Vaping Has Turned Me Into A Real Smoker
For me, vaping is what the cool kids do, not smoking ;-)
“So how is it?” I eyed my boyfriend who was puffing on an Njoy menthol electronic cigarette. “It’s ok” was his affirming, but muted response. “You wanna try?”. I eyed the little mock cigarette and replayed the sight of the airy, quickly disappearing vapor it emitted over in my mind again. “No, that’s ok.” I figured that I wasn’t a real smoker, so addicted to nicotine, that I needed a paltry substitute for those times when and where I couldn’t burn one of my regular menthol ultra lights. To put it simply, I wasn’t interested or impressed.
It wasn’t the first time I had seen an electronic cigarette. A few years prior, I had seen them at mall kiosks in Florida. Healthy looking young salespeople puffing away freely on these electronic, cigarette-wannabe things. It seemed so….’wimpy’ to me. If you want to smoke, then smoke! Be tough…go outside…master the art of shielding a little flame by your face so that you can get your nicotine fix! Besides, 1,000,000 places carry cigarettes. You can buy a pack of smokes anywhere if you need them. What am I suppossed to do when that little white electronic thingy dies?
I had always been a light, social smoker. I would buy a pack of the lightest, thinnest menthol ultra lights that I could find (usually Misty’s or Capris). I would stash the pack in my purse, and it would last me anywhere from 5 days to a week. I mainly smoked if I drank. Or if I happened to be with smoking co-workers. Or if traffic was bad. That sort of thing. I quit cold turkey when I found out I was pregnant. No withdrawal…no sense of missing it at all.
The Turning Point
That all changed when I miscarried in my 5th month (June). It was my second one within the span of two years and in spite of incredible grief and stress, life went on. I started smoking again, but this time with a vengence. I never quite got up to a pack a day, but I would regulary be picking up a pack every 3 days. I got a new job in a highrise office building where all the smokers collected on the sidewalk in front of the bus stop. It was a pain to trek all the way down there for a smoke break. But what else could you do? I spotted several people puffing on vape pens. They looked cool to me…much cooler than the cigarette wannabe things I had seen in the gas stations. I Googled, but was bombarded with tons of information regarding e-cigarettes and vaping, and it scared me away. But the concept had been reignited for sure.
In the meantime, my boyfriend had given up on the Njoys. At $7.99 each, they were barely lasting a day; so ultimately a money-losing deal. He only got them so that he didn’t have to go outside to have a cigarette at work. But with the weather getting warm, it didn’t bother him so much anymore. With me too, I enjoyed going outside, being social at work, on the porch, using smoking as an excuse to just take a break and have some good conversations. But I still found myself getting annoyed. Annoyed at losing lighters; annoyed at bumping ashtrays; annoyed of having smelly smoke blow the wrong way and sting my eyes; annoyed at strangers asking me for cigarettes & lights; annoyed at cracking the car window on chilly mornings and trying to ash out the car; and greatly annoyed at having to reserve a “cigarette fund” out of my already shoestring budget.
Then Came the Coupons
I get promotional coupons from time to time from cigarette manufacturers. We love them…in that they’ve saved us several pretty pennies off my boyfriend’s Newports from time to time. But this time, I noticed a different set of coupons. These were coupons for a free Vuse e-cigarette kit, and one pack of two refill cartridges. Hmmm. Well if it wouldn’t cost me anything, I would be willing to give it a shot. So I headed to the gas station and picked up the goods. I loved how it looked and felt. The taste was bearable (I didn’t love it, but it wasn’t revolting either). But more than anything, it was incredibly convenient. The vapor was quick to dissipate in the air and didn’t leave a lingering smell. I could bring it into the bedroom (were I have banned cigarettes), the car, and the homes of family members who don’t stand for smoking in their houses. And of course, no lighters or ashtrays! But after some time, I did find the vapor to be a bit harsh on my throat. I started researching and it turns out the Vuse is estimated to have anywhere from 24–49 mg of nicotine levels in it’s e-juice! A bit too high for me. But that was it…my whistle had been whetted. I just knew that vaping was for me!
Smoking vs. Vaping
I graduated from the Vuse to an eGo style battery that I picked up from a local vape shop along with three 10 mL bottles of flavored e-liquid at 12 mg off nicotine. I loved it. But was concerned about the cost regarding the disposable tanks I was using. I then moved on to a Kangertech EMOW kit with a glass tank. It’s what I’m using now, and I’m saving on buying the disposable tanks. I purchased a few bottles of e-liquid online, which I found tends to be about $0.70/mL as opposed to the $1.00/mL I pay at the local shops. Needless to say, I usually ramp up on supplies (e-juice and coils) once a month for about $25-$30, and I’m good to go.
Vaping fits my lifestyle more than smoking ever could. In fact, I haven’t smoked a cigarette since I picked up that Vuse. I always found finishing a cigarette to be a chore. Yes, I loved it when you first lit it. But then it would burn down. The further it burned, the hotter the draws, and the smellier your fingers got. Many times I just wouldn’t finish an entire cigarette. That would force me to put the half burnt one back in the pack. Then my entire purse would smell! Sometimes I would just chuck them. But then I would be kicking myself when it became time to buy another pack!
Then I hated all of those smoking accessories. Ashtrays…which were always an eyesore if there was even one butt in them. Lighters…which cost too much, lasted not long enough, and were notorious for going missing (they are even better than socks at that magic trick). And then there are the cigarettes themselves. You get them wet, bend them, leave them too long…they become useless almost. Such a chore overall!
Vaping on the other hand is much cleaner. You can take two puffs, or twenty if you want . My vape case doesn’t stink up my purse. The ability to choose the amount of nicotine in your e-liquid, its flavor, its ingredients, puts me in control…not some big tobacco company that just cares about their profits. And that’s important.
Years ago I turned to cigarettes to relieve stress. Eventually I found that they were introducing more stress into my life…the polar opposite of what I wanted. And if I indulged too much, I was punished with a sore throat, smelly clothes and hair, and dingy teeth. I didn’t want that. I wanted to inhale and indulge without all the baggage. Yeah, yeah…I know. There is no proof that e-cigarettes are harmless. But there is proof that they don’t smell as bad, produce ashes and dirt, have ingredients that are identifiable, and cost much less overall than cigarettes.
‘Vaping’ has turned me into a real smoker again. And for that, I have no complaints!