bekivapes

My journey into vaping


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Day Ninety Seven, we told you there was no gateway into smoking from vaping.

I turned my back on ecigarette news for 24 hours (off playing a game to review it) and I come back to good news and bad news. ASH UK have produced a new factsheet on the use of electronic cigarettes in the UK. You can download it in PDF form [here].

Summary of findings

  • An estimated 2.1 million adults in Great Britain currently use electronic cigarettes.
  • About one third of users are ex-smokers and two-thirds are current smokers.
  • The main reason given by current smokers for using the products is to reduce the amount they smoke while ex-smokers report using electronic cigarettes to help them stop smoking.
  • Regular use of electronic cigarettes amongst children and young people is rare and is confined almost entirely to those who currently or have previously smoked.

2.1 million adults in Great Britain currently use electronic cigarettes. This is good news. That’s 2.1 million adults either reducing or stopping their use of lit tobacco.

About one third of users are ex-smokers. I’ve seen this being commented on negatively. That vapers are deluding themseves into believing that they’ve stopped smoking. That it’s a “misconception” to say that a vaper is a non smoker. I would love to ask these people if they believe that someone using a nicotine inhaler has stopped smoking, because I would say that they have. Whether they can stay stopped is another matter. I haven’t smoked a cigarette or even wanted to for ninety seven days. Since I started smoking I have never before been able to state that I am free from craving lit tobacco. I don’t really seem to crave a vape in the same way. Remember that the accumulated health benefit of vaping for the rest of your life is statistically greater than just one more month smoking tobacco, then quitting cold turkey and never relapsing.  Quitting cold turkey and never relapsing is a very statistically unlikely outcome for any smoker. It takes 6 – 8 attempts over 10 years for the average smoker to give up completely.

Two-thirds are current smokers. This is a snapshot; while some of these people will duel fuel for the rest of their lives, some will move away from smoking. Every cigarette not smoked is a triumph from the harm reduction point of view. Scare stories about ecigarettes are as likely to make vapers and smokers say, “to hell with it, I may as well smoke a fag” as to stop non smokers taking up the habit.

The main reason given by current smokers for using the products is to reduce the amount they smoke while ex-smokers report using electronic cigarettes to help them stop smoking. I respectfuly suggest that as a vaper who has no intention of stopping my vaping I am also less likely to relapse to smoking. If I run out of juice, of either the power or nicotine variety, while out I know where I can get a disposable. At least I can right now – after 2016 that may become more of an issue. More grist to the argument that ecigarettes should be as freely available as tobacco. Oh yes. Nearly forgot. We aren’t using them to get round no smoking bans then. No. We told you that too.

Regular use of electronic cigarettes amongst children and young people is rare and is confined almost entirely to those who currently or have previously smoked. Yup. No gateway.

Yet the gateway effect is still being touted as a possibility. Here’s the bad news. NHS choices have taken this report and done things to the conclusions that made my jaw drop. Balance? What balance? I Quote: “…also suggests that the current position of e-cigarettes not being a gateway to nicotine addiction could quickly change.” Because companies are advertising to the target audience of adult smokers, and those adverts are being misinterpreted by people outside of that target audience. Suddenly the current and historical use of ecigs will shift? Highly unlikely, not impossible, but still sounding like a last straw argument against ecigs. They go on to say that:

A course of NRT is designed to wean you off nicotine forever, by reducing the dosage. No such option is available for e-cigarettes – claims that manufactures are selling the products for altruistic reasons are debatable.”

A course of NRT, which has a 95% failure rate, is designed to wean you off nicotine forever by reducing the dosage you get. It is very easy to achieve the same result with an ecigarette by stepping down the nicotine strength in the juice used. NRT products have also been licensed and approved for long term use, even in combination with each other and while still smoking in order to cut down tobacco use. I see no difference between how NRT products are being used and how ecigs are being used.  What the medical profession have to work out is if the goal is getting people off tobacco with all of it’s harm, or nicotine which is a natural part of our diet, and for which no one tests negative. The NHS choices article still overstates the case against nicotine, and does so in such away as to rubbish the fine line they’re trying to draw between ecig use and NRT use. For the other side of that argument please see The Great Nicotine Myth. Claims that the manufacturers of NRT products are selling them for altruistic reasons are just as debatable in this context, especially with the controversy surrounding certain smoking cessation products.

There was no honest negative spin that could be put on this report, and yet people in positions of trust are trying to do so anyway. Of course ecig advertising shouldn’t be aimed at children. The ASA is taking steps to ensure that it isn’t now, and the UK Committee of Advertising Practice are making sure it won’t be in the future by drawing up guidelines. Just leave it at that.

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Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.


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Day Ninety Five, more juice.

The moral of today’s story is this. What happens at the beginning of your vaping journey isn’t the pattern set for the rest of your vaping life. Please note; this whole post is directed at adults who have either taken up vaping, or are interested in making the switch to vaping from smoking tobacco. I am not a medical professional, I have no medical qualifications, and I make no medical claims. I am presenting my personal opinion only.

Back on Day Two of my journey, I was having problems. Everything was tasting dry and harsh. I wrote about one juice “I was fine at first, even enjoyed it, but after a couple of hours it wasn’t so much a throat hit as a throat-grab-and-hold-you-down-till-you-beg-for-mercy.” I blamed the PG because a lower PG juice tasted better and kept me vaping. Today I watched my violently anti-ecig smoker friend try a puff on the Liberty Flights CE4 which Liberty Flights sent me as a thank you gift. More about that in a future post. I’ve been using it myself with the PG based XO tobacco flavour that came with it for the last 24 hours. So, she tried it, a long gentle drag and she coughed. Tried again, a more gentle puff, and she was ok, again and a cough. A toot on my Vamp Vape (50/50 12mg in the dripper) was an even stronger negative reaction.

What I didn’t realise back when I first started is that the new vaper – even a heavy smoker – can get a cough reflex or a mild irritation from vaping when they first start. Even though tobacco smoke is demonstrably harmful, a smoker is used to it, and the body accepts it. Vaping is a new sensation, the throat-hit feeling is different from smoking a tobacco cigarette. I probably also had “quitter’s throat” which is the sore throat many people find they have when giving up smoking whatever method they use. A few months into vaping and my tolerances have changed. I’m vaping a higher PG juice, albeit with a lower nicotine level, and I’m enjoying it for the first time. Your experience might be different.

Back then I wrote ” Don’t get more than 10ml of any one ejuice, get a variety from different vendors, get different strengths and before you blame your set up, try another strength and PG/VG ratio. Keep the juices you don’t like though. They’ll taste totally different 3 months from now.” and I was right. They taste different for two reasons, one they’ve steeped and two my tastebuds and tolerances have changed. Very few people are PG sensitive; I’m not or I would have had reactions to other things with PG in them before now. I’ve tried an Aga-T, an RSST, a Kayfun, a fogger, mini protanks, an Aspire, an Igo-W dripper and an Orieco storm dripper. All of those things produced more or less a decent vape, once set up as well as I could. I come back to the Igo-W, the RSST and the Storm mostly for lack of faff. They all differ from each other in subtle ways, but I won’t put my hand up and say that any one of them is the must have be all and end all of vaping for me. The CE4 on an ego battery is a nice vape, it compares really well with the drippers and the RSST. If you’re using what they call ‘low end’ gear and you’re having hassles, don’t be quick to ‘upgrade’ thinking it’ll make a huge difference to the vape you’re getting. I don’t believe it will. My opinion is subject to change though. If you’re going through a similar rough patch in the first few weeks or months of vaping, it might just be a case of getting through it. Back then watermelon squish was my answer, and oh boy am I grateful it did the trick for me or I might have been one of those smokers saying “I tried one of those once, load of rubbish.”

My friend says that the XO tobacco flavour was too sweet, and my vamp vape was sickly sweet to her. I’ve sent for a couple of dryer flavoured tobacco PG based flavours for her, and she’s looking forward to trying some. I don’t care if she doesn’t switch, it really makes no odds to me. I’m just really pleased she’s willing to try some juices and tell me what she thinks. If the juices I’ve sent for turn out to be right for her and she wants to try to switch, then she’ll get the CE4 Ego kit. Yes, juice is subjective and it will never follow that just because I like it, then you’ll love it. Be willing to try new stuff, and stay open minded. There are so many lovely juices out there, that even though I have found two juices that I would class as an all day vape, I won’t limit myself to just them. Trying new flavours is after all one of the best things about vaping.

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Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.


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Day Ninety Four, I slept in a bed last night at long last.

This morning I have woken to more chaos, but right now I don’t care. I have consumed a bacon sandwich and a large mug of black coffee. I have dripped seven fat drops of home made ejuice into my dripper (Igo-W) and enjoyed my morning vape – without guilt. As I was sitting there, with my calm neutral palette colours, and matte white wood I realised another distinct advantage to being a vaper. The one thing left stained fagsmoke beige is the wire of the centre light. These lovely calming colours will stay unstained. I will get round to sending a minion to clean it at some point.

Then the postman arrived, and the dog escaped, and 4 baby koi (not mine) are nowhere to be found from the new outdoor koi pond (also not mine) tank thing. New covering and screening is being designed and installed against herons, kingfishers, foxes and neighbourhood bully cats. All of the living room and bathroom furniture has been disrupted again. The painters have stuffed the front bedroom with all of the upstairs furniture bar my bed and wardrobe, and I have no idea how we can possibly get the carpet down in there if the fitters ever appear. The parrot is stressed, the front door is permanently open, the room thermostat has to be turned up to “tropical” to get the heating to come on at all and I’m cold. The dog is sulking. I also have not been able to get to the loo yet today and it’s now nearly half two.

I fired up the computer. The FDA deeming regs are just this side of horrific; under those regs the statement “Ecigs are a safer alternative to smoking tobacco” would become illegal in the US, although the statement itself is in my opinion true. This means that advertising them to the target audience of adult smokers becomes even more difficult; more accusations of targeting youth will appear, and the negative spiral continues. The creeping war against ecigs is so relentless that I looked at the list of articles that popped up in my first search of the day and I didn’t know where to start. My continuing self imposed mission to calmly state facts, where no facts exist is Sisyphean, and suddenly feels really lonely.

I opened my post. Someone had said thank you and given me a gift. A “thank you” for the campaigning for EFVI – and right now it feels like one of the nicest thank you gifts I ever got. So Liberty Flights, Matt, Abe and Lynsey, Thank you. You made my day.

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Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.


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Day Ninety three, there are head shaped dents in my desk.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-echochambers-27082910

Read that link and then come back to me, OK? OK.

I arrived at that blog via twitter after comments were closed. This post is a longer version of what I would have said there, had I not arrived too late to the party.

Firstly we’ll look at the report by Blumenthal (et al) which stirs up the whole debate again. Blumenthal concludes that electronic cigarettes

“are targeted at young people with the very clear intent of creating a new generation of smokers.”

There isn’t a shred of evidence in this report that supports that claim. Not one. I’m going to point at Sweden and the data on Snus, just like Clive Bates did in his blog. I’m also just going to link to the NHS choices response to an earlier report, although that too has drawbacks to it. I can get yet another full house playing Bad Science Bingo here, because the facts don’t support the claims. In fact as hard as I look, all I can find are results consistent with the idea that e-cigarettes are being used by smokers interested in quitting or cutting down their use of tobacco cigarettes. How the study concludes that the data suggests the opposite is utterly beyond my comprehension. Maybe I’m just thick. Or concussed.  Clive Bates has explained the fallacies in this better than I can, so I quote;

The reasoning for claiming e-cigarettes do not help people quit smoking amounts to a crude non sequitur: “e-cigarettes were associated with more, not less, cigarette smoking among adults“.  More, not less… but compared to what? The study found that more smokers were using e-cigarettes than non-smokers. However, this banal observation does not confirm that e-cigarettes do not help quitting any more than finding that NRT is used more by smokers would suggest NRT is not used for quitting. The real test of the impact of e-cigarettes is hard to gauge because it requires knowledge of what would have happened in the absence of e-cigarettes.  If you could show there is “more, not less” smoking than there otherwise would have been had e-cigarettes not become available, then that would definitely be a concern.  But of course the study does not and cannot do this, given the limitations of its methods and the available data.That doesn’t stop you claiming [“E-cigarettes are likely to be gateway devices for nicotine addiction among youth, opening up a whole new market for tobacco”,] which as far as I can see, is based on nothing at all:”

{SOURCE}

So the quoted report has major flaws in the psyence – well it’s more psychobabble than science – used in the conclusions.

“In the wake of the report, Mr Durbin and Mr Waxman urged the Food and Drug Administration to clamp down on the marketing strategies used to promote e-cigarettes and to prohibit the enticing flavours”

Why are ecigarette adverts the way they are? Because they are REGULATED. Ecigarette firms may not make claims that the products they sell are smoking cessation aids because the only products that may make those claims are medicines/medicinal products licensed for that purpose. Hell. I don’t make the claim that they are cessation aids and I’m not selling anything. I have not ceased using nicotine – and actually neither has anyone. Including the holier-than-thou idiots that thought this shite up. No one tests free of nicotine; it’s a natural part of our diet.

Apart from the difference in ‘cessation aid” claims, eigs are being marketed IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY as NRT products. Compare and contrast the sweet flavoured, “success has never tasted so sweet” of a popular NRT brand, with the far plainer packaging of a standard bottle of eliquid. Compare the image of a fit and healthy looking woman puffing on what looks like a feminine hygene product, with the image of runners breaking out of a fug of unhealthy looking smog; which one of those adverts I just described is marketting the ecig? Actualy to my mind they both are, remembering the fact that NRT is failing spectacularly in it’s claims to help you quit. 50% more likely to succeed? Well yes, but that 50% is a tiny fraction of the proportion of smokers who do struggle through quit or die and emerge butterfly like as non-smokers afterwards.

And as had been said, many times before, adults like sweet flavours too. If they didn’t NRT products and Vodka would not be produced in sweet flavours.

Can I just state the obvious here a second please? The manufacturers of ecigarettes are marketing ECIGS. Not cigarettes. There are very few ecigs on the market that are sold by tobacco companies. Ecigs are not a Big Tobacco plot to gain addicts for evil weed. There is no Mcavity the Mystery Cat of Tobacco sitting cackling as he entices… it’s Reefer Madness, I’m not going to finish that line of thought.  Anyway, the gateway effect has not been proven. In fact current data suggests that it does not exist.

Back to the BBC:

The true health consequences of e-cigarettes are yet unknown. The three main ingredients of e-cigarettes are nicotine, flavouring and propylene glycol.

While some data shows nicotine can dangerously weaken the immune system, the flavouring seems to be harmless. That makes propylene glycol the wildcard. Since it usually it shows up in products such as soft drinks, salad dressing, shampoos and soaps, there is good data about the safety of eating it or applying it to one’s skin. But the effects of inhaling it are not yet understood.

There are also concerns that there could be cancer-causing substances in the vapour and metals on the coils inside the e-cigarette.

There is so much wrong with this, I’m just going to rewrite it.

“The long term health consequences of ecigarette use are as yet unknown. However there is good reasearch that suggests that while using an ecigarette may not be as safe as breathing fresh air, it is at least 99% safer than smoking tobacco and is harmless to bystanders. While some research shows that tobacco-free nicotine use can produce some negative effects, the majority of recent research suggests that nicotine itself is about as harmful as caffeine.

The other major ingredients in eliquid are Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin. Time Magazine first reported on studies on PG in 1942, unfortunately paywalled now. It’s used in inhaled medications such as NRT, and is generally safe, although a small number of people may be sensitive to it. But the effects of inhaling it are very well understood. VG is one of the most benign substances known to man. It breaks down into carbon dioxide and water, is hypoallergenic, non toxic and presents little risk to health at all. Even the FDA say that it’s harmless.

The wildcard in the mix is the flavourings. Although the PG based flavours that are recommended for vaping are safe for food use, there are no long term studies on inhaling these substances. There are also concerns that there could be cancer-causing substances in the vapour and metals on the coils inside the e-cigarette, but these were detected at only trace levels in any studies done. It is very unlikely that any risk is greater than the risk of smoking tobacco cigarettes, and is likely to be many times less hazardous.”

A simple google search brings up the facts needed to correct the inacuracies and balance the argument. I did try to stay objective here and I’m in no way asserting that ecigs are “SAFE!” I’m saying that they are considerably safer than smoking tobacco.

After this we get the scare stories about exploding batteries again. Newsflash: approximately 2 million people in the UK charged ecigarettes today, using the correct charger, and none of them exploded. Also many house fires were prevented by the use of a safer product which causes far fewer fires than lit tobacco products. But that’s not news is it?

Of course we should ban the sale of these products to under 18s, that’s a sensible precaution, but the heavy handed regulation that we see coming out and this crazy scaremongering is actually putting people off trying ecigarettes, and therefore preventing people from switching. This more than anything is “giv[ing] tobacco companies free rein to profit by manipulating the public’s mind and jeopardising its health.” [source] The people who are shouting loudest against ecigs are the ones keeping people smoking. You wonder why I have head shaped dents in my desk?

Is my argument rabidly pro-vaping, or is it a balanced and considered opinion based on fact? I think I’m being fair, even as angry as I am.

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Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.


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Day Ninety One, I tried one of those once, load of rubbish.

There are many and varied versions of the anti-vaper, but the one who is really annoying me at the moment is the one who consistently informs me that my ecig doesn’t work, “Those things are cr@p, load of rubbish mate, have a real fag instead.”  I remember what it was like as a smoker, having unwanted opinions shoved at me about my habit, with the underlying jabs at my self-worth for being one of those sick and twisted individuals who couldn’t survive without nicotine, and didn’t have the WILLPOWER to quit.  I remember it, feeling so goddamned ashamed to light up that I avoided smoking in public at all. My standard answer is a cheerful, “Works for me!” with a gesture that I have come to think of as a vaper’s salute – like saying “Cheers” with a glass in your hand, but the gesture is made with your vape gear.

Why are these people so determined to try to undermine me? Not that they will, or are even intending to. I seem to be reacting rather badly to that particular response to my vaping. It seems as though the worst ecig horror stories I’m hearing are coming from smokers, a group with whom I stand in solid support. Have we vapers produced a kneejerk anti-vaping reaction from smokers already? If so, then we need to step back and really look hard at the way we’re promoting vaping as individuals. I know for a fact that if some holier-than-thou vaper had come up to me on the street when I was smoking and said, “analogs suck, have a go at this” I would have very politely told them to mind their own business before instructing them to depart in short, sharp, jerky movements. It would probably have put me off the whole idea of vaping. But it is in effect what’s happening to me when I’m vaping, four times in the last month.

With the latest study figures being released by Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos comes the welcome news that vaping is working well enough to be statistically significant and on the face of the numbers, outperforming NRT by a fair old chunk of success rate. The numbers support my argument that vaping works. The vaping market is up by 340% too, further supporting what vapers have been saying. Vaping is a viable alternative to smoking. Will it work for every smoker? It has the potential to, if every smoker gets given the support to get to the set up that suits them without being put off by the same old anti smoking message. That message only made me more stubbornly determined to smoke. Between scare stories about how bad vaping is for you, WHO coming up with the masterplan of regulating them as tobacco products   and vapers getting all up in smokers faces with all the zealous fervour of the anti smoking bullshizz brigade. I think I have my answer as to why smokers are telling me my ecig doesn’t work; to say nothing of the probability that what they tried wasn’t the right set up for them.

We’re being divided from our smoking bretheren, and divided from our closest allies, we’ll fall. Smokers are not the enemy – yes I want to shout from the rooftops that I’m tobacco free at last, but I don’t want to be part of the process that continues to demonise smokers. Yes, I want to tell any smoker who is interested in a safer alternative, that vaping works. But until they are interested enough to want to ask the question, I will keep my big mouth closed.

As a new vaper, all I can tell my fellow newbies is this, if you want to vape, don’t let the naysayers and doom merchants put you off. If you want to take the cigarette and smoke it, then smoke it and don’t give yourself guilt over it. You don’t need anyone’s permission. If you’ve decided to switch, and you’re not having the easy time of it that I promised you, then get in touch with other vapers. There are people out there who have many years more experience than I have. It might be any one of a long list of things that’s making it tough on you, from Vapers tongue, to a simple need to use the thing more often and not to go into smokers “must cut down” mindset. If you don’t ask, then they can’t help.

On a more personal note, I may get to sleep in a bed tomorrow night. This would be a minor miracle. Wish me luck.

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Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.

 

 

 

 


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Day ninety, three months today and a quick start guide for new vapers

I got my dripper set up on a vamo, 1.9ohm coil, craft cotton wick and vamp vape made up to 12mg from concentrate at 50/50 PG/VG. I’m surprised you all haven’t yelled at me to be quiet, I’m singing so loud. Heaven, I’m in heaven. Not bad for an idiot who didn’t know a dripper from a clearo three months ago, but then I have vaping resources and lots of folk have already provided good information. Beki see, Beki do. Three months in and I can’t for the life of me remember why I wanted to smoke. It’s an alien concept to me now.

I was on the phone to mum last night and she asked what I’d recommend to someone who was looking to switch.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, or a medical expert, I am giving my opinion and backing it up with the research I’ve found. Please draw your own conclusions and do your own research. My opinions should never be taken as medical advice. I am not a scientist, or researcher and I might be wrong.

This will all sound like a foreign language to you right now, but trust me it’ll make sense really quickly. The first thing I tell any smoker is that a lot of folk that try an ecig don’t intend to stop smoking. It happens by accident. Secondly, you don’t need willpower. Switching to a good ecig is about as stressful as changing brands of ciggies. Don’t for one second think of it as a QUIT ATTEMPT, because we all know what they’re like. You are not a quitter. Stop quitting. You’re switching.

The ecigs I suggest consist of a rechargeable battery and a clearomiser or atomiser which screws onto the top. The battery provides the power. The clearomiser or atomiser’s component parts are a wick, a coil and a container for the eliquid (juice). The wick soaks up juice which gets it to the coil, then when you press the button the coil heats up and produces the vapour for you to inhale.

Using an ecig is a different technique from smoking a cigarette. It takes a little while for the coil to heat up, and when it does the vapour production is not as instantaneous as a tobacco cigarette. An ecig should generally be used with long, gentle inhales, rather than the short, sharp drags taken from a cigarette. It also delivers nicotine in a different way. It takes 35 minutes (with 18mg juice) to boost your nicotine level to what you’d get from one cigarette, so you will find that you’re naturally using it more. Don’t worry about this; you’ll find your own level soon enough. As a smoker you’re used to titrating your nicotine level. It’s not something you have to think about unless you find that you’re having problems staying away from cigarettes, in which case I suggest trying a stronger nicotine level in your juice. More on juice later

What do I suggest as a starter kit?

For the very basic step up from a cigalike try an ego style battery with an evod style clearomiser like this one from vapercaper  or this one from cloud nine vaping. The first has free juice with it  (but you’ll need more than 10ml to start) and the second has a spare battery, which is a REALLY good idea. Vapers need backups to the backups of the backups. We can’t just nip to the garage at ‘rse AM bank holiday Monday for a new battery. Liberty flights do a good range of CE4 starter kits. Two of those kits come with 2 batteries, all of them come with 10ml of juice.

For something that you may well still be using in a years time try a variable voltage or wattage device such as the Innokin iTaste VV V3 and pair it with something like the Mini protank 2. Select the deal that bundles them together and again throws in 10ml of juice. This is what I started with, and is my top pick. A good alternative to that atomiser is the Naturevape N-Vape Mini Pro which would also do well on the iTaste, or an ego twist. The VV V3 has a passthrough charger, meaning you can vape while it’s charging. Don’t vape when it’s plugged into your computer USB port, you may overload the USB and kill that port. Between those devices you have a fair to decent chance of finding something good enough to let you make the switch. I’d still be looking to get a second battery as a backup though, whatever my first choice was, and probably another clearomiser/atomiser or two. If you have loved ones who smoke, definately save hassle and buy two of everything now. Trust me on this.

Your clearomisers/atomisers are refillable, but the coils in them won’t last forever. Get spare coil ‘heads’ for them. CE4 clearos don’t have replacement heads, and you have to replace the clearomiser itself every three weeks or so. Hey – you used to buy cigarettes that you burned. Vaping is still generally cheaper than smoking, even including this initial outlay*.   Don’t skimp on your vape gear because it feels like you’re spending a lot to start off with. Don’t get juice in the chimney when you fill with juice and keep them clean. Rinse them out when you change juice flavours and dry thoroughly. Check no juice has got onto the battery connector regularly. If it sounds like the last drop of milkshake in the cup when you take a toot, then you have a gurgle. Generally the answer is not to vape your tank dry. To cure it take the tank off the battery and blow through it GENTLY into a tissue.

Juice.

Ejuice is made up from PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glyerin), with Nicotine and food safe PG based flavours. PG carries the flavour and gives you a throat hit, making vaping ‘feel’ like smoking on the throat. It doesn’t create a lot of vapour itself though, so to it they add the VG for that. A lot of the throat hit also comes from the nicotine concentration, so higher nic juices are more likely to grab you by the throat to say hello.

Juice is subjective; what I love, you might hate. You need more than 10ml  to start with, and a variety of nicotine strengths. You also want more than just tobacco flavour. I have never yet found a chocolate flavour that didn’t taste like unsweetened cheap coco powder. I suggest an ‘RY4’ tobacco flavour, another tobacco, a fruit flavour,  a caramel, a custard and something else that takes your fancy. I’d also suggest both 24mg, and 18mg strength, and at least one juice to be lower in PG, perhaps a 50/50 ratio. For juice the best thing you can do is wander into a good local bricks and mortar shop and try a few. Failing that, get samples from lots of different places. Here are some good online juice suppliers, there are others, but these I have tried and liked.

http://www.vapercaper.co.uk/collections/e-liquids Watermelon Squish is really nice.
http://www.vapology.co.uk/ Their tailor made caramel (double shot) is scrumptious.
http://www.scopesejuice.co.uk/ Apple pie!
http://t-juice.com/ Minty the Toff and Vamp Vape, Colonel Custard, in fact pretty much all of them.
http://www.steamgunk.co.uk/ are also lovely, they do 5ml samples so you can get different flavours/PG/VG ratios/nic strengths to try.

http://www.smokerainbow.com/ is a site I’ve never personally tried, but I have seen suggested a lot. You can get lots of tiny samples of juice from them for not much money. Might be worth a try if you’re really struggling to find stuff you like.

Edited to add: tobacco flavours that I have tried and liked include: Liberty Flights XO, both Supreme and Ultima. Slightly sweet, very pleasant. T-Juice UK Smokes (a drier flavour) and Hermano Rubio, strong and darkly sweet. None of these taste harsh to me. Note again that this is subjective.

If the juice you’re vaping tastes harsh or peppery and you can’t taste the flavour at all, try a lower nicotine level. If you still find it harsh, lower the PG level and up the VG.

For more information and other perspectives start here at the beginning of this blog. After that  http://ukvapers.org/ are a friendly bunch and answer newbie questions without hassle. Use the site seach there too; your question may have been answered already. http://www.vapourtrails.tv/ is a fantastic bunch of people, go back through the archives of the shows or join them live while signed into chat, an unmissable experience. Log on to RY4 radio too, another happy eclectic mix of folk. Robert, the Armed Vaper , Phil Bursado and Vaping Cookie are good vaping youtubers, there are others but not so much for the beginner.

I’m not going to wish you luck switching to vaping because you don’t need it. All you need is the right set up for you; that is some juice you enjoy and something to vape it from that works for you. If the first thing you try doesn’t work, then there is something out there that will. Ask  vapers, ask me, ask on the forums, don’t be afraid to say, “Beki, your mini protanks SUCK, what else might suit me?” There are more advanced options too, none of them necessarily better than what I’ve suggested here, just different. It’s all good as long as it’s keeping you switched, and that’s the main point after all. Best Friend says that all you will ever need is an Innokin Itaste MPV, V2 and 2 mini protanks, plus two or three juices of your choice which probably don’t include a tobacco flavour after the first fortnight. He’s quite happy with that, and even having tried a more advanced set up went back to the protank with a sigh of relief for the lack of hassle. The best vaping gear for you is the stuff that works to keep you vaping rather than smoking.

Part two – Now I’ve got my starter kit, what do I do with it?

VAPING SAFETY. IMPORTANT.

Nicotine is classed as a poison in its pure form.  Keep your Electronic Cigarette and cartridges / fluids locked away and out of the reach of children and pets. Toxic if swallowed. Very toxic in contact with skin. After contact with skin, wash immediately with plenty of water. In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. In case of accident, or if you feel unwell seek medical advice immediately, show the label to the medical practitioner. Always use the manufacturers charger to recharge your ecig battery and never leave a charging battery (mobile phone, camera, laptop or ecig) unattended while charging. Always unplug your chargers when not in use. Check cords are not loose, frayed or damaged and that all connections are clear of juice.

 

 

 

*That is unless you get a severe case of shinyitis and start looking at all the more advanced gear. Don’t do that. Well, don’t do it YET anyway. You looked didn’t you. All the pretty shiny things on those websites. You don’t need them. No, really you don’t. OK, then put what you would have spent on smoking in a jar and save it up. Then spend only that on shinies.

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Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.

 

 

 


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Day Eighty Seven, A short lull in the chaos

I’ve managed to make more eliquid in midnight raids on a half finished kitchen with no running water and no kitchen sink. I made up some T-juice concentrates to 12mg and some more caramel for me, with some experimental butter toffee flavour that I think is going to need a decent steep. I made it fast and without stressing about it in half an hour before I went to bed – by which I mean “curled up on a two seater sofa” – and it’s good stuff. You’d think through all the chaos that if I was going to start smoking again, this would have been enough to trigger it. I still haven’t wanted to smoke a cigarette.

Yesterday marks a month since the work in the house was supposed to start. It was supposed to take three days to complete the insulation, with the kitchen then taking about a week to go in. In reality I’ve had no bedroom all this week, and won’t be sleeping in my own bed until Monday night at the earliest because the plasterwork isn’t yet dry enough to paint. The whole thing has been a farce from beginning to end but there is now light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t the 7:15 express on its way through. I now have a working kitchen and a sitting room that feels almost normal. The redecoration work is still ongoing. And having put all the furniture back in all the rooms downstairs it will all have to be moved again. Either next week or the week after every floor in the house is getting either lino or carpet put down.

Everything stopped for Easter weekend. The hardboard to line the kitchen floor for the lino was supposed to be delivered today. It hasn’t yet appeared. The decorator – come – kitchen fitter  was supposed to turn up and see if paint could be splashed on my bedroom walls. No sign of intelligent life there either. Actually I take that back. A little intellegent life; he vapes.

While my back has been turned, the EFVI campaign has had a lovely boost with the dodo box which is now available to be placed to collect signatures all over the country. If you’re interested in volunteering for this project please email Dodo HQ on: dodobox@efvi-uk.co.uk . They do need all the help they can get, and not just because they’re all as mad as I am for volunteering.

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Please Support the NNA so that their voice for vapers can be heard loud and clear. Add your name as a supporter and then find the Paypal donate button on the right of the main page. Follow @NNAlliance on Twitter.

Medical professionals please see M.O.V.E and add your voice.