The great alternative to Smoking!

I smoked for many more years than I care to admit, but suffice to say I was a teenager when I started. Over the years that habit turned into some sort of crazy relationship with cigarettes. Rarely did I even consider quitting but was embarrassed that I had not given up my beloved crutch.

As a computer geek, I am generally in the know of the newest trends and e-cigarettes were no exception. While in Portland Oregon at a Community Leadership Summit, some of the attendees were taunting the smokers with their vaping toys, especially since they were vaping indoors while the smokers were banished to the courtyard. After talking with the vapers and enjoying the sweet aromas that followed them, I raced to my computer and ordered a kit so that it would be delivered to my home by the time I returned. 
I will admit it took quite some time to try the variety of mechanical options, flavors and contraptions but when I did, BAM, I was sold. At first I smoked and sometimes vaped. Gradually I vaped more than I smoked and finally on May 1, 2012 I said forget cigarettes and haven't had another analog cigarette since.

During this whole process I did a lot of research and suggest others do the same. In my research I learned that many people are able to kick the habit with e-cigarettes and also how much healthier they are for us. It turns out that most cardiologists are very supportive of e-cigarettes as an alternative for their patients. I no longer needed blood pressure medications as my BP dropped to normal range immediately as did my heart rate. Countless others have similar stories. Side note about health. While not FDA approved yet, WebMD states, "....Many laboratory analyses have shown electronic cigarettes do not contain carcinogens, he says. But even in studies where formaldehyde and other carcinogens were found, the levels detected were 500 to 1,400 times less than the amount present in one tobacco cigarette, Farsalinos says. "You would have to use e-smokes for six to eight months to get the amount of chemical present in a single tobacco cigarette, he says. [Konstantinos Farsalinos, MD, of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens, Greece]

So what is an E-Cigarette or Electronic Cigarette?

Electronic Cigarettes perform just like any traditional analog cigarette. It looks feels and tastes like a real cigarette while also providing the sensation of smoking a traditional cigarette. No fire, tobacco leaves, carbon monoxide, tar, ash, butts, or smell found in real cigarettes at all and no lighter needed, although advisable to have a USB connector or other power source nearby.

How does it work?

Generally speaking, the e-cigarette is made up of three parts, a battery, a nicotine cartridge and an atomizer depending on the style and model you choose. One of the most attractive parts of the E-Cigarette is when puffed a vapor is created much like smoke, just like a real cigarette. This vapor is a result of the nicotine and Propylene Glycol (used in Food Coloring) that is found in the cartridge, heating up by the atomizer and creating vapor.

How does it compare with Analog Cigarettes?

There are several habits that tag along as side habits from smoking such as Nicotine, Inhaling and producing smoke, fidgeting or touching the cigarette among others. As the smoker inhales, the nicotine and flavors are ingested just as with a traditional cigarette. The nicotine is real which satisfies the smokers craving. The vapor released is a smoke like illusion consisting of water vapor which satisfies the smoke craving. The feel is very similar to traditional cigarettes and performs very well in reducing that part of the habit as well.

What does it cost?

The amazing part is E-Cigarettes are very inexpensive as compared to traditional cigarettes. On the low end you can spend a couple of dollars a week and on the higher end where I am, I spend about $10 per week for exactly what I want. In general, it should save you thousands per year! I figured it up and my savings are near $3000 per year as I smoked one of the highest priced cigarettes available so my savings is huge!

What do you mean by flavors?

If you are a menthol smoker you can likely identify with that cool inhale and the menthol flavor, however those who don't smoke menthol may have difficulty. There are flavors ranging from Belgium Waffles, to Spearmint and Peppermint to Chocolate and every fruit known to man. My personal favorite is Cinnamint and it reminds me of Dentyne gum. YUM!

While there is a variety of smoking cessation devices available, none have been as successful as the E-Cigarette. There is such a wide variety of flavors, nicotine strengths, and devices that you are sure to find one that suits your taste. We are very fortunate in Jackson County to have a Vape Shop right here in Marianna. Vapor Tech offers a wide variety of flavors to choose from and a lounge like experience to sample till you find just the right fit for you. Visit them in Malloy Plaza right beside Beef O'Brady's and tell them you saw it here, in the Times!

Next week we will look at Vaping more in depth

Disclaimer: I am only writing this to help those who smoke find alternative ways that are healthier for their bodies. In no way should this be construed as medical advice nor should anyone who is not a smoker start

Written by Sandra Warren and published at  December 6, 2012