Friday, February 15, 2019

**UPDATE** My 6 Month Anniversary (and a resource for new vape folk)

UPDATE: I added a couple of more links to the bottom of post

It has been184 days since I had even one puff of one cigarette. That is either
  • 15,984,000 seconds
  • 266,400 minutes
  • 4440 hours
  • 185 days
  • 26 weeks and 3 days
  • 50.68% of a common year (365 days)
In other words, to paraphrase Prince, it's been  6 months, 1 day (including today).

That's a long time and a lot of unsmoked cigarettes.

Now that I am vaping, I try to tell others what a positive change it has been for me. I'm no expert, but I am learning things I wish I had known from the start. I almost gave up because of the run-ins I had with bad devices, awful juices, and fearmongers.

I thought it would be cool to share some of the things I've seen online (okay, mostly Pinterest). I'm hoping that it will encourage others who have wanted to move from tobacco to vaping. Afterward, I will talk more about my own "journey".

The main thing I wish I had known more about what vaping actually was. I did not know that back in 2014 or '15 that most people where I lived were vaping only weed. For the rest of us, there were small devices in smoke shops like the Blu or disposables similar to Blu. I might be wrong so here is a detailed timeline that I haven't read yet. By the way, the site of that guide is a nice spot for vapers!

I still get confused.
source: vaping360
Open in new window & enlarge

The other thing that threw me for a loop was all the slang and other terminology used in the #vapelife community. I found the best glossary. It's VISUAL so, yeah! I have to admit that I will be running right over and swimming through that glossary as soon as I finish this post.  Here are some more resources

That's a good start of places for info. The other thing I found frustrating was just finding places to shop for supplies. 
  • I started with Breazy but had a bad experience with shipping and customer service. That might have been a fluke, but it really turned me off. 
  • My next spot was Electric Tobacconist and I loved both the service and shipping. 
  • An Instagram buddy turned me on to VapeWild and it was love at first order.
What I have learned is that you need to find more than 1 (or even 5) sites because some are great for different things. E. Tobacconist is awesome for devices; Breazy had a good selection too, but, you know; and VapeWild is my place for all things juice. I have bookmarked a couple of places based on suggestions from social medial pals:
Once I found a couple of safe places to order from, I learned which types (or flavors) of juices I do and don't like. I love creamy, sweet, and fruity juices - those are often listed and "desserts" or "breakfast" juices. I dislike anything of tobacco, menthol, cinnamon, or strong mint. Yech! To each his own though.

For now, I am into affordable, basic juices that taste good. Apparently, like with any product, juices come in the "basic", "above basic", and "gourmet". I have been getting sample packs of 4 30ml juices for around $17 (and they always come with 3 or more freebies to try). I never finish all the juice, but share them with family so I budgeted for once every other month. I won't have to order now for at least 3 months, maybe?

Love my folks at VapeWild!!!

That's from about 3 orders from VapeWild and a couple of random orders when I was using only nic salt to refill my Juul. Now, I rarely use nic salt (or the Juul). I can't even remember where I got those nic salts from but I know they were cheap!

Can NOT remember where I got these!

If you ever get tired of buying your juice, you can always make your own. I'm not brave enough yet but if you are, here are some resources:

That just about covers some of the stuff I wish I had been told about vaping before I started. Now that I have started, I wanted to share my story.

I have only ever quit smoking for a sustained amount of time once in my life. I lasted just about 2 years using the nicotine patch before I tumbled off that wagon. The whole time I was on the wagon, I teetered like a drunk sailor. The cravings were insane and, despite what every other reformed smoker promised, those cravings never went away. Not ever. I am sure that the only reason I even lasted so long was that I was younger and could eat like a giant and not gain but 2 ounces. Fast forward 10 years and I lasted about 1 month before I was 20 pounds heavier and mean as hell. I mentioned to someone that drinking alcohol was a trigger for me and they mixed a margarita before I could blink.

Anyway, I did want so badly to quit smoking. I liked a lot about smoking except for the smell, the taste, and the hacking cough it produced. However, when I started making some huge life changes, I had to look at my tobacco habit.

The main reason for moving out of Alaska was to improve my health. The weather is (mostly) better, the stress levels are lower, and the people are calmer. Those are all external issues. I needed to deal with things more in my control: exercise, a better diet, more water, more positivity, and... quitting smoking. The problem was, I loved the hand-to-mouth action and I actually loved seeing the smoke curl away into the air.

Enter vaping.

Vaping should have been the perfect solution but it wasn't easy to get used to. I had hated the first devices I tried a few years back - mostly disposable e-cigs and horrible tasting pen cigs - and didn't see how it could be a substitution for cigarettes. One device I tried tasted so bad that I tried rubbing my tongue on a towel to get rid of it. I recently mentioned some of this when I reviewed a device.

Once I learned about different devices and juice brands, I was on my way.

I know that there is a lot of debate about whether or not vaping is harmful. Definitely, we must keep children away from vaping - the same as we need to keep them away from tobacco - but it's my opinion that it's the best alternative to smoking.

Anyway, I hope that some of this post was helpful.


American Vaping Association is an advocacy site for vaping

Not Blowing Smoke (site not secure) "champions, promotes & campaigns" for the vape community

Vaping Post is an online publication

Vaping Daily is a good resource for information, purchasing deals, and guides - including to online stores.