Zac Anger's Blog

From Smoking to Vaping

22 November, 2017

So, I finally quit smoking. I think it might stick, this time, too.

I've been a smoker for about 12 years, and in the last few years I've probably averaged about a pack and a half a day. I've tried quitting cold turkey, tried Chantix (which was awful), and tried e-cigs years ago when they were a new idea.

This time, I quit by vaping, and I want to talk a little bit about that for people who might be considering doing the same.

Last time I tried e-cigarettes, they were crap. You'd buy disposables at the gas station and hope they lasted more than a day or two. It wasn't significantly cheaper than smoking, and wasn't even slightly satisfying. I think that marred my opinion of smoking replacements for a while.

I bought a vape about a year ago from a friend, but didn't use it much. What I'd seen of vaping so far looked complex and inconvenient. You had to know things like Ohm's Law, and I watched friends build their own coils and talk about organic cotton and all kinds of stuff. I wanted something to help me quit smoking, not a new hobby, so I kind of used that vape until it tasted like crap and then stopped.

This time, I went to a smoke shop and asked for the simplest thing possible. I ended up walking out with a Smok Priv V8 starter kit, extra atomizers, and two bottles of juice. This thing is pretty nice. There's only one button (don't need to care about wattage and voltage), it fills from the top (don't need to take it apart to refill), charges with a standard micro-USB cable, and changing the atomizers is super straightforward. My only complaint with it is that the battery door doesn't stay shut easily. I ended up putting a strip of duct tape across the bottom, and it's fine.

As a sidenote, I actually bought more coils for the vape I'd bought earlier (an iStick 40w with a Kanger subtank mini) and it turns out it's actually very straightforward to operate and maintain, too. I just had a mental block about it.

I've been vaping steadily for about a month now, and haven't had an analog (real cigarette) in about two weeks, and it's mostly been fine. I had quitter's flu a bit, but because I'm still getting some nicotine it wasn't nearly as bad as when you quit cold turkey.

I've also learned a bit about vaping, as I've needed to know it, but it hasn't been an overwhelming amount of stuff to figure out right up front. I found out that juice with high sugar content seems to burn up the cotton in the atomizer more quickly, and juice with a high VG to PG ratio does the same.

I feel a bit better. I still get out of breath when walking quickly for a long time, but not when going up stairs anymore. I think I probably smell better, too. My sense of smell is a little better, and the smell of cigarettes actually grosses me out a bit now.

I'm not trying to put together a "what you need to know" sort of post, but if you're thinking about quitting smoking, I can say that vaping is actually a decent option these days. I didn't take time off work, didn't get the shakes, haven't been seriously sick, and haven't flipped out on anyone. I started on juice at 6mg and am slowly starting to work down to 3 (and then hopefully eventually 0), and it hasn't been a problem. The most difficult thing has been buying stuff online, since I live in Utah and Utah is weird.

I don't really have a good ending to this post. Give vaping a shot. You can get started for less than $50 these days, so why not?

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