Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are, for smokers, one of the best things to have evolved out of the digital revolution. Right now, they’re probably the best nicotine replacement therapy available.

Unfortunately for would-be converts, there is an intimidating amount of information out there. The world of electronic cigarettes is massive, but it’s worth investigating if you’re looking to lay off the smokes.

Electronic Cigarette Basics

There are a few key components common to all electronic cigarettes. Before you buy, familiarize yourself with these:

    • Battery

Capacity is rated in milliamp-hours (mAh) – a higher rating indicates longer runtime.

    • Atomizer

Heating element that transforms liquid to a vapor.

Higher output electronic cigarettes have a dedicated body that houses the battery (sometimes two), and some have circuitry that regulates voltage output. These bodies come in two flavors:

  • Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APV)
  • Mechanical Mods (often referred to as mech mods)

How I Used e-Cigs to Quit Smoking

The first time that I tried an electronic cigarette was in 2011, and I was favorably impressed from day one. It was a Smoke Fifty-One unit, one of those that was sold at any number of mall kiosks. I chatted with the salesman, Sylvester, on a couple of occasions before I dropped the $100 to buy a starter’s set. He threw in a 10mL bottle of e-liquid, and I chose the 6mg nicotine strength. I later learned that $100 can buy a tremendous setup, far more capable than the cigalike that I started with.

I stuck with it for a few weeks, and it seemed to work. Nicotine cravings were quickly dispelled by a few pulls on my e-cig. Granted, I was probably vaping a lot more than I used to smoke, but I figured that it was safe enough, given that I was using the lowest strength e-liquid that was offered.

Towards the end of my first month, I decided that I would try smoking a conventional cigarette again (referred to as analogs by vapers). I got through about half of it before tossing the rest out of the window. The odor of burning tobacco just didn’t sit well in my mouth.

And then I stopped vaping.

It came about after I placed my first web order for e-liquid. The stuff was shipped to me from China and arrived via Expedited Mailing Service (EMS). When I received the package, I noted that the cost of shipping was equal to the price that I had paid for the product. My mother was convinced that I had purchased poison, and that the Chinese government must be in some way behind this effort to cause harm to idiot Americans like myself.

So I put away the Smoke Fifty-One e-cigarette and let it sit in a box for a long, long time. It didn’t come out again until after I started working at the car dealership, and I thought that it might be good to hand it over to George Dupuy. I brought it charged, set it up, and took a few pulls from it to demonstrate how it worked. Shorty thereafter, I observed a strange burning smell in the air. I was mortified to find that smoke was emanating from the unit.

Long story short, I got back in after I noticed that I was smoking cigarettes by myself on the regular again. They’re good.