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(And Open Thread, but that won't fit in the title.  Don't feel you need to restrict the subject to e-cigs!)

GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are quitting or even just thinking of quitting, please join us! We kindly ask that politics be left out.  

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This diary is a bit of a pause in the middle of the item explanation to explain a few of the differences between e-cigs and smoking, and also how to use all the fancy new stuff you just got (plus some warnings).  I'll spare a word for battery lifespan improvements and best-usage as well.

These Aren't Waterproof!

On the surface, this sounds like a ridiculously obvious statement.  After all, neither was your lighter or cigarette pack.  The difference here is that one mistake can ruin a battery that would have served you for months yet.

This also has to do with the fact that, unlike your cigarette, this has a liquid-filled cartomizer or other device at the end of it.  Those can leak, and sometimes do, and that fluid flowing into the battery can kill it.  Always keep an eye out for leaks and remove the cartomizer or tank if a leak becomes apparent.

Single-drop leaks from a cartomizer or tank can simply be swabbed away.  These generally won't damage your battery, and almost all batteries are leak-resistant.

If your device does get wet, you can place it in front of a fan or in a bag of dried rice until it's thoroughly dry, then try it.

So What's This Stuff?

The most basic kit will include:

*  Your battery or batteries.  They're long and skinny (in most cases) and probably heavier than you thought they'd be.

*  A charger.  For cigarette look-alikes, this tends to be a small device that plugs in and has a screw at the other end (chargers are sometimes two-piece with a USB connection between the plug-in and charger).  To charge your electronic cigarette, simply screw the battery onto the charger.  In most cases, the tip will light while charging and go out when charging is complete.

Other chargers are common, however, so consult your manual if you have any questions!

*  Liquid delivery device, in most cases a cartomizer for a new user.  This is about the size of a cigarette filter, and has a screw tip on one end and a plastic insert at the other.

*  Manual, warranty, and other paperwork.  Please at least scan the manual for any unusual characteristics of your system.

Let's Get Started!

Hold on there, bucko.  Lithium batteries are usually shipped at 40% charged as this is the best charge level at which to store them.  Lithium is odd in that it stores best at partial charge.  Fully charged and fully discharged batteries age faster.

While this isn't a barrier to trying things out, you won't have the best initial impression.  It's wise to allow your batteries to charge fully before use.  Set up your charger now and plug in/screw in/charge however it charges.  Then continue reading to kill some time.

If you plug in your electronic and the light goes out almost immediately, the company probably charged your electronic just before shipment.

Chargers will vary widely in how quickly they charge the battery, and slower chargers are often better and less stressful on the battery.  Recharging of cig-alikes usually takes approximately 3 to 5 hours from completely drained, or a safe and conservative recharge rate.

OK, Now Let's Get Started!

Great, your battery is charged (or you're cheating and using a partially charged one, which is fine--just realize it's not quite optimal).

I'm presuming you purchased already filled cartomizers.

Open the package of cartomizers and remove one.  If it's in plastic (some are), open that and remove the cartomizer.  Most cartomizers will have rubber or flexible plastic coverings at both ends.  Remove those--and don't lose them or throw them out!  Called "condoms," these are like gold and very useful when refilling cartomizers (see Electronic Cigarettes #1) to keep them from drying out before use.

Don't unwrap all your cartomizers right now or, if you do remove the plastic, don't remove the condoms.  If you already removed the condoms, just put them back on.

Putting It Together

See the metal end of the cartomizer?  That goes on the metal end of the electronic cigarette.  Line them up and screw it on.  Don't over-tighten, there's no need.  Once you feel resistance and the cartomizer no longer rotates at a touch, you should be fine.  If not, you can tighten down a bit more later.

There are two central posts, one on the battery and one on the cartomizer.  Over tightening can push one post, the other, or both away from each other.  This usually won't be an issue on the cartomizer you're using, but the next one may not make proper contact.  If this happens, you can use a pin to pry the posts up slightly (be very careful not to raise the post too much and unseat it).

Next...oh.  Wait.  That's it.  You're done.  That was easy.

Your First Puff

You are no longer smoking.  In addition to the cheering you hear going on, this also means that the method of use changes a little bit.

If the section below is confusing the first time you read it, try performing the parts that are obvious to you.  Trust me, you'll come up with your own method very quickly, and it'll probably work better for you than the one I'm discussing.

Using your tongue and cheeks, s...l...o...w...l...y draw vapor from the cartomizer into your mouth.  For most people, a three to seven second draw is optimal for them.

Hold it for a moment (a moment defined as half a second to five seconds).  Your mouth, tongue, and upper throat are doing most of the absorption of nicotine using an e-cigarette, not your lungs, so this is what will curb your cravings for a cigarette.

Inhale the vapor if you wish to.  Some inhale normally, as I do, some French inhale through the nose, some don't inhale at all.  A few perform a partial inhale and exhale through the nose, creating a visual I call "The Broody Dragon."  I'm doing that as I type this.

Eject the vapor any way you like.  Additional nicotine absorption will take place if you nose-exhale, but that isn't necessary.

Why Not Like A Cigarette?

You don't expect your hair dryer to dry your hair instantly, or your stove to instantly boil water because they can't output that much heat all at once.  Similarly, the resistor in the cartomizer can only output so much heat at once and turn so much liquid to steam.

Some people do fast inhale, but the vapor stream tends to be cold and limited.  A slower inhale increases the amount of time the cartomizer has to turn liquid to steam.

Can I Direct Lung Inhale?

Technically, yes, although most beginning users don't care for this method as it tends to irritate the throat and lungs and lead to coughing fits.

The two-stage draw method outlined above works better at first for most people.  But of course, experiment to find what works for you.

Direct inhale will help during severe cigarette cravings from what I found, but isn't something I often do.

It Started Fine, But Now It's Getting Weak

Your battery is probably running out of power (or your cartomizer is getting low).  Most cigarette look-alikes don't moderate the battery power and output voltage at the voltage of the battery.  Lithium batteries start at 4.2 volts, drop rapidly to 3.7, and then drop to around 3.2 to 3.3 before the electronics will no longer activate the e-cig.

You can always feel free to change to your other electronic cigarette and charge the current one.  This constant changing, even if you're tolerant of the low-voltage end, is the primary reason most people move on to a larger, moderated battery.

Low cartomizer is covered in the next section.

Started Fine, Now Nothing

Your electronic cigarette could be out of power, or your cartomizer could be empty.  You'll quickly learn to tell when your cartomizer is running low, but at first it's tough to figure that one out!

Stand in front of a mirror and draw.  If the light at the end of the e-cig is blinking, you've run out of power.  Put the cartomizer on a new e-cig and vape on.

If the light is constant your cartomizer is probably out of liquid.  Change cartomizers.

When you know your e-cig is charged but the vapor seems thin, your cartomizer is probably running low.  Most of us toss those into the refill pile.

Charging Best Practices

I'm going to mostly ignore perfect treatment of a lithium battery as it's beyond what any of us would ever bother to do or could ever do.  At home, I do try to be as perfect as possible but I don't do very well at it.

Charge Before Empty

Lithium batteries dislike being fully discharged (although they're tolerant of this condition).  From full to empty every time, the typical electronic can be recharged 200 to 400 times (most people just say 300).

From half full to full, that number more than triples.  3 times 0.5 equals 1.5, so your batteries will last half again as long if you only discharge them halfway.

The shallower the discharge before charging, the longer they last, and that is always to your advantage on battery life.  However, your own life will intervene!  Don't be afraid to fully discharge a battery if you have to because you're out, about, or just forgot.  Life happens.

No electronic (with the extremely unusual exception of the manual mod) will allow you to discharge the lithium battery fully, so you always have a slight advantage on charging compared to fully-discharged batteries.  Additionally, fully discharged lithium batteries present a danger, another reason it's never allowed.

Keep 'Em Cool But Not Too Cool

If you're comfortable in a sweater to summer gear, so is your electronic.  Lithium batteries dislike storage in overly hot conditions, so don't leave your e-cig behind in your car in the summer sun.

The liquid in your cartomizer will become thicker in very cold weather, so storage in your internal pocket is usually desirable.  Additionally, vapor production from a cold cartomizer will be weak as the resistor has to raise the liquid temperature much further.  Most of us find our pants pockets to be sufficiently warm storage even during the coldest winter mornings.

Cartomizers won't freeze until at least -35° F (pretty close to -35 C), so there's no danger of bursting if stored in a cold car, even in most of Canada, overnight during the winter.  Even if colder, the solid is smaller than the liquid and will merely require time to thaw.

Lithium batteries can be stored at similar temperatures (down to -40 F or C), and cold non-condensing storage is preferable if batteries are not intended for immediate use.

But What's Perfect?

Always keep your lithium battery at an internal voltage of 3.7 to 3.8 when in use, at the coldest workable temperature possible, do not expose to impacts, and store wrapped in the freezer at 3.6 volts if long-term storage is required.

That's why I advised not to worry too much about it.  The battery isn't terribly expensive, and it's there to serve you, not the other way around.

Who's Your Li'l Buddy?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Butt Can (24+ / 0-)

    Reply here if you would like to be added to the ever-more-impressive GUS Buddy List, or if you spot an error in the one above.

    Reply here if you would like to host a GUS diary...we have lots of available slots and would be most grateful. This is also the place to make corrections to the schedule posted above.

    (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 07:00:55 PM PDT

  •  Severe Storms (9+ / 0-)

    We have a huge batch of severe thunderstorms coming in.  I'll stay with you as long as possible!

    (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:07:47 PM PDT

  •  quit smoking day 1 with ecig (16+ / 0-)

    I tried to quit for years.  Disgusted with myself.  Researched and went for a Joye 510-T, which has refillable cartridges.  

    Still feel like a smoker, still addicted to nicotine.  But my health, my gums, my hygiene are much improved.

    The day I got my ecigs, I stopped smoking.

    The genuine fools are those who believe they are never foolish.

    by miss karen on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:10:14 PM PDT

  •  I call it stinky fall down and I did really really (8+ / 0-)

    quit. It was an artificial passion.

    Are the ecigs cheaper? Do people get 2nd hand nicotine? Are ecigs the fire danger that regular cigs are?

    My neighbors love them because no one can complain about their stinky cigs.

    •  Nicotine replacement seems less dangerous (8+ / 0-)

      than actual tobacco.

      No complaints here.

      This is interesting.

    •  To date (9+ / 0-)

      I've spent about a quarter what I would have on smoking, but I've overstocked on some things.  I have enough concentrated nicotine solution (I make my own liquids) to go about another 2 years and that's a major expense.

      Vapor analysis of the exhale shows no nicotine in it, nor is it in the chamber post-testing.  Nicotine isn't dangerous, however, it's the tar that kills you.  These produce no tar at all.

      And nope, I've fallen asleep with my e-cig and woken up with the imprint on my thigh.  No fire danger under normal circumstances, although I do recommend charging in a safe location away from flammable items.

      (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:31:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd be careful about blanket statements... (5+ / 0-) "nicotine isn't dangerous." Nicotine does have some dangers for a lot of folks, particularly those with heart and blood pressure issues; tar's certainly a huge factor in smoking-related illness (esp. cancer, emphysema, & COPD), but it's not the only one.

        "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

        by Vacationland on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:23:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's along the same lines (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flumptytail, anodnhajo

          as "caffeine isn't dangerous," which is generally true.  Unless you have one of the same issues and have to avoid it...

          (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

          by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:51:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not exactly (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            anodnhajo, Lonely Liberal in PA

            Pharmacologically speaking, nicotine is a more powerful poison than caffeine (which actually isn't a poison, but rather a stimulant). The idea that they are roughly as safe as each other was basically Big Tobacco's argument, but they're not really equivalent.  It takes 50 to 60 mg of nicotine to kill a 160 pound human; it would take 10,000 mg of caffeine to do so.

            Both are unlikely scenarios in terms of recreational consumption, of course! :-)

            "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

            by Vacationland on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 08:29:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vacationland, anodnhajo

              Relative consumption also comes into play.  My first cup of tea contains much more caffeine than I'll intake in nicotine for the entire day.

              Nicotine users do tend to have much higher tolerances for nicotine toxicity as well.  It would take 100 mg or more to kill us, and would probably only happen by injection.  Taking it by mouth means you'll be vomiting almost instantly.

              (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

              by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:44:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  A couple answers. (8+ / 0-)

      E-Cigs are significantly cheaper if you go the refillable route -- about $1 per pack-equivalent, give or take a bit.

      2nd hand nicotine isn't really an issue -- nicotine isn't the carcinogenic agent in 2nd hand smoke in any case.

      E-cigs pose much less of a fire danger because there's no open ember, only a heated electronic filament which cools down almost as soon as the power's removed.  However, it -is- possible to blow the lithium battery, either by abuse or overcharging on a non-recommended charger, and that could indeed cause a fire.  But you won't burn down the house if you fall asleep with you e-cig in your hand.

  •  On the edit page (6+ / 0-)

    the title box has quite a few character spaces.
    To view or edit, click left and hold, then move to the right of the title box to see whatever additional text doesn't first show in the box.

    for example

    GUS - An edition in which I write about riding a bicycle. and some other stuff


    GUS - flumpty's usual "Friday Morning Open Thread" hosted by someone else

    "take the long way home"

    by anodnhajo on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:24:40 PM PDT

  •  But...isn't nicotine harmful? (8+ / 0-)

    I haven't tried the e-cigs, or Nicorette, because I thought it was best to eliminate nicotine. Is it nicotine that curbs our appetite? Sorry, clueless.

    I am almost done with the Tabex. Stuff is amazing. Just not available in the US yet. When I have a bit more time, I can write a diary about Tabex (pills containing cytistine, from the acacia plant) if anyone is interested.

    "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

    by BadKitties on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:44:19 PM PDT

    •  "Cytisine" is correct spelling, sorry. nt (8+ / 0-)

      "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

      by BadKitties on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:45:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not particularly (8+ / 0-)

      Nicotine is a stimulant, like caffeine (which is biochemically extremely similar).  It absolutely shouldn't be consumed by people who have certain heart conditions.  Like caffeine, it causes arterial vasoconstriction (raised blood pressure), and does curb appetite.

      Nicotine isn't carcinogenic, in and of itself, but like any stimulant it can cause a pre-existing cancer to grow faster than it would have.

      Nicotine is toxic in larger amounts, but we don't approach those under normal consumption.  Like caffeine, plants produce it to paralyze or kill insects and small animals that feed on the plant.

      Nicotine's actually impossible to avoid.  It's inherent in every single member of the nightshade family, which includes eggplant and tomatoes, and produced in tiny amounts by many plants.  When you test negative for nicotine, it just means that you test at the normal levels--everybody tests above 0.

      (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 01:55:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nicotine is actually neuroprotective (5+ / 0-)

      Here is a search results... there are so many studies and so much research... don't have time to find the best ones I liked now, but just so you know I am not making it up.

      There is a lot of research going on right now for the protective effects on the aging brain

      Studies using the patch show benefits in so many things. Parkinson's, dementia, depression, Tourette syndrome, nerve pain, schizophrenia and more.

      They don't use smoking in studies for obvious reasons but it is used in retrospective studies. Probably most well known is relationship with  Parkinson's. Essentially the more and longer someone smoked the lower their chances of getting Parkinson's.  
      I first started looking into it years ago when several clients with schizophrenia who would quit and restart smoking noted very similar effects on certain symptoms.

      On a personal level I developed trigeminal neuralgia,  bolts of severe pain on one side of pain triggered by... anything. Eating, yawning, drinking, smiling talking. Meds became ineffective... they use anticonvulsants for it.  Eventually I was at twice the highest recommended dose of it with all sorts of side effects andstill any of the above activities caused excruciating painb. Couldn't work... or eat or socialize or anything.
      A friend insisted on coming over. When he left he forgot his cigarettes. I had quit a couple of years before and knew if I had one it would stink and make me dizzy, a reminder of why I quit.

      But oddly what it did was stop the pain. Within a week I was off the medicine and free of pain. Doc and I checking records saw that every time I had quit smoking, except with the patch, I had gotten the disorder. I rarely quit for longer than a few months until that last time so it always went away before the med became ineffective at a normal dose. (My skin developed severe allergic reaction to patch)
      The cigarettes did stink and my lungs didn't like them but I blessed those cigarettes.

      For effective use nicotine needs to be like cigs, high dose intermittent or like patch, low dose constant. My eventual answer was swedish snus, healthy and inexpensive and discreet.

      But anyways, no nicotine is not what is bad for us in cigarettes.
      Hey, our brain has nicotine receptors.
      Drug companies and researchers are trying to find alternative to nicotine to do what nicotine does

      •  Alzheimer's as well (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GDbot, anodnhajo, BadKitties, flumptytail

        Nicotine delays onset and slows disease progression.  We'll probably be seeing patients using the patch shortly as it's the easiest for them to administer.

        Depression I have first-hand experience with.  My meds have doubled as my nicotine dose drops (now down by half since I started vaping, and far more than half since I quit smoking).  The doctor says it's normal and we'll keep an eye on it.

        (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 07:04:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nicotine does have psychoactive properties (5+ / 0-)

          It's no accident that something like 85% of schizophrenics self-medicate with nicotine, and that the rate of smoking among depressives is far higher than in the general population.

          I know I had to make adjustments when I quit cold turkey; I was all over the place for a bit. My clinically depressed dad responded to Wellbutrin after quitting his nicotine addiction of 50+ years, but having a clinical professional monitor changes (as you are with your doctor) is a good idea, if at all possible. It's really not something to mess with

          There are other clinical conditions where nicotine use may be indicated, but for the vast majority of people, the negatives (related to cardiovascular disease) generally outweigh the benefits for diseases which impact a statistically tiny segment of the population. They may indeed synthesize a non-addictive substance that has some of the same properties, but until then, for most of us, ditching the nicotine in any form is probably a good eventual outcome.  

          "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

          by Vacationland on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:38:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, Joynow! (5+ / 0-)

        VERY interesting post. Snus? I'll have to look at that. I think, though, that my body is finally adapting to life without nicotine, so I probably shouldn't screw it up again. My maternal grandmother died of lung cancer :( She smoked Lucky Strikes, and Nat Sherman's Fantasias at parties. Those were the prettiest damn cigarettes ever. I bought them a few times, too.

        "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

        by BadKitties on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:44:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flumptytail, anodnhajo, BadKitties
          I think, though, that my body is finally adapting to life without nicotine, so I probably shouldn't screw it up again.
          Listen to this impulse. It's rooted in your realization that you're not a casual smoker, and that it would be a bitch to quit again after the inevitable "I'm out of Snus so I'll just have this one ciggie..." moment, immediately followed by the "maybe I'll just finish this pack" moment, immediately followed by---well, you know where this is going. ;-)

          For me, the "pretty" cocktail ciggies were Sobranies. Smoke the rainbow! Shame about the carcinogens.

          "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

          by Vacationland on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:40:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you've adapted (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anodnhajo, Vacationland, BadKitties

          or are close to adapting without major issues, it's best to stay off the nicotine if possible.

          My argument is that if it comes down to picking up a cigarette in the future or picking up an e-cig, pick up the e-cig.  It'll be easier to quit again later, and won't do the damage the cigarette does in the mean time.

          If it never comes down to that, avoid both.

          (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

          by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:54:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  A couple of things. (4+ / 0-)

      Nicotine does indeed curb appetite, slightly.

      Nicotine (in recreational doses) is pretty harmless, though there are few studies that I know of.  The principal problems with cigarettes are the carbon monoxide and carcinogens.  

      It's best not to be addicted to any substance, and if you're not a smoker then I'd suggest you stay the hell away from it -- but if you are a smoker, e-cigs seem to be a much better health risk than plain old cigarettes.

      Interestingly, there are studies which indicate that the primary carcinogen in cigarettes isn't the tar, but the polonium they contain (from the use of mineral fertilizers,) which is a strong alpha emitter.

      •  I WAS a smoker, for 30+ years. Quit a month (4+ / 0-)

        ago. No cravings, really, because of the Tabex, but tummy upset, some weight gain due to slowed metabolism, higher stress because I can't run outside and light up to calm down, etc. I never looked into the chemistry of cigarettes because I LOVED smoking.

        I don't think I'll try the e-cigs, although these diaries have been interesting and highly informative. I still couldn't smoke them in front of my mother, and I'd still get smoker's lines around my mouth.

        Are the e-cigs addictive, too? DH is one of THOSE people who only smokes on Saturday nights, although he hasn't smoked the last two or three, in solidarity. Could I JUST smoke an e-cig on Saturdays to be sociable? Or is that a really dumb plan? I was REALLY addicted to cigarettes. And it is the nicotine that's addictive, correct?

        Bleah. I do miss smoking, sometimes. But I have so much more TIME now.

        "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

        by BadKitties on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:26:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  E-cigs are nicotine delivery systems (5+ / 0-)

          And nicotine is an addictive substance, so yes, e-cigs are addictive too. If you're a nicotine addict, using them will kick-start the addictive process for you. If you've got it out of your system, my advice would be to not go back down that path. It's like being sober, and wondering if just one drink with not very much alcohol, would be a good idea, y'know, just to be social. Answer? Probably not.

          Why not take the opportunity to shore up DH's temporary social smoking hiatus in solidarity with your efforts? As you say, so much more time now. If what you're missing about smoking is the social aspect, wouldn't it be easier to foster a social life where smoking is not a bonding experience or has pleasant associations?

          When I was quitting, I did a lot of internal bargaining, trying to figure out some way to hang onto it. Part of me didn't want to give it up, even though most of me knew it was stupid and destructive for me to continue. I entertained fantasies of just having the occasional one. I realized after the fact that I'm just not hard wired for social smoking; even a little is too much for brain likes nicotine too much, unfortunately. I'm glad I'm free of it now, and enjoying the extra time and money. It's really a good trade-off, and it gets better over time.

          "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

          by Vacationland on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:45:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK. No e-cigs for me. Thank you!!! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vacationland, flumptytail, anodnhajo

            DH hopefully feels a little guilty. I hadn't smoked for well over a year when I met him. And then, one night in a bar, I asked for a drag, and (boom) it was all over. I was back to buying packs, and then cartons. Exactly like an alcoholic and alcohol. They metabolize alcohol differently than non-alcoholics. My brain, too, LOVES nicotine.

            I have a few good friends that smoke, but these majority don't. When we have parties, there's always a rowdy gang of smokers on the deck. But nonsmokers go out there, too, because smokers are mostly fun people :) h'mmm...I actually have very few friends that have NEVER smoked. Except for one friend who has cystic fibrosis. He's on his fifth lung. Love him. Didn't smoke around him once he told me. His lungs are damn precious.

            "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

            by BadKitties on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:55:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Lol...the fantasy of "just one..." GDbot (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vacationland, flumptytail, anodnhajo

            warned me about that. I had that fantasy too. It was a nice one. But luckily I know myself well, and you know yourself well.

            I didn't really want to quit, either. I stopped in at GUS months ago, and everybody was so kind. But then, since I was too cowardly to admit that I was putting off quitting, I avoided GUS until right before I actually quit. Lol. I'm not a wimpy person at all, but...admitting that I had had the Tabex for MONTHS and was avoiding quitting seemed idiotic.

            "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

            by BadKitties on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 10:24:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not's normal. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BadKitties, flumptytail, anodnhajo

              People typically go through a certain progression of stages ("stages of change" a.k.a. the transtheoretical model/TTM) during their decision to undergo behavioral change, like quitting.

              It's just that they happen a little differently for everyone, in terms of the time it takes, or how long we spend at a particular stage; sometimes we don't consciously realize we're experiencing them at all. We all approach it our own way, but most of us experience the same sequence of changes in our mindset...though it's not at all unusual to backtrack or get "stuck" at a particular stage.

              "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

              by Vacationland on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 11:32:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  the just one fantasy, the last time I was able to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            quit for any length of time was when my ex and I quit together to be a support for each other....made it 6 months....

            Then we were at a bar celebrating our first decent landscape contract and the bar sold cigars....We looked at each other and said, hell it's a cigar not a cig and just one won't hurt.....

            Before we left the bar we had both bought a pack of cigs and I haven't even got close to that time length since....this was about 6 years ago or so.....

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 03:31:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Re: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Generally they are indeed addictive, since they're nicotine delivery systems.  -However-, you can get 0-nicotine-content juice/cartriges if you just want the feeling of smoking and the participatory social experience.  

        •  Tabex doesn't appear to be legal or available here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in the U.S. except through rogue pharmacies....

          I hope it works for you and you stay quit, the results of trials seem semi promising  from a quick search but the overall quit rate is still under 10% of smokers.

          Results after 12 months showed that 8.4% of the participants randomised to receive cytisine had not relapsed (in other words, had successfully quit smoking), compared to 2.4% of the participants randomised to receive placebo. This was a difference of 6% (95% CI 2.7% to 9.2%), which equated to people taking cytisine being 3.4 times more likely to give up than those taking a placebo (95% CI 1.7 to 7
          from the NHS UK

          I tried wellbutrin which made me feel so bad I'd rather have been beaten than keep taking it, Chantix was similar,  patches don't stick to me worth a dang, the gum makes my teeth feel weird and the nicotine sprays are just insanely expensive.

          This vaporizer/e-cig is imo the absolute best available least for me.

          I honestly don't care if I vape the rest of my life at the 24mg per ml level.   Any way you slice it, vaping is considerably less harmful than inhaling smoke and at this point, for me, it's about harm reduction, not quitting nicotine.....any more than I intend to quit caffeine or eating everything tasty....Nothing in moderation is a problem imo, smoking the equivalent of 2 packs a day between the pipe and cigs was considerably more harmful than a couple ml of e-juice a day......

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 03:27:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is pretty much where I am with e-cigs (6+ / 0-)
        It's best not to be addicted to any substance, and if you're not a smoker then I'd suggest you stay the hell away from it -- but if you are a smoker, e-cigs seem to be a much better health risk than plain old cigarettes.
        It's harm reduction if used long-term, rather than as a step-down method of NRT (like the patch, lozenge, or gum).

        "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

        by Vacationland on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:29:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or step down as well (4+ / 0-)

          I've gone from 22 mg/ml of nicotine (quite a high dose) to 12 mg/ml (moderate) in the last six months.  That's not unusual, my mother started at 12 and is currently at 6.

          My next drop, to 10 mg/ml, will be next month.

          In each case, we haven't noticed the drop.

          I do want to write a bit on the step-down method as most of us end up doing it.  Some don't and continue to vape.

          (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

          by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 05:59:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            anodnhajo, buddabelly

            One of the great things about e-cigs is that you can just take a couple of puffs to 'take the edge off' as needed, and you won't be tempted to smoke the whole cigarette down 'cause otherwise you're either wasting hella money or carrying around stanky-ass clipped butts with you.

    •  OH HELL (5+ / 0-)

      nicotine is really cool, don't worry about it.


      The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

      by bgblcklab1 on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:10:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nicotine gets demonized (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anodnhajo, buddabelly

        as a grand killer of millions per year.  But it's not true.

        Nicotine and caffeine have very similar effects, and it's wise to avoid both.  Both do raise your chance of heart attack and stroke, albeit slightly.  Both should be avoided if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and so on.

        Even so, if it's a choice between smoking or using nicotine replacement long-term, do the latter.  Vein swelling is far lower with just nicotine than with the irritants included in cigarettes.

        (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 06:08:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybe this is not the place to be endorsing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lonely Liberal in PA, anodnhajo

          the use of nicotine.

          The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

          by bgblcklab1 on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:40:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a quit smoking forum (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            anodnhajo, buddabelly

            Not necessarily a quit nicotine forum, per se.  Some may choose not to do that.  Others may not be able.  I'm not going to avoid awarding very real kudos to those who quit smoking just because they're still using nicotine in another form.

            Nor is it particularly helpful to misrepresent the dangers of nicotine, which are fairly low.  Swedish snus, so far, have shown no detectable cancer risk and no increase in risk in any other disease.  At all.

            If you look, I neither endorse nor decry the use of nicotine (quite apart from smoking, which is awful for you).  Other than as a treatment for disease, which falls under the same endorsement as any medication--use with doctor's approval and monitoring.

            I'm aware that most people simply fail when they quit cold turkey for whatever reason.  If this helps them quit smoking, I think that's grand.

            (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

            by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 07:58:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The advocation is for harm reduction and this is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            a fine place to discuss it.

            Honestly the only real argument from an outsiders POV is they think mind altering drugs are immoral which unfortunately is an all too often phenomenon, even on this side of the aisle....

            Harm reduction is a strategy that Democrats are most often behind, see needle  exchanges, free condoms, etc......

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 03:36:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'd be interested in a diary about Tabex (4+ / 0-)

      I've been writing these for four years now and one of the topics I've never written about (despite 200+ diaries!) is alternative therapies for quitting. You should write something!

      "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

      by Vacationland on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:25:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK =) I'll do it. It's pretty damn awesome that (4+ / 0-)

        I haven't had a single drag. I smoked while on the patch, and had scary, hallucinogenic dreams. A friend told me that Chantix did the same thing to him.

        I think I found it when I googled "quit smoking without side effects." There are NONE that I have experienced. They're little umber pills. No taste.

        They're shipped from Bulgaria and cost $30. Typed instructions in English are included =)

        I have some stuff to do over the next few days, but I will sign up to write about Tabex.

        "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

        by BadKitties on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:33:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would be awesome (5+ / 0-)

          I was one of those scary Cold Turkey quitters because I couldn't find any NRT that would work for more than a few hours, but I did use some alternative approaches (St. John's Wort, breathing exercises, meditation) to manage symptoms. Something like this would've been so welcome!

          Just sign up in a Butt Can comment whenever you're ready!

          "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

          by Vacationland on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:48:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I quit cold turkey all the other times, (5+ / 0-)

            Since the patch was useless. The Tabex is painless. It works with the brain's nicotine receptors. I did a lot of research before I ordered it from Amazon. Hopefully I bookmarked those sites.

            QuitNet has never heard of it, either.

            But your method worked for you, so that is wonderful! Every other time I quit, except for the time I quit for the boyfriend, I knew I could go back to it. I just had to wait for the pregnancies to be over, and the post surgery waiting period...ahhhh what an idiot I was :(

            "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

            by BadKitties on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 10:04:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Didn't have any success with these (7+ / 0-)

    until I bought a Joyetech Ego-T dual set with two Vision CE5 clearomizers.  The clearomizers need to be cleaned about every 4-7 days. It is always good to buy a third just in case you lose one, or it goes bad.  They must be filled with eliquid which can be purchased online as well. This penstyle ecig is several times better than anything in the stores.  It produces alot more vapor for one thing. Unfortunately you must order them online.

    The initial purchase is expensive but you save relative to real cigs or cheap store bought ecigs because eliquid is much cheaper than real cigs or the prefilled cartridges, on the cheap cigarette style ecigs.   I was a two pack a day smoker and I spend about 30 dollars every two weeks on eliquid.   I buy a new clearomizer once a month 5 dollars and new ecig stems every 4 months 30 dollars.  Compare that two 10 dollars a day smoking real cigs or cheap store bought ecigs.

    •  The only big downside is that (7+ / 0-)

      I let my cousin try them. She already has chronic bronchitis, technically copd.  She had a scary breathing attack from trying it. I would not recommend ecigs for people who already have lung issues, or are sensitive in anyway. I am nagging her to use the patch or gum.

      I can't believe how well I breath now that I use them, so if you don't have any issues already a good quality ecig is a good thing.

    •  It can take some thrashing (5+ / 0-)

      to find what will work for you!  I started with a cigarette look-alike, detested them very quickly (although they certainly did help me move toward severe reduction), and went with the Smokeless Image Volt X2.

      I also favor the Vision Spinner and have a host of incidental items like the vGo VV, VAMO, a mechanical Bolt, and an eGo VV mod.

      I tend to like the Kanger T3...well, it's kind of a tank-omizer, really.  2.5 ml capacity but the base of a cleartomizer.  Replace the base every 3 to 5 weeks, and I keep 8 in cycle.

      Mom loves her CE5 cleartos, one cousin uses the Kanger T3 as well, another likes cartomizers.  One actually atty drips.

      (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 03:05:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the local vape shop called me and my ProTank (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is in.....I'll probably get one from them but I am switching to online as they can be much cheaper the protank is 21 bucks plus tax....Vapor beast has the same unit for 14.50 with free shipping...actually they have free shipping on everything....the juice I'm still going through rtsvapes as it's  American made and U.S.P. listed so medicinal quality.....

        Now I want the Innoken I Clear 30....I like the moveable mouthpiece but they will not take standard drip tips....

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 04:44:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mylo (7+ / 0-)

    It states in the 2005 re-release liner notes that the identity of the voice sample is unknown.

    A fan video, but it's not bad.

    Bike riding and smoking. Cigarettes and joints.

    Got my bike back
    $21 repair.
    Rode it around the bike shop for a while but had a Dr appt to go to.
    Going to go out now and see what happens.
    Hopefully I'll be back tonight.

    Youtube is glitchy.

    "take the long way home"

    by anodnhajo on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 02:19:28 PM PDT

  •  Hi, I took my older sister out shopping. She (4+ / 0-)

    bought some clothes, etc at Nordstrom Rack (we were there 4 hours!!) and then we ate Mexican food and then watched some Rachel Maddow at her house and then I came home. I'm tired.

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