Sunday, June 29, 2014

17 Weeks Since I have Switched To e-Cigs ... The Journey Continues







17 Weeks since my last analog cigarette. I never thought that those words would come out of my mouth! And how proud I am of myself! More importantly I am feeling awesome!!!

It has been awhile since my last update, on the 60 day mark.  You may have noticed that I am now counting in weeks.  But for those of you who are mathematically inclined - or have a calculator, you know that it has now been 119 days!! Crazy right??

So lets get right into it.  I am now using the Aspire CE5 clearomizer, with the Spinner battery I bought  two months ago. I have to say that I think I have really found my favorite set-up. A set-up that works well for me. I am in love with these batteries. I have been using them for two months now and they are working just as great as they did on the day I first got them. In the 60 day post, I spoke a bit about the iSmoka clearomizer ... I still have it as a back up. And it is a good clearomizer, my only real issue with it is the mouthpiece. I just happen to prefer the rounded tip to the flat whistle tip. So for me, the CE5 is much more comfortable on my lips. But as with everything, it is really down to preference. The iSmoka is a great piece of equipment, that does come in some really nice colors. If it wasn't for the whistle tip, I may still be using it.

But. I'm not. So .... :-P lol

What I would like to do is cover some basic 101 type questions that I had as a newbie. Approaching four months in, I feel like I now have my feet wet and can call myself an intermediate vaper. But I still remember how daunting it was to begin my journey. Heck. I am still learning. And in the words of the late great Maya Angelou; When you learn, Teach! So,, here we go...

Q: What is an e-cig?
A: An e-cig is an electronic cigarette. Most e-cigs come in three parts. The battery, the heating coil, and the clearomizer - where the e-liquid is placed. If you think of a typical cigarette, the white part would be the battery, the filter part would be the clearomizer and the gold band at the base of the filter would be the heating coil.

Q: How do e-cigs work?
A: The power of the battery activates the heating coil, which heats the e-liquid at contact, turning the liquid in to vapor when inhaled.

Q: What is e-liquid?
A: Sometimes called e-juice. It is made up of between 2-4 parts.

1-2) The base (80%) is comprised of  VG (Vegetable Glycerin) Or mixed with PG (Propylene Glycerin) (Please check my first e-cig posting for detailed information on these compounds.) The typical compounds are 100%VG, 50/50% VG/PG or 80/20% PG/VG.

3) The flavoring will make up 10-20%. And I cannot even begin to list all of the wonderful flavors available in the vaping world. Just to name a few, you can enjoy just about any typical cigarette flavor, as well as cherry, mint, chocolate, bubblegum, cotton candy, licorice, banana, vanilla, brandy .. and the list goes on... and on .. and on. lol

4) The remaining part of the e-liquid compound  is 0-2.4% and that is nicotine.

So, as you see, if you just want mint flavored liquid, and it is pure VG base, there would only be two ingredients in the compound. If you have a split base, with flavor, plus nicotine, then you have a four-part compound.

The main thing to consider is that VG and PG are commonly found in everyday products such as make-up, mouse, gel, asthma inhalers etc. (View my first e-cig posting for more detailed information on VG and PG) But more importantly, is what e-liquid does NOT contain. And that is the other 4000 chemicals that are found in analog cigarettes. Additionally, with e-liquid, you are getting vapor and not smoke. Which eliminates the intake of carcinogenics.

Q: How much e-liquid will I need?
A: In my research, nobody seems to ever want to answer this question. And I can see why. There really is no scientific answer to this all important question.  But here is what I have learned: e-liquid typically comes in two sizes; 10ml and 30ml bottles. For our purposes, I will be speaking about 30ml bottles. In my smoking life, I was what you would consider to be a heavy smoker. I went through two packs of cigarettes a day. That is 40 cigarettes. However, what I learned was that I did not actually smoke 40 cigarettes. I would light a cigarette, take a couple of puffs, watch some TV, take another puff or two, set the cigarette down, check email, take another puff and put it out. In reality, I was actually only smoking 7-9 puffs out of each cigarette. So, if you figure that there are approximately 25 puffs per cigarette. I was burning a lot more than I was actually smoking. In reality, I was actually smoking 3 cartons of cigarettes, even though I was buying 5 cartons each month.  I had read somewhere that a 30ml bottle is equal to approximately one carton of cigarettes. And I tend to agree. Once my lungs began to heal and I was able to direct-inhale, I find that I use about 3ml per day, which is 3 30ml bottles per month.

Q: How much money will I save by vaping?
A: Ok, again, this is subjective to what you were spending before and what type of equipment you use in your vaping experience. Understanding that batteries need to be replaced every few months. So not every month's expenses will be the same. I will give you my average month expenses along with my re-up month costs.

When I was smoking cigarettes, I just could no longer afford to buy regular Tailor-made cigarettes, such as duMaurier or Benson & Hedges, which were selling for about $80 per carton. I was smoking reservation cigarettes - DK's, which I was buying at $30 per carton. So for five cartons a month - I was spending $150 per month.

The batteries I now have: AnyVape EGO Spinner 1000mAh cost me $29.45ea. I have two of them. They will last me 4 approximately 4 months.

The Clearomizer I now us is the Aspire CE5 BDC, which costs $9.98ea. One will last approximately 4 months if taken care of properly.

Heating coils - 5pk cost $19.99. I use 2 coils per month. So in 4 months I will use 8, which means I will buy two packs every 4 months.

e-Liquid. I use 3 30ml bottles with 24mg of nicotine. This will cost $18.99 per bottle.

So, once every four months, to re-up all of my equipment, it will cost me $198.00 Including 2 batteries, 1 clearomizer, 2 5pk boxes of heating coils, and 3 30ml bottles of e-liquid (One month supply of e-liquid). Including taxes and delivery.

Once a month, when I am just buying the e-liquid, it will cost me $75.00 including taxes and delivery.

So in a year. I am spending a total of  $1,269.00 vaping. As opposed to spending $1,824.00 per year on DK cigarettes. For a savings of $555.00 per year. Now, if I were to be smoking duMaurier etc at $80/carton. That would be $4,800.00 per year. Which would amount to a savings of $3,531.00 per year.

Either way you look at it. The financial savings are impressive. But are far outweighed by the health benefits! In MY Opinion, it is a total Win-Win!

I believe that these are the main questions that newbies have about the vaping world. The remaining questions are really about equipment and as I have said in my earlier postings, equipment is really a personal choice. I have gone through a few pieces by now and have finally found a set-up that works best for me. Just try to be patient and do as much research as you possibly can. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Experience shows me that those in the vaping community are more than happy to answer questions and share their personal experiences with those who are beginning their journey.

One thing I wanted to do was to take a look at the numbers. As I mentioned in previous postings, I have been using an app called Cessation Nation to track my progress and have posted the numbers at the 34 day mark, as well as the 60 day mark. So, I think we should take a look and see if anything has changed at the 119 day mark.

32 Days since my last cigarette.

1276 Cigarettes not smoked.

Heart rate and Blood pressure have dropped - 100%

Carbon Monoxide levels in my blood have dropped - 100%

Sense of taste and smell have improved - 100%

Circulation has substantially improved - 34%

Smoke related sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath have decreased - 11%

Risk of Heart Disease, Heart Attack and Stroke have dropped to less than half that of a smoker. - 8%

Risk of Stroke has decline to that of a non-smoker - 1%

Life expectancy gained - 5 days.

~*~*~

60 Days since my last cigarette.

2400 Cigarettes not smoked.

Heart rate and Blood pressure have dropped - 100%

Carbon Monoxide levels in my blood have dropped - 100%

Sense of taste and smell have improved - 100%

Circulation has substantially improved - 65%

Smoke related sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath have decreased - 21%

Risk of Heart Disease, Heart Attack and Stroke have dropped to less than half that of a smoker. - 16%

Risk of Stroke has decline to that of a non-smoker - 3%

Life expectancy gained - 10 days.


~*~*~

119 Days since my last cigarette.

4762 Cigarettes not smoked.

Heart Rate and Blood Pressure have dropped - 100%

Carbon Monoxide levels in my blood have dropped - 100%

Sense of taste and smell have improved - 100%

Circulation has substantially improved - 100%

Smoke related sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath have decreased - 43%

Risk of Heart Disease, Heart Attack and Stroke have dropped to less than half that of a smoker. - 32%

Risk of Stroke has declined to that of an non-smoker - 6%

Life expectancy gained - 19 days.


So, there is still work to be done. Let's be honest. I have abused my body for so many years that I really need to be thankful that I am even still around to have this conversation. However, I think these numbers are a tremendous tribute to the human body, and how it is able to repair itself. And the progress my body has made in such a short amount of time!

As I normally do, I want to close by saying that if you are currently a cigarette smoker, I strongly encourage you to do your research and consider making the move to e-cigarettes. If you have any medical/health questions,, be sure to discuss with your doctor first. I saw my doctor just last week and told him of my progress and he was just thrilled! Unfortunately I am not sure that the medical community at large is as positive or open-minded about the movement of e-cigs as my doctor is. The fact is that people are scared of new things. And e-cigs are relatively new, compared to analog cigarettes. 

But with that said, In MY Opinion, through my months of extensive research coupled with my own personal experience over these past four months, I have found them to be much safer and enabled me to be successful in my ability to put down those nasty cigarettes after 30 years of smoking! I feel better, stronger, and more healthy with each passing day!

Until next time friend..... 

Happy Vaping!