The E-Cigarette

So I have tried quitting a million times. I’ve tried cold turkey, the cut back method, the patch, the pill,the gum, the candies… nothing has ever worked for me. I think the longest I ever quit for was two days and then I was right back at it again- full speed ahead to lung damage and the good Lord knows what else.ย  I had been told multiple times to try the e-cigarette, but I just didn’t feel as though it would work. The idea of an electronic cigarette seemed a bit too far fetched for me. Then a very good friend of mine, whom I consider a brother more than anything else, Tyler Young (bassist for the alternative rock band, ‘Young and Wise’) went ahead and made the switch. He came over one day and brought his e-cigarette, and he told me and my husband that we just had to try it. He had different flavors, and he let us try them all. I was blown away. It felt a lot like a real cigarette, only smoother and cleaner. Tyler told me that he no longer had that awful morning cough and flem, that he was breathing better, and that he had more energy. Right away I knew that was the push I needed to try the e-cigarette.

Next pay day my husband and I went to this little store, which we knew sold what we were looking for at a rather cheap price. We each picked up one e-cigarette for $20 a piece. The $20 pack consisted of one battery (aka the actual cigarette part), one charger, and two cartomizers (where the flavor and nicotine are)-mine in menthol, and his in full flavor. At $15 a piece, we also bought 2 additional packs of cartomizers. Each pack came with 5 cartomizers in it, and each cartomizer is equivalent to 1.5 packs of cigarettes. Right away I saw a bonus here. Although it took us $40 to get set up ahead of time, we were definitely saving money. See, in New Jersey, a normal pack of smokes costs around $6. Bobby and I each smoked around a pack a day, so that’s two packs a day we need to afford. Times that by 7, and you are at 14 packs of cigarettes each week. If you buy a normal pack of cigarettes, that means you are spending around $85 in just one single week. Now, let’s look at the price of the cartomizers. You have to buy them by the 5’which is about equivalent to 7.5 packs. So, in order to get through one week, Bobby and I need two 5 packs. Together that costs $30. Look at the savings:
One Week: $45 savings
One Month: $180
One Year: $2,340!!!

Health Benefits:
Now, a lot of people wonder what health benefits there could possibly be. I mean, you’re still getting nicotine, right? And isn’t that the thing that’s so bad for you? WRONG! In fact, nicotine itself, while addicting, is the least of your worries. First, there is the smoke. The smoke you inhale from traditional tobacco goes into your lungs, and some of it stays there. With the e-cigarette, there is no smoke. It’s just water vapor, so you’re lungs aren’t absorbing any of that nasty stuff like before. Second, there is all of the additives in regular cigarettes, which are not found in the e-cigarette. I have been smoking the e-cigarette for about a week, but I am only now on 70 hours with ONLY the e-cigarette. I can tell the difference big time. I’m already breathing easier, and I wake up without all of that disgusting mucus every morning. As for all of the other claims, I’ll have to figure that out once I’ve been on the e-cigarette longer and have gotten over all withdrawal symptoms I’ve been having.

Withdrawal When Switching From Traditional Cigarettes To The E-Cigarette
So a lot of people are under the assumption that because you are still getting nicotine, that you will not go through withdrawal. This assumption however is very, very wrong. You see, you aren’t only addicted to the nicotine. You are also addicted to all of the additives, of which there are many. Some people (like myself and my husband) are also addicted in a very real way to the feeling of smoke filling your lungs. Now, I’m not sure just how many additives in cigarettes are addictive, but I know that there are a lot. With an e-cigarette, you probably won’t be getting as much nicotine as you would from an average cigarette either. So you will go through withdrawal. This means that the following symptoms are very normal when switching, but will go away after a certain period of time:

hives, anxiety, feeling anxious or antsy, depression, panic attacks, gas, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, a tight feeling in your throat or chest (if in your throat, you should still be able to breath easy; if inย  your chest, you should not experience any actual pain- if you do,go to the hospital right away), weight loss or gain, extreme hunger or inability to eat, itching in various parts of your body (with or without hives), headache, irritability, mood swings, sweating, general aches and pains, etc.

Remember that everyone is different. I myself suffered different withdrawal symptoms than other people I have known. Personally, I have suffered from the tightness in my throat, hives, headache, generalized aches and pains, anxiety, irritability, itching, and overall indigestion. On hour 70, as I am right now, the aches and pains are already gone, and so is the tightness in my throat. I have a headache, and I have just broken out in hives, but my anxiety is pretty much gone also. It DOES go away. Remember that, and you will be fine.

The varying strengths of nicotine in the e-cigarette

I’m not sure about the way all e-cigarette’s work as far as the strength of nicotine goes, but I’m using Green Smoke. This is the way that Green Smoke works:
Strong Strength: 2.4% nicotine by volume; comparable to a strong cigarette. Good for people who smoked a pack or more each day.
Full Strength: 1.8% nicotine by volume; comparable to a full strength cigarette. Good for people who smoke 3/4 to a full pack of cigarettes each day, or who smoked a ‘red label’ or ‘full flavor’ cigarette as their choice of smoke.
Light Strength: 1.2% nicotine by volume; comparable to a light strength cigarette. Good for people who smoke 1/2 a pack to 3/4 of a pack each a day, or who smoke light’s.
Ultra Light Strength: 0.6% nicotine by volume; comparable to an ultra light strength cigarette. Good for people who smoke less than a 1/2 pack a day, or who prefer ultra light cigarettes.
Zero Strength- The final stage. There is no nicotine in these e-cigarettes, only flavor.

A Step By Step Guide To Quitting As I Am Trying
Now here is the thing. I haven’t ‘for sure’ quit and stuck with it yet, so this is only a guide to what I am working by. So far, it’s been working for me, and I will keep it updated on this blog as I go along. But if you want to try this method yourself, go for it! There is no harm in trying, even if there is only a small amount of success. The key is to stick to it.

Step One: Make the first step by switching to the e-cigarette. During step one, give yourself a little bit of time to adjust to the e-cigarette, and allow yourself a cigarette or two here or there. It’s fine. I stayed on step one for four or five days before giving up real cigarettes one hundred percent…

Step Two: Switch over to e-cigarettes completely. For me, I switched to the strong strength. Some people may start this out with full strength, or light strength.ย  Allow your body time to adjust, and get over any withdrawal the switch might cause you before moving on to step three. Chances are, you will end up needing to stay on step two for one month. That is how long it takes to ‘make or break a habit,’ so that is about how long your body will need to adjust. Some people make the switch quicker. My friend, Tyler, took no time at all to make the complete switch. If you feel ready to move on to the next step at week one, week two, or week three, then go for it! (I’ll let you know how soon I move on, because this is currently the step that I am on.)

Step Three: Move down one level on the nicotine levels. For those of you who start with ‘strong’ like me, you will move on down to full. If you began with full, move on down to light. And, if you were lucky enough to start with light, move on down to ultra light. Adjust to the lower amount of nicotine, and then move on to the next step.

Step Four: Move down another level on the nicotine levels. If you began with strong, you will now be on light. If you started on full, you will not be on ultra light. If you began on light, you will be on ‘zero.’ Done! ๐Ÿ™‚

Step Five: Once again, move down a level. If you began with strong, you will now be on ultra light, and if you started on full, you will now be on zero. Done! ๐Ÿ™‚

Step Six: Another level down, and everyone will be at zero! You are now free of nicotine and everything else. ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck everyone!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. janna hill
    Nov 10, 2012 @ 16:20:14

    Keep us posted.


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