Electronic Cigarettes - The Fog Machine for Your Face
Electronic cigarettes don't burn tobacco, they vaporize a liquid form of nicotine with a propylene glycol base. Sound familiar? Avid readers of this site will remember my recent article about repairing fog machines, where I described fog machines using this same product, a "fog juice" of propylene glycol, minus the nicotine.
My friend Devin tried electronic cigarettes, or rather, one particular electronic cigarette. As soon as I found out, I asked him a bunch of questions about his new habit. He also sent photos!
Q: How did you start?
A: Well, I think I smoked my first cigarette at a friend's party when I was about 16 years old. (I'm 22 now). I don't know why I tried a second one, as the first one was awful, and left me a puky, coughing mess.
Q: How long have you smoked?
A: Around six years. The only time during that period that I recall not smoking was when I was in basic training for the Army.
Q: How much did you smoke?
A: During the first year I didn't smoke much, because there wasn't anyone who would buy them for me. Once I turned 18 I really took off, and I think I was smoking about a pack a day within about 4 months.
Q: Why did you decide to quit?
A: I decided to quit for a couple of reasons. The first one was that I realized one day that if I didn't smoke, I would not be spending $180 every single month on cigarettes. The second reason has to do with my comfort. Which is sort of like having to do with my health, but less noble on my part. You see, smoking creates some very uncomfortable feelings. Watery, burning eyes, a cough that won't stop, a constantly stuffy nose, and occasional diarrhea (Did you know that smoking can make you have to poop?)
Q: Have you tried to quit before?
A: No, but I was forced to quit for about twelve weeks when I joined the Army. As soon as I was able, I started smoking again.
Q: What's your favorite part of smoking?
A: It WAS smoke breaks. The ability to get away for 5 minutes, enjoy a fine tobacco product, and just think about things.
Q: What is your best memory of a time you were smoking?
A: Post-coital cigarettes, of course!
Q: Have you tried the patch?
A: Once. It gave me a chemical burn on my skin (AND it was the lowest nicotine content patch, so it wasn't going to get any better from there.)
A: Well, I never tried to use it to quit smoking, but I have used it for things such as meetings, and long plane rides, to get my nicotine fix.
Q: How did you buy an electronic cigarette?
A: I had seen some ads for the "Blu" brand electronic cigarette. I figured it was an entry level device, and I prefer to think of myself as an advanced user for most things, so I decided to do some research. I came across literally thousands of youtube videos, product reviews, instructional materials, and more. I found out that there is a HUGE community out there right now, and that made me decide to take the plunge.
Q: How much was it?
A: This question is a bit difficult to answer. You see, there are many different "Devices(The part that holds the battery, charging circuit, control circuit, etc)" out there. There are many options for the part that actually vaporizes the liquid, as well. The magic number for me was $75. That was the top end of what I wanted to spend to start vaping. There are options at all price points, however. You can easily spend a couple of hundred dollars to get started, but I looked around and found the combo that worked best for me.
Q: What brand did you get?
A: Well, the power device is a Joyetech eGo-c Twist. This means that it is made by Joyetech, it is in their eGo style line, model "C", and the twist designation refers to the voltage controlling knob that is flush mounted to the bottom. My vaporizing device is a Kanger T3 "Clearamizer". These devices hold the liquid to be vaporized, feed it to the vaporization coil by use of a wick, and are refillable.
Q: Was it hard to figure out?
A: Not at all! Ten minutes after I got my package open, I had my clearamizer filled with liquid, everything put together, and had my very first vape!
Q: Does it have batteries?
A: The one I have has an internal, non-replaceable Lithium Ion battery, rated for 1000 mAh.
Q: Is it a pack of cigarettes?
Q: They produce vapor, right?
A: Yes! There is no smoke, or secondhand smoke involved.
Q: Is the goal to keep on smoking these, or are they a stop-smoking aid?
A: I may use it to get off of nicotine one day, but that was not my plan when I bought it. I wanted to replace cigarettes with a cheaper, less destructive alternative.
Q: Do they glow or light up in some way?
A: When you press the button to apply power, it does light up.
Q: Does the vapor show up in your exhale? Is it visible?
A: Sometimes, if you don't hold the vapor in your lungs for very long, or if your device produces a lot more vapor than mine does.
Q: Any other differences you like or dislike?
A: I like everything about mine. The only thing I dislike is that some companies have quality control issues involving their hardware leaking, or their nicotine liquids not containing the proper amount, but fortunately the better known companies do not have these issues most of the time. I would hate to see someone get discouraged and go back to smoking because of shoddy hardware.
Q: Funny experiences with them in public?
A: I took a long draw from my vaporizer at work one day, and one of my coworkers was watching. I let it out through my nose, but no vapor came out, and he kept staring at me. He finally said "Are you going to breath out, or should I call a paramedic?"
Q: Are you worried about them interfering with your Google glasses?
A: I am not worried. I expect google will produce a patch for it if there is a problem.
A "Vapor Parlor" has opened in Sacramento. They sell e-cigarette kits, 200 kinds of flavored nicotine fluid and all the accessories. http://vapor-parlor.com/
Craig wrote to give another vote for e-cigarettes
I have been an avid reader of your site for quite a while and when I seen your article on Vaping I thought that's something I could contribute to..
I decided to quit smoking in February but tried all the methods available here in the UK without much success.
I started with a disposable E-Cig which was great, still had the smoking but without the harmful chemicals from tobacco. Thought it was great but at £4.99 and lasted just over a day for my heavy habit I couldn't see me making a saving at all. I smoked around 50g of tobacco rolling my own at £16ish a week.. E-Cigs would cost me a fortune so I too decided to look for an alternative. After much searching I found what I was looking for, a Kingo starter pack of 2 batteries, 2 chambers, 2 tips and 10ml of liquid.
I added another 50ml of E-Liquid at 18mg strength of nicotine making my purchase a heafy outlay of around £65.
My thoughts were if I can make it last for 1 month I can break even on my purchase, and every month after if I spend £20 on E-liquid its better then £20 a week on tobacco and hopefully remove the nicotine stains from my fingers and the smell of tobacco from my clothes and person while saving some cash in the process.
And its now July and im still going strong. Have not touched a real cigarette or tobacco and not even been tempted, I can smoke my E-cig anywhere although I mostly stay out the way for my fix of nicotine but my craving is nowhere near as strong as it used to be. I have tried different flavours but Mint is the one that I like most but at £4 for 10ml or £15 for 30ml I have found some cheap sites with free delivery for myself to make my purchases and save even more cash. From £80 a month down to maybe £20 now with spares and E-liquid, I feel better, I don't cough every morning, I don't smell of tobacco, or have nicotine stained fingers and I can certainly smell anyone else who still smokes around me.
My latest purchase was a dual core chamber that increases the smoke, but I have found it uses more liquid in the process, it does though remove the need for a needle to fill the chamber.. Unscrew the top and pour your liquid in. A simple and much more efficient way of refilling on the go!
If you smoke and you want to give up I highly recommend the try, I have reduced my nicotine level but I must say I haven't got to the 0mg of nicotine yet but there is plenty of time to give it a go.
I do have pictures but attaching them bounced my email back because of your email receive limit