I’m going to begin by saying that I am not a doctor. I have no idea if e-cigarettes are more or less dangerous than smoking and apparently neither does the medical community. I have read many studies concerning e-cigarettes and your health and I must say the results are confusing. Some studies conclude that vaping is better for you than smoking. Others claim that vaping could in fact be worse. Many other studies state that we need more time to study the long term effects of vaping in order to fully understand its effect of the body. With all these conflicting results who really knows what’s the better option. All I can do is offer a layman’s account of what’s happened to me after nearly a year of switching from smoking to vaping.
My foray into e-cigarettes began with a small disposable tank and a basic eGo battery. I was skeptical at first but after trying the patch, the gum, and attempting to quit “cold turkey” I figured it was worth a try. The starter kit only cost me fifty-five dollars so I was not forced to make a large investment right off the bat. I was also happy that I could find the hardware and replacement e-juice right in my home town of Windsor Ontario. I would highly recommend locating an e-cigarette vendor in close proximity to you rather than ordering online. In today’s digital society many people love ordering items online but please heed my warning. When ordering a product online it must be shipped to you. Most shipping companies do not offer a guaranteed date of arrival for their products. Shipments can be delayed from time to time. If you were to place an online order for replacement e-juice and it does not reach you in time, or if you were to lose your current bottle of e-juice, a prime opportunity for returning to cigarettes will be presented to you. I have seen this happen to many people and it is my firm belief that a brick and mortar store is the best place to buy vaping supplies. Not to mention the clerk at the store can offer many helpful hints in regards to operating and maintaining your e-cigarette.
Upon purchasing my starter kit I noticed many benefits to vaping. The first thing I noticed was the significant cost differential between smoking and vaping. With the current unit I own, I pay $13 to run it on a weekly basis. Compare this to the $25 per week I was paying for cigarettes. That’s a difference of $12 a week which is $48 a month and $576 a year. This isn’t just pennies it’s significant savings!
The second benefit I noticed was the taste and selection of different flavours. Most e-cigarette retailers have many different flavours to choose from. These range from different tobacco flavours to desserts, fruits, and even seemingly odd flavours like fruit loops and pizza. There is a flavor for everyone in the vaping world. I personally started out with a fruit punch flavor and after a few weeks I noticed that real cigarettes and even the tobacco e-juices just tasted terrible to me. This means that my sense of taste was returning from my pre-cigarette smoking days. Plus with the large selection of flavours available for purchase I’m never bored with vaping.
The third benefit I noticed was the smell. Everyone knows that cigarette smoking stinks. Your clothes smell, your house smells, your car smells, and pretty much everywhere you smoke smells. E-cigarettes do have a scent but they do not smell like regular cigarettes. The smell that an e-cigarette produces is in direct correlation to what flavor of juice you’re vaping. If you’re vaping a blueberry flavoured e-juice the room will smell like blueberries! Plus the smell from an e-cigarette does not linger. Once the fog clears the smell is gone. This makes e-cigarettes perfect for indoor use (let’s be honest who enjoys going outside in the winter to have a cigarette?).
The fourth benefit I found while vaping is the effect it had on my health. As I mentioned before I’m not a doctor and my research has neither proved nor disproved the health benefits of vaping. Nevertheless after a few weeks of vaping I noticed an improvement in my breathing. My smoker’s cough went away and I stopped coughing up what I used to “lovingly” refer to as lung butter (phlegm). I can now also inhale deeply without coughing and physical activity no longer leaves me gasping for air. Although I am completely unqualified to do so I would claim that vaping has vastly improved my health. Years from now it is a possibility that medical professionals may prove that e-cigarettes are more harmful than traditional cigarettes, but the reality of the situation is presently we just don’t know. When I take a step back and look at the situation through layman’s eyes I would rather choose an option that might be unhealthy (vaping) over an option that I know has proven detriments to my health (smoking). The added bonus of me feeling much better, health wise, makes vaping the top choice for me.
The last benefit that I noticed while vaping is purely the fun of it. When I was smoking I did derive enjoyment out of it but ultimately it was something I needed to do in order to stay sane. The e-cigarette, on the other hand, is something I use purely for enjoyment. An e-cigarette can create much larger clouds of vapour than any traditional cigarette can. The smaller and less expensive units produce smaller amounts of vapour but larger upgraded units can create so much vapour that it can blind you while driving. This can lead to a lot of fun. More vapour allows you to learn and practice smoke tricks much easier and there’s just something inherently memorizing in watching a thick cloud of smoke exit your lungs and mouth. As well, the sensation of the vapour entering and exiting your lungs is the closest sensation to smoking that I have found yet. This is what makes an e-cigarette more appealing to me than the patch or nicotine gum. I also feel like I’m less attached to my e-cigarette than I was to traditional cigarettes. For example: if I forget to take my e-cigarette to work I don’t sweat it. I just pick it up again when I get home. If I had forgotten my pack of cigarettes at home it would have been imperative that I pick up another pack on my way to work if I want to retain my concentration and sanity. After a few months of vaping I noticed that I vape for fun and not out of necessity. It is truly an empowering feeling to break the shackles I had to nicotine.
It would be unfair of me while extolling the virtues of vaping to omit some of the drawbacks I noticed while becoming acquainted with it. Unfortunately e-cigarettes don’t work for everyone. After my father witnessed my success he purchased two e-cigarettes (one for him and one for his girlfriend). Like myself my father found great success and enjoyed the benefits of vaping. His girlfriend did not. She continues to smoke to this day and she did not like using her e-cigarette. It’s important to note that despite many people using e-cigarettes to quit smoking not everyone has success with them. Another hurdle I found in relation to e-cigarettes is related to cravings. If a person chooses to use an e-cigarette they must be committed to putting the pack down for good. While an e-cigarette is great at curbing day to day cravings, early on in my vaping journey I still craved a traditional cigarette in certain situations. These situations were the ones that I would normally get the strongest cravings for a cigarette. For me these were: after eating a large meal and while consuming alcohol. A person who is new to vaping must resist these temptations in order to find success. This means that a new vaper must be serious about quitting smoking or they will succumb to these cravings and ultimately fail in their quest to quit smoking. There are some negatives to vaping, just like there are negatives to any given situation. Fortunately I find that the positives outweigh the negatives which makes me a happy and satisfied vaper.
I wouldn’t say that everyone should try vaping. Certain people don’t enjoy it and it can be ineffective for some. I also wouldn’t say that you shouldn’t try vaping. If you truly want to leave the pack behind and you’ve tried other methods without success why not try vaping? Also, with e-cigarettes available for as low as $25 you won’t have to make a large investment in order to give it a try. There’s no guarantee that you’ll love it but if you do you’ll be exposed to a whole new world with a vibrant sub culture. You really do have nothing to lose.