Thursday, September 05, 2013

Day 50 of not Smoking

Today should be a day of celebration since it has been 50 days since I last smoked a cigarette (I guess I’ll have a gin & tonic tonight for a change ho ho). Casting back over my previous blog posts I’ve decided to sum up some of my thoughts and on things I’ve learned and on the effects upon me.

Let’s start with health since that is the main reason for quitting the weed. In a previous post a mentioned how horrified I was to count the number of asthma inhalers I had accumulated in my bedside drawer. I had so many because, obviously, I needed them: I was taking a few puffs when going to bed, sometimes in the night because of breathing difficulties, sometimes in the morning too. Very occasionally I needed them during the day. The sheer number I have is due to me shuttling back and forth between here and Crete over the last six years. Here those inhalers cost a prescription charge of about £8 and first require a visit to the doctor to get them prescribed. Of course I never wanted to go to the doctor because he or she would inevitably ask me about my smoking… Anyway, out in Crete they can be bought for about €3 over the counter from the pharmacist so, of course, I was buying them out there and bringing them back, and never remembering how many I had here when doing the buying. Now I don’t use them. During the first couple of weeks of quitting I took the occasional pull, but since then I haven’t even had reason to think about the things.


My skin has improved. Many years back I suffered from acne rosacea and for many years took pills to control it. As, over the years, these pills lost their effectiveness, this rosacea transformed into some form of dermatitis, the spottiness moving out from my nose to my cheeks and where my sideburns would be if I had any. I also had spots on my scalp, shoulders and upper back. These always turned itchy in the middle of the night, and I would end up scratching them before awake enough to stop myself. It was so bad, in fact, that Caroline bought dark material pillow-cases just for me to disguise the blood. In the past I’ve gone through various phases thinking it was the sun that aggravated this, it was skin mites or it was my drinking, or that I needed to take this vitamin or that. Now, having given up smoking for 50 days, I don’t have a single itchy spot on my face or my scalp. All I have is a persistent one on one shoulder, which even now seems to be healing up. In fact the skin on my face now feels tough – like a won’t be able to inadvertently put my nail through it. Oh, and on the subject of nails: my fingernails no longer look as dry and dull.      


My general health has also improved. I can think of no better way of putting it than that I feel younger. I don’t feel sluggish all the time any more. I’m not perpetually tired and don’t look upon the next job I have to do with a sinking sensation and the urge to avoid it. However, I have to add that I do have my moments. My sleep patterns still haven’t properly stabilized and this does lead to me getting sand-bagged by Morpheus at odd times. Then again, because I wasn’t sleeping I got hold of some Nytol, Sominex and some Melatonin. These, I’ve now decided, are worse than insomnia. Yes they’ll help you to get to sleep, but they’ll also help you feel sleepy throughout the following day.

On rereading my previous posts I realise that I posted a lot during the initial weeks and there talked mostly about the NRT – the number of posts I was doing waning as I took up with the electronic cigarette. The reason for this is simple: my concentration was back and I was able to get on with some editing. Therefore, though I have written some, I haven’t written enough about my e-cig: my Kanger protank and Evod battery. Yes, the nicotine gum, the inhalator and the microtabs helped, but all these did was replace missing nicotine and, as all smokers are aware, smoking is not only about the nicotine. Well, maybe I could have quitted cigarettes just using that conventional NRT, but it is the e-cig that has made it easy. In fact it has made it so easy that I hesitate here over the words ‘I’ve quit smoking’.


This hesitation, I guess, all comes down to some erroneous associations that really need to be quashed. The e-cig crowd are getting there with the new words vapers, vaping, a vape etc, but the description that really needs to be changed is ‘electronic cigarette’. Perhaps I should make a point from now on of describing the thing I use as a vaporiser. Another association that needs to be lost is that of the addiction to nicotine with smoking itself. In the minds of many, as I have discovered, nicotine is A BAD THING. Well yes it was, when the only way you could get it into your system was by burning tobacco leaves. These vaporisers have now changed the paradigm and, to finish on an sfnal note, all the anti-smokers out there who want to ban these devices seem to be suffering from a form of future shock.

Happy vaping! 

33 comments:

daniel ware said...

Glad you're feeling better, I guess the ancillary effects of smoking are often overlooked but quite important to well-being.

bascule said...

I was just having a fiddle with a spare coil to see how easy it was to open up for cleaning. I realised I have spare coils, a spare (cheapo) battery, but just the one tank. I hate not having redundancy, so I'm going to get a spare. Do you have a spare? Or do you have a back=up ecig to cover breakage/loss of your tank?

Have you tried covering one of the airholes on your breather ring, I find if I put a finger over one of the holes, I get a slighty harder draw, but a huge amount of vapour with a strong "throat".

I think I'm on day 43 of "Quit with Asher". Thanks for the push, I'd still be smoking otherwise.

All the best to Caroline, my wife is having a big Op on the 30th. Looking forward to Jupiter War is helping keep my mind of it.

Neal Asher said...

Daniel, they're not that overlooked. I've seen plenty about how it ages the skin, rots the teeth (a lie because the opposite applies) etc ... but then I've seen that on the packets, which you don't get to see!

Bascule, there are numerous video clips about cleaning the atomisers. I recently bought 5 more (they're discounted to £1.89 each on that site I used if you buy 5 and above). What I do with those that are getting a bit ... blocked, is stick them in a jar of soapy water, sluice them about, put them to dry out, then dry-burn them (you'll find a video clip about that too). No, I don't have a spare tank but I do have a Vapestick kit I can always resort too. Thinking about buying an original full-sized Kanger protank (not the mini).

bascule said...

This one looks interesting.

I also use a cotton bud with Isopropyl alcohol to keep the battery head nice and clean.

Neal Asher said...

Very similar by the looks of it. Y'know we're getting all nerdy about this don't you?

bascule said...

Yeah, I know, I won't be fully satisfied till I've got at least 3 fully working vapes with spare coils and gallons of e-liquid. I'm the same with anything vaguely techy.

Neal Asher said...

Uhuh, I need wire and wick now since there's a vid for rebuilding the atomisers we're using. And of course those gallons of e-liquid.

luagha said...

On the topic of melatonin:

If it makes you sleepy the next day, you're taking too much.

I've found that for me, even being 250+lbs, all I need is 200 micrograms. Usually the pills are 103 milligrams!

Kirby Uber said...

" I don’t feel sluggish all the time any more. I’m not perpetually tired and don’t look upon the next job I have to do with a sinking sensation and the urge to avoid it. "
--- this. exactly this. 8) right on, in my experience.

Neal Asher said...

luagha, my sleep patterns are starting to settle now so I think the pills can stay where they are in a drawer.

Kirby, the transition from wheezy old coot to vigorous old coot.

Sandra Louise said...

Congratulations on your achievement!

I have a 6ml tank that I use. I started with a 3ml tank after I stopped using the prefilled cartos.

The 3ml lasts just about all day, but with the 6ml I only have to refill every other day.

I'm a quite heavy vaper and go through quite a bit of liquid and order about 60ml about once a month.

I've moved up to the heavy duty high voltage batteries that keep up with me and only have to be recharged once a day. I've got several of them and cycle through them.

What I'm getting at is if you keep up with this, you'll end up with a lot of gear.

And while the cost is not inconsequential, it is much less than buying all those "cancer sticks" and their supporting paraphernalia like asthma inhalers, sleep aids and assorted other drugs. Then of course there are other cost avoidances like not buying lighters and ashtrays and having to replace the cigarette burned clothing.

I've been vaping for a bit over a year and while I've thought about cutting down by stepping down the nicotine strength, to zero, I'm not really inclined to. Vaping has replaced the cigarette habit with something that is similar in process that satisfies me.

Whatever your outcome, Neal, I hope you never go back to smoking.

I'm addicted to reading your stories! A bit of a selfish reason there, but so be it!

Neal Asher said...

Sandra, can you provide a link or two to the bigger batteries and tanks you use.

Yes, those other costs. In a bowl here I have about twenty or so lighters, while in Crete I have possibly more than that. And yes, you reminded me about the clothing! The amount of times I've worn a T-shirt I liked just a couple of times only to find a hole burned through it...

Sandra Louise said...

Here is the link to the site that I use:

http://www.vapor4life.com/electronic-cigarette-batteries

I currently use the 1100ma Dial-A-Volt battery at the 4.8 volt setting.

I really like these folks because they are located in Chicago where I live so the turnaround on orders is just a couple of days.

Also they are very good people and have a wonderful staff. I get all of my juice from them as well. They have quite a selection of flavors and strengths.

And their prices are about on par with other sites that I've researched.

Also their customer service is top notch. So far they've never gotten an order wrong. And one time I got a bum battery and I called them about it and I received the replacement *the very next day!* Wonderful people, really.

Also if you buy more than $100 of stuff, they drop in a surprise like a couple of cartos or extra tips for the tanks. So sweet.

Enjoy!

Sandra Louise said...

Almost forgot...

Here is the link to their tanks:
http://www.vapor4life.com/e-liquid-tanks

Neal Asher said...

Heh, thanks Sandra, but I'm in England. I'll have to check locally, though on initial looks the stuff is very expensive here.

Neal Asher said...

When I say stuff I mean the battery mods (?)

Sandra Louise said...

I know you're across the pond and all, and they do ship internationally.

But custom duties/delays and dollar/pound issues could be a problem.

I've also used the Joytech EGO batt and had good luck with them. Here is a site local to you that sells joytech:

http://www.ukecigstore.com/e-cigarettes/joyetech

And another site located in England:

http://www.theelectroniccigarette.co.uk/products/joyetech-ego-c-2-products.html

I could do some more digging, but I'd need a couple more specifics of what you like in the way of vaping. More "throat", strength of nicotine, vapor production all are factors.

What I use is a dual coil 1.5 ohm cartomizer with a battery that produces 3.8 volts or higher. Lower ohms/higher voltage produces more vapor and "throat" but at the cost of battery endurance so a higher ma battery lasts longer. Ohms law at work, I love it!

Also the various juices will have a different flavor at higher voltages. I'm a menthol girl and the menthol has a different less fruity flavor at higher settings. I assume it's because the the coil produces a higher temperature.

Sorry, I'm a bit of a geek on this stuff.

Battery mods like this one and those like it can set you back:

http://www.vapor4life.com/v4l-omgvv-handle

You have to buy the handle and then the battery/charger and of course you need more than one battery...

I'm not really into that stuff. Mostly because that is a little too much fooling around when all you really want to do is vape. Also the digital displays and extra control circuitry add unneeded complexity and cost. Also from some of the stuff I've read, they aren't really as durable as a simple battery / tank combo.

Neal Asher said...

Sandra, after tasting the difference between two batteries (without adjustment) my Evod battery, which was good http://www.shopecigarette.co.uk/accessories/batteries/Evod-Battery
and this one which ain't so good
http://www.shopecigarette.co.uk/accessories/batteries/VV-Battery-900mAh I've ordered myself one of these http://www.vaperone.co.uk/vision_vv_spinner_1100mah_batteries/p1365275_6439625.aspx

Sandra Louise said...

Neal:

The Kanger EVOD is similar to the EGO battery. I dug up a little bit about it and it is 650ma at 3.7 volts.

The Young June EGO battery is a variable voltage batt with a max output of 3.7 volts at 900ma. If the flavor or vapor production was thin, it may have been set at a lower voltage. While it is called an EGO battery, it is not an EGO (or E-GO) from Joytech. The manufacturer is Young June. It is an EGO type battery.

The Vision VV Spinner is a 1300ma variable volt battery that has settings for 3.3 to 4.8 volts. It is identical to my Dial-A-Volt battery. Interestingly your link indicated it would point to the 1100ma battery, but the 1300ma battery came up. I'm assuming that you ordered the 1300ma battery. That site doesn't seem to have an 1100ma battery for sale.

I'm very satisfied with my DAV. I run it at the highest voltage. The vapor production is great and has a good flavor. The flavor of various juices is different at the higher voltages. I presume it is because the coil gets hotter. I've heard that some flavors may have a burnt taste at the higher voltages also. Each persons taste is different, of course. I think you will enjoy it.

Also, I noticed that the website was recommending a safety bag when charging. As you may know, all ecig batteries are lithium-ion and require an special charger/regulator to prevent overcharging. If the regulator fails or is bypassed then the battery could overheat and in extreme cases catch fire.

There have been some notable news stories about exploding e-cig batteries and have brought safety issues into the whole e-cig debate as well.

I think much of this is due to the charger. Some chargers put out as much as 480ma. This reduces charging time, but could lead to overheating. I have several different chargers and the lowest rated one is 110ma and takes almost 10 hours to recharge my 1100ma DAV's. I have a 420ma USB charger that charges up the 1100ma battery in about 3 hours. I've noticed that when I use the USB charger, the battery is usually slightly warmer than skin temperature. I've never had any problems with charging any of my batteries, but I take them off the charger once they are fully charged.

Another interesting point, most batteries sold, regardless of brand, all come from a small number of manufacturers in China. So if you are looking for information about a particular battery you can usually go to different sites or to the manufacturer site itself. Though I've found that the manufacturer sites usually don't put as much description about the battery on the site as you find on the seller sites.

-Sandy

Neal Asher said...

Sandra, it is the 1300 I've ordered. And thanks for all the info!

Neal Asher said...

Oh yes the Vision VV Spinner battery is bloody excellent!

Sandra Louise said...

I'm glad you like it. It is right on point for me too!

Atmos said...

Wow how you made it possible that is very appreciable thing, I have used herbal vaporizers to stay out of this habit.

Vaporizers said...

Wow congratulation great work you have done, infact is is also possible by using the vaporizer device easily.

randy cox said...

Cheers Neal!
Really impressed with all your dedication to quit smoking. To be frank, i was a chain smoker and undergone many surgeries. As it is hard to quit completely, now Electronic cigarettehas become an aid of healthy smoking.

randy cox said...

Very interesting blog to read. However i have an objection to quit smoking completely when one has got a healthy way of smoking. i.e Electronic Cigarette

Atmos said...

It is really tough job to quit smoking but to stay healhty smoking has to be given away. My friend did it by using the herbal vaporizer.

Iqbal Hossain said...

wow....useful tips for me because I'm not so able to do make up! :) you're so precious!
http://quitnsmoking.blogspot.com/

Amy Blackson said...

The one great method to quit smoking is using of e cigs because it contains no nicotine and thus stop the urges of smoking. And by smoking e cigs it gives feel like real smoking and then slowly you will feel like leaving.
Buy best electronic cigarette online.

John Halpert said...

i agree with vaporizing. its the smartest and healthiest way to smoke nowadays. read more about it here: http://blog.smokazon.com/

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skunkhouse said...

Nice post and great discussion,
some of smoke accessories are helpful in quitting smoking

Anderson Sweden said...

Try new things. Keep your hands and mind busy.Feeling of being cooped up are normal. You miss your old friend your cigarettes who used to go everywhere you used to go. Go for a short walk, go swimming, bike riding. Keep yourself physically and mentally busy.I have helped myself in the past to achieve my goal of being a happy non-smoker in the same way.