the ecigarette

In May of 2012 I stopped smoking real cigarettes and switched over to the electronic version. I saw it as a way to wean myself off the real stuff while still getting nicotine. Let’s rehash my smoking history:

  • I had my first cigarette sitting on the dock of a lake in my hometown, probably 16 or 17 years old. I was sitting next to THE boy I had a crush on for about 6 years. He was teaching me how to smoke. Did he ever end up smoking regularly? Of course not. Did I? Eventually yes.
  • Throughout my senior year I would sneak them when I could, but I was hardly addicted because my parents were insane about “catching” me smoking. (Go parents!)
  • College is when I finally had the freedom to buy Newports (?!) and go to da club and smoke IN da club, just like all the cool kids. I was under the assumption this would help me not “get-fat at college.” (I was wrong.) When I think about the amount of Natural Light beer, Dr. Pepper, and Pizza I ate in college, I get heartburn. Combine that with Newports- ugh.
  • I switched brands many many times. I continued to smoke well past graduation and into my professional life.
  • I quit smoking when I was about 9 weeks pregnant with Simon. I did it cold turkey. It made me very angry.
  • Being pregnant when you don’t want to be, and quitting all the things you love (alcohol and smoking) when you don’t want to, was very very hard and a sad selfish (hindsight) time for me.
  • When I was done nursing Simon (he was 6 months old) I started up again, fully believing I had the addiction in check and wouldn’t become a full fledged smoker again. How would I ever have time to smoke with a baby?!
  • At work, that’s how. In the car when he wasn’t with me. When someone else could watch him for a minute….when I went out with friends who smoked….all times I could smoke cigarettes. It became an escape back to who I was BEFORE having a kid.
  • Well, that was a stupid decision, so I decided to quit again May 2012 and the ecigarette worked for me almost immediately.

How did it work?

 
ecigarette (photo from: http://www.moodymamasays.com/trying-to-quit-smoking-with-ecigarettes)

  • Initially I ordered a started kit from a place called V2 cigarettes online. It included two batteries and two packages of cartridges, which hold the nicotine in them. They were pre-filled with a certain amount (mg) of nicotine, so you could gauge how much you want/need.
  • The vapor that comes out of an ecigarette consists mainly of nicotine and propylene glycol, which is a substance used in a lot of things, including asthma inhalers and more dangerous type stuff like windshield wiper fluid.
  • Considering the difference between ecigarette and real cigarette, I figured the ecig was a better option.
  • A pack of cigarettes is roughly 21 mg of nicotine. If you smoke a pack a day, that means you’re used to 21 mg. I started off on the ecig with a cartridge that was to last me all week, with 12 mg. It seemed to work, and I had cut my nicotine in half.
  • It was an adjustment, definitely- because there’s not an “end” to an ecigarette, you can puff and puff and puff and it doesn’t wear out for a long time. Unlike real cigarettes, which burn down and eventually you stub it out, you have to gauge when you’re done, which was an adjustment at first.
  • I got used to it. Then I wondered how I was going to quit it.

I’ve set a goal for myself that I’ll quit the ecigarette by May, because it will have been a year since the “real” thing by then. Since May, I’ve gotten down to 6mg. of nicotine, which is the lowest “dosage” you can get before going to 0mg. Basically at that point, you’re puffing in flavored propylene glycol solution only, which is just weird. And I’m a firm believer that our lungs were meant to breathe in primarily oxygen.

Now I own about 4 batteries, which all work to some varying degree, and I purchase all of my refillable cartridges at a store which is always VERY BUSY on campus called Alt Smoke. The people are nice and everyone there seems to be pretty happy with their choices.

However, there’s a lot of controversy over the use of ecigarettes. They say they’re not FDA approved (neither are cigarettes). They are worried people are just smoking ecigarettes from the start instead of regular cigarettes (really? I find that hard to believe). And some people think that it’s just a bad idea to have them in general. I’m not sure why.

Anyhow, the Smoking Haters’ Association doesn’t list ecigarettes as a recommended way to quit, but in my opinion they can go fly a kite because it’s worked really well for me, so long as I can actually kick the habit when I plan to. I think I can. I mean, I’ve quit coffee, I’ve been eating healthier, I’ve been exercising pretty regularly, and I finally ran TWO miles today (I know, it’s nothing- but it’s a lot for me) at the gym.

But I wanted to share with you people what I’m planning and what my experience has been.

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