bekivapes

My journey into vaping

Day 120: Four months vaping today – why didn’t I start vaping sooner?

5 Comments

In the reactions to yesterday’s blog post I found I had hit a chord that resonated amongst my vaping friends. There is a core of us who wish we had heard about vaping sooner. I can only give my experience of this, more anecdotes, I hope someone picks it up and adds it to a survey question at some point because I think the answers will be telling.

“If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is”

Those were my words, against a link to a cigalike ecig. I remember posting it somewhere – facebook or twitter or LiveJournal – and asking my friends if they thought it might be the answer. If there was some way I as a smoker could have my cake and eat it. That has to be a good five years ago now. I did buy that ecig, and it was “too good to be true” in that it didn’t directly replace smoking for me. What if I hadn’t bought a cigalike from a company which actively discourages moving on to second and third generation products even now. What if I had been taught to use it correctly in the first place. What if I had bought a good quality second generation product, or even bought that first ecig from a different retailer with a bigger range of products and better, more balanced, information.

What if these products had been freely available everywhere I could buy cigarettes or tobacco?

I would have switched sooner.

I would have been able to directly replace smoking with vaping five years ago. That means I would have avoided four miserable quit attempts, and been nicer to be around when I relapsed to smoking while living with an ex-smoker. Looking back I turned into something I really don’t like every time I gave up my beloved tobacco. And yes, I did love it. Both times I had given up smoking while in a relationship with someone who didn’t smoke, almost the first thing I did once out of those relationships was buy a pack of twenty and mentally stick another single finger up at the world in general.

I needed to know these things existed

If there’s no marketing, no means by which the message gets out, how are smokers like I was supposed to find out about these products. If the only information being put out there is scaremongering and hysterical puritanism-driven advice to “quit or die” do you think that it’s going to be easy for the average smoker to make an informed decision.

I didn’t intend to quit before I saw the ecig

I didn’t intend to quit when I bought my first ecig. I was curious to find out if it worked well enough to let me get round smoking bans. I didn’t know that there were more effective ecigs out there. Up until the point I saw a second generation device I had absolutely no intention of giving up smoking again. I was adamant that I was never going through another quit attempt. Anyone telling me to do so got my standard response that there was nothing that replaced smoking for me, and that I was better off physically and mentally smoking than not smoking. Quit attempts for me mean; weight gain, mood swings, tears, anger, carbohydrate cravings and the fact that my intense need to smoke a cigarette never eases with time. I bought my second generation device and began documenting my switch to ecigs as a blogging exercise; I tried to mentally set myself up to succeed as best I could in order to give myself the best chance possible. But in reality all that made me try it was one simple fact that vapers were repeating over and over again. The fact that for them vaping directly replaced smoking. That I was not embarking on a quit attempt which for me were always horrendous.

I didn’t quit: I switched

And I don’t intend to give up using an ecig. Some medical practitioners are horrified by this, as if somehow my deciding to replace an addiction to tobacco with a habit of smokeless nicotine use means that I have not stopped smoking. I have not put a paper tube filled with tobacco between my lips, set fire to it, and breathed in the smoke. I have used an ecig ad lib in a similar way to the way I used tobacco; not exactly similar as they are different delivery systems, but not so different from cigarettes as NRT. You see I didn’t know what dose of nicotine I was getting when I smoked a cigarette, but I learned to titrate my levels instinctively. E cigarettes are less effective in delivering nicotine, and studies show that it is highly implausible that a vaper could overdose on nicotine by vaping. I don’t need to know the dose I’m getting, I just need to experiment to find the level which suits me; by which I mean find the level which makes me feel as though I’ve had a cigarette.

I’m not using it as a medicine

If I had been handed a personal vapouriser by a medical professional which had measured doses, and I was told that I could only have x number of puffs over y amount of time I wouldn’t have been able to switch. Taking something designed as a consumer product and making it medicinal takes away a huge part of the mechanism which makes it work for me. I need to be able to use it ad-lib, more when I need more, less when I need less. I need to be able to change strengths and flavours, and I need (as a 43 year old woman) all of those flavours to be there. Without them I would not have switched.  Medicalising my nicotine use, shaming me for being weak willed enough to want to use nicotine past the magic thirteen weeks therapeutic level… actually all boils down to one thing.

What do you want us smokers to quit, Nicotine or tobacco?

I can’t do both. Neither can a lot of people. We have a choice of vaping or smoking and no amount of shaming, demonisation, bans, restrictions, health warnings, plain packaging, sin taxes or any other puritanical crusade against enjoyment will stop that. You’re dealing with a percentage of smokers with whom you have never yet been able to engage. Listen to us.  Vaping is working to directly replace smoking as it exists today. The scaremongering, the horror stories, Public Health “experts” shouting unproven nonsense against it is working against the best interests of the people who matter. I get really angry about this, because we’re talking not just about my health when smoking, but about my mental, physical and emotional health when being put through yet another doomed-to-fail quit attempt.

Yet still, I am just an anecdote.

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Author: Beki

A Mad middle aged woman who lives in the middle of nowhere, Scotland with a parrot, two Jack Russells, some koi, and a tank full of tropical fish. I have M.E. but that's really not important. I draw, paint, write, game, garden, blog and enjoy a good vape. I have three lovely grown up offspring, and 2 ex-husbands. I do genuinely have the legal title of 'Lady Rebecca Jane [SURNAME]', and am proud to support the restoration project which bestowed that title on me. I will happily explain where to find more information on this if you contact me.

5 thoughts on “Day 120: Four months vaping today – why didn’t I start vaping sooner?

  1. So much of your story resonates with me. Until the latter part of last year, e cigs to me were those cig-alike things sold next to normal tobacco products. I completely ignored them as an alternative for me… they just seemed like another gimmick. I had no idea there was anything beyond them nor indeed how many people had found this secret garden full of wonderful produce and people! It was only when I had to start taking medication for high blood pressure coupled with my already known high cholesterol, that I started to look, yet again, for an alternative to smoking.

    I still can’t quite believe how easy it was to switch. I was lucky enough to start with an ego battery and ce type clearo…say lucky because my knowledge was so limited at the time that judgement only played a small part. Since 23/11/13 I can honestly say that I haven’t even nearly smoked a cigarette. I did get a bit panicky at one point when struggling to find a liquid that I liked but then I found Digby’s!

    For the record, I too have ME/CFS, whatever you want to call it. Again, like you I think it has little relevance to vaping. However, a small point of interest is that I have come across several smokers with the diagnosis who have found that on attempting to stop (without NRT) smoking, the symptoms that most people find improve over time actually get worse for ME/CFS sufferers, myself included. The switch to vaping has given me no such problems!

    Now that I have found your blog I will look forward to continuing to read it.

    THANK YOU

    Like

    • Thank you for your kind words. For me nicotine use improves cognitive function, in other words it helps with brainfog amongst other things. I know I can’t prove it, but I do feel better when using nicotine. I have honestly never been happier than when sitting just enjoying having a vape. I could never have said that about my experience of NRT. It is light years apart from it. Congratulations on the switch.

      This part of my story seems to be resonating with a lot of folk. I didn’t think I was alone, and this just proves it.

      I wish you lots of good days, plenty of “spoons*”, and may you always have good juice in a working atomiser on a decent battery.

      http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

      Like

  2. Nice blog! I remember posting about “if it seems to good to be true” one time on ECF. I was thinking while this phrase is often true, it is not ALWAYS true. Probably many inventions in the past seemed too good to be true when they were new. Airplanes, indoor toilets, automobiles, antibiotics. We are so far removed from their introduction that they don’t seem too good to be true anymore.

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    • Oh yes, I agree. We have to base current decisions on past experience though, and my past experience of the things that I was told would work to help me give up smoking meant I was utterly cynical about the whole thing. The cigalike I got at that point just backed that opinion up; thank all I ever held holy that I was proven wrong 4 months ago.

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  3. Pingback: Day 120: Four months vaping today – why didn’t I start vaping sooner? | artbylisabelle

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