- Personal Health Information & Self-Help»
Try E-Cigs To Help You Quit Smoking Cigarettes
An online friend introduced my husband to electronic cigarettes in the spring of 2009. The gentleman explained that he had given up smoking and was convinced that electronic cigarettes were the perfect answer for someone wishing to eliminate tar and thousands of other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, but who weren't yet able to kick the addiction to nicotine. Since my husband has long been interested in giving up smoking, he thought this might be an alternative worth looking into. Indeed it has been.
It is important to note that e-cigarettes are not recommended for non-smokers, pregnant women or those under 18. This device still delivers nicotine and should be kept out of the hands of children. It is similar to the nicotine patch or gum in that it delivers nicotine to the user. Most companies offer varying doses of nicotine, you can begin to wean yourself from nicotine by lowering the dosage. It's also important to note that the nicotine delivered is not derived from tobacco.
As always, the decision to switch to e-cigarettes should be an INFORMED decision made by an adult, with the consultation of his/her physician, particularly when other health factors are involved.
You can certainly replace traditional cigarettes entirely with e-cigarettes. This is effectively "quitting smoking". However, if you'd like to eliminate your dependency on nicotine, you can do that as well by lowering the nicotine levels in your e-juice. Over time, e-cigarettes can sometimes lower your dependency on nicotine to a point where you can find that you can give it up entirely.
What is an Electronic Cigarette?
The electronic cigarette, also known as the e-cig, was first developed in China just a few years ago. It is widely popular in Europe and increasingly popular in the United States.
An electronic cigarette is a handheld electronic device similar in size and shape to either a cigarette, ballpoint pen, or a screwdriver that utilizes a battery and atomizer to deliver nicotine to the user in the form of a vaporized solution of water, nicotine, glycerin or propylene glycol and flavoring. When the user puffs on the cigarette tip it activates the atomizer and the user inhales the vapor mixture and is able to exhale vapor resembling smoke. The process is referred to as vaping rather than smoking.
The size and shape you chose will depend on your personal preferences. Don't be surprised if your personal preferences change as you experiment with them. Initially, my husband thought it was ideal to have the e-cig look and feel like a real cigarette. However, he now realizes the advantages to having it look like a pen or a screwdriver. I'll explain in a moment.
The Traditional Real Cigarette Look: This e-cig looks like a real cigarette. It is white with a golden brown filter and the tip glows red (via an L.E.D. light) when you puff the cigarette and the vapor released looks like real smoke. To anyone looking at you, they would assume you are smoking a regular cigarette.
The Non-Traditional Real Cigarette Look: This e-cig looks like a real cigarette except for color and the L.E.D. light. This e-cig comes in various colors such as black or titanium and the L.E.D. light comes in colors such as blue, green or white.
The Pen Style Look: This e-cig looks like a ballpoint pen and has a tapered mouthpiece. These also come in either black or titanium and come with different color lights or sometimes no light at all. As time goes by, more and more colors are becoming available.
The Screwdriver Look: This e-cig looks like a small screwdriver. This style utilizes a larger battery to increase the life of the e-cig between charges. This type is often referred to as a "Mod". The mods often use higher voltage.
Advantages of Vaping over Smoking
- No tar, harmful toxins, or carbon monoxide as found in traditional cigarettes
- No more second-hand smoke to worry non-smokers around you
- No lighters needed, non-flammable
- No ashtrays needed, no ash or butts to dispose of
- No smoke, only vapor
- Allows you to get your nicotine fix in places smoking is not allowed, no more going outside to smoke
- Less expensive than traditional cigarettes
- Will hopefully allow cheaper insurance rates since you're no longer a tobacco user
- Improved health without the tar and toxins
- Improved self-esteem by losing the stigma of being a smoker, you're now a non-smoker
- No more burnt holes in carpet, clothing, sofas
- No more smokey-smelling clothes or hair
- Fresher breath
Where Can They Be Bought?
There are numerous of online sources for e-cigarettes and their prices vary greatly. Their shipping times vary greatly as well. I would not recommend ordering outside of your own country. Many people are experiencing delays at customs. Try to locate a supplier near you for best results. We have found a supplier in Texas (JantyUSA's link is below) that has provided great customer service and quick deliveries. If you are interested in having wide-spread availability in your area, tell your local tobacco shops about e-cigarettes and it may entice them to order them. In larger cities, they can be found in kiosks in the mall.
Before you buy: Before purchasing your first e-cigarette, think about what it is you enjoy about smoking. Are large plumes of smoke important to your experience? Is it the throat hit? Is it the taste? Is it important to see the 'flame' light up as you take a puff? Do you want to appear to still be a smoker by having something that looks like a real cigarette? Would you rather be more discreet and carry something that looks nothing like a cigarette?
Read and/or join the E-cigarette forum. You can find so much valuable information there from people who have been using these products for just a few hours to a year or so, and even the from the suppliers themselves. My husband posts there under the user name "Nicotine". These people are serious about their e-cigarettes. Many of them own multiple models from multiple companies. Many of them post how many hours/days they have been tobacco-free and how much money it has saved them.
Visit YouTube for all the videos about e-cigarettes. A gentleman by the name of Leaford is probably best known for his reviews of various models and he has negotiated discounts with many companies if you use him as a referral. Leaford has lots of YouTube reviews where you can see what his recommendations are. Please read the comments section on his videos since he sometimes discovers a better model than the one he just reviewed. Another popular reviewer is Grim Green.
Our Experience So Far
After conducting quite a bit of research online, my husband placed an order with a U.S. company online. Within just a few days he received his first e-cig. It was the traditional cigarette style. It looked amazingly like a real cigarette. After charging the batteries, he tried his first puff. We were shocked by the amount of vapor that it released how much it resembled smoke but without the smell. I was able to detect a slight fragrance, but it was pleasant. It smelled similar to roasted marshmallows. It had a sweet, yet caramelized smell to it. He experienced a good throat hit with the nicotine and it held all of the sensations he expected as a smoker. However, based on our research beforehand, we felt that the e-cig we purchased was not performing optimally battery-wise and contacted the company for a refund. They exhibited great customer service and have sent us a replacement model that is far superior and my husband is quite pleased with it.
We also ordered a pen-style from another company and have been very pleased with their customer service as well. We have found that another supplier for the nicotine juice. The cartridges on most of the e-cigs can be reused by "topping off" using the drip method. There are tons of videos about this method and it's simple to do. You need to make sure you understand the dripping method before you try it so that you don't ruin your atomizer or the battery. The flavors my husband has experimented with are: Cola, Tennessee Cured, Cherry, Licorice, Hawaiian Coffee, Cool Mint, Sweet Strawberry, Peach Cobbler, Chocolate Almond Decadence, as well as some generic flavors designed to simulate Marlboro cigarettes. He was the least impressed with the mint and Marlboro ones. So far, his favorite seems to be the Cherry and the Peach Cobbler.
Controversy & the Hope of a Celebrity Endorsement
I'm not big on controversy, or even glorifying it by talking about it. However, you should be aware that there are some people that feel that electronic cigarettes should be banned. You can bet the leading tobacco companies will not be too keen on seeing the e-cig succeed. They are a powerful lobbying group. There are also some health professionals that would prefer the smoker to quit entirely, and they feel that switching to a nicotine replacement isn't really solving much.
From my own personal experience, I hope they continue to be offered and that the competition will improve the quality and price. If you're a smoker, or care about someone who is, I'd highly recommend you research the benefits of switching to electronic cigarettes if quitting smoking has been an obstacle in the past.
I also think as more people are aware of them, they will be more widely accepted. Having influential people making the switch helps as well. David Icke, and English "truth seeker" has published pictures on his website of Leonardo DiCaprio smoking an electronic cigarette. Since President Barack Obama is a smoker, I think it would be fanastic if he were to make the switch to electronic cigarettes!
Katherine Heigl on Letterman Smoking an E-Cig
- Are E-Cigarettes Really Better For Your Health? Is This The Death Of Big Tobacco? - ADP Health Insig
The use of electronic cigarettes has skyrocketed over the past 12 months. Creators and product users now say you can enjoy a cheaper healthier cigarette