’s fine, I will forgive myself and begin again, a method that is bringing me much success in various aspects of my life. I feel free already!
I often wonder what people are thinking when they randomly buy E-cigarettes at petrol stations, or in the larger supermarket chains. It is really important to understand what it is you are committing to. Your hard earned cash should mean something to you, since most of us don’t have a lot to spare these days. Let’s also not forget, your body is a temple…so they say.
Buying an E-cigarette/Vapouriser from a specialist shop means you can ask questions and receive informed answers. Simon Field, who owns CCR Vape Bar on West Street in the Hereford city centre with his lovely wife Lisa, gave me a thorough consultation. His patience with the multitude of questions I had for him was most admirable; his shop assistants, Rob, Leon and Brian are just as notable.
MY VAPE KIT
This kit is really crucial for an effective and pleasurable experience. Assuming you are looking for a way to free yourself from the harmful carcinogens in tobacco, you have to take your smoking habits into consideration to allow yourself a smooth transition.
If you smoke 40 cigarettes a day, you won’t be starting with the Vape Juice I am using. I was on an average, a 10 cigarettes a day girl, there were also those times when indulgences were involved, like cocktails…always leading to heavier smoking. No worries, there is a formula for you, and an effective routine that will gradually wean you off the higher nicotine Juice formulas. Anything is better then 40 fags a day!
The vapouriser Simon chose for me is an Athena 20t VW/VV Box Mod. Yes, it’s pink, no worries…it comes in a variety of cool colours, including a sleek silver. It consists of a battery, basically the body. It has an OLED screen that displays voltage, watts and seconds. It also displays battery life, which begins to flash at 5% to inform you it is time to quickly get it charged.
It is a Variable Voltage device, meaning that you can control the Throat Hit, (the sensation you feel in the back of your throat after inhaling) when you adjust the voltage or watts, depending on your preferred vapouriser.
The Plus/Minus keys below the OLED control the watts, which adjust the heat and power produced. I am on 8 watts, perfect for me. I get the hit I need to feel satisfied. It really makes for an easy transition from smoking that icky stuff known as tobacco, (how I could have had such a dysfunctional love affair with the stuff for so long??).
There is a ‘Fire’ button above the OLED that you hold down when taking a hit, and release when finished. Do not hold it down for more then 10 seconds, or the output will shut down.
The OLED screen also displays the seconds. If you inhale for more then 10 seconds, the screen will say ‘more then 10 seconds’, and shutdown the output, as I previously mentioned. The ‘Fire’ button is also the power button. You click it 5 times to turn it On/Off.
Important: Using the Correct Charger
There is a USB port under the Plus/Minus keys, where you can plug in the USB cable that comes with the kit. It is really important people take charging instructions seriously. The reports you hear on the news about E-cigarettes are catching fire is due to being charged on incompatible devices that make them short circuit.
I was told to charge my Athena 20T on the laptop. I am sure there are other options, I am happy with that for now. I will research other methods later…just be certain to ask the person helping you select your vapouriser how to charge it. So important.
The tank on this device is an atomiser, and the mouth piece is a ‘Drip Tip’…it basically keeps the liquid from pouring out in your bag/pocket. There are 2 adjustable air holes that when open, is compatible to a loosely rolled cigarette, and facilitates the inhale. For example, if you rolled a tight cigarette, you would have the same experience with the air holes almost closed – and the opposite with the air holes fully open. I use mine 3/4 open.
The Ingredients in Vape Juice/Liquid
Lastly, the Vape Juice/Liquid combined with the vapouriser that suits you accordingly, is what makes the experience worthwhile. I am using an Element brand 50/50 PG and VG mixture. To educate you a bit more on this subject, I have done my research. I needed to know what I was about to put into my body. It is bad enough I have smoked as long as I have, I didn’t fancy doing more damage.
The Four Main Ingredients in Vape Juice/Liquid:
PG – Propylene Glycol, an organic glycerol, and a petroleum by-product, is used as a flavour suspension liquid…(not to be mistaken with Diethylene Glycol, found in mass market E-cigarettes, the main ingredient in anti-freeze).
VG – Vegetable Glycirin, a flavourless, food grade suspension liquid (99.7% pure and .3% water), sometimes used as an alternative to PG, generally made from palm or coconut oil. VG and PG are sometimes combined to adjust the consistency of the Juice. PG is flavourless, while VG tends to have a sweeter taste, but is thicker and can build up on the coil.
The Flavourings – are food grade as well, and can be artificial or natural. There is a wide range of flavours, there is even a Virginia tobacco flavoured Juice on the market. Switching flavours regularly can turn Vaping into an expensive habit
Pharmaceutical Grade Nicotine – ranges from 0 to 36 milligrams. I started with a 1.2 ml tobacco flavoured juice that has a caramel after taste, and a Pink Lemonade Juice, both made by Element, an American brand. UK brands are also available.
According to an article in the Summer 2015 issue of Vapour Magazine, “The Royal Society for Public Health says – Nicotine by itself is no more harmful then caffeine”
The nicotine in these juices doesn’t fully absorb into the blood stream, and absorbs much slower than the nicotine in cigarettes. According to an article in the Summer 2015 issue of Vapour Magazine, “The Royal Society for Public Health says – Nicotine by itself is no more harmful then caffeine”. Proceed with caution, but be aware that this is the better choice for long term smokers, and a passage way to giving up smoking permanently for many.
My kit retails at £34.99, and the Juices range from £2.50 to £5.00. The coil in the kit needs to be changed bi-weekly. They range from £2.50 for 1 and £8 for 4. This in the long term works out more cost effective than smoking…given you change the coil and don’t plug it into the wrong charging outlet.
There is a 10% fail rate in giving up smoking when you have come over to the Vape side. That is pretty optimistic since I don’t plan on being one of the 10%. In my first week of vaping I am happy to report I crave cigarettes less and less. I am careful not to over vape, so that it is not counter productive. I find it quite easy to manage and rather relaxing.
…Stay tuned for more on the big world of vaping in this series, as I enter deeper into the vape culture.
Note: all views are my own, and any discrepancies fall under my liability. CCR Vape Bar is not liable for any factual errors, or personal opinions. I am merely a student of the vape culture and industry, a determined ex-smoker.