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November 07, 2012

Positive Life Improvement Thread

Okay, one more. Treat today like New Year's Eve and make a vow to improve your life, or improve yourself as a person, or as a parent (or a child), in some definite way.

If you have any success stories, advice and encouragement as to general life improvements, offer.

Why am I on this kick? I've said this before but since Andrew Breitbart died I've understood, for the first time, really, we have only one life, and it's pretty damn short.

One thing I noticed was that someone mentioned smoking, and the e-cig.

If you're still a smoker: Dude, you must stop. Come on. It's not a sign of rebellion. It's kind of a sign that you don't like your life very much and don't think much about shortening it.

Now, because I understand nicotine addiction like anyone, I'll mention once again that the e-cig supposedly has no adverse health consequences -- nicotine itself is, allegedly, of the same chemical family as caffeine, and has a similar health effects profile (that is, it's not exactly good for you but it's not cancer-causing). Update: Well, actually, it increases blood pressure. Which is not good. But it's also not cancer.

The e-cig is also cheap. $160 will set you up for about three months or more of heavy smoking; after that, you'll have to pay, say, $50 every couple of months to replenish nicotine liquid and atomizers.

Although you can insert a tobacco flavor into the liquid (or cherry, or watermelon, or menthol, or chocolate, or whatever), I stopped that months ago myself, and so now my vapor smells like... nothing at all.

Although you may occasionally crave a real cigarette, I'll tell this, I keep a pack around for emergencies but it pretty much just sits in a drawer. When I do break down and have one, it's usually half, because halfway through the thing I realize "This has no appreciable benefit over the non-cancer-causing substitute I use, and it kind of tastes nasty, like charbroiled ass." So I stub it out and wonder why I did that.

Quitting is pretty easy. When I first went on it, I was off cigarettes, completely, for about three months. At that point I stared the "just one, once in a while" thing. Which I've now mostly stopped.

Number of cigarettes during and after the election: Zero point zero.

I had one Sunday, though.

Other benefits: You can vape (we say "vape," because it's vapor, not smoke) in your house with no smell. You can vape in restaurants and bars. You can vape on a train. You can vape in bed. You can vape one puff if you wake up in the middle of the night.

You can, actually, vape in airplanes, even though you're not supposed to, simply by doing it on the down low and making sure you mix a lot of air into your exhale so you're not ostentatiously pluming a cloud of gray smoke (vapor, but it looks like smoke).

I didn't tell you that was legal-- I just said you can get away with it it if you're reasonably furtive about it.

You will never say "Oh God, it's 1 am and I'm out of cigarettes and I have to drive to 7-11" again.

If you've tried the ones you can buy at 7-11 and the mall, and found it wanting, that's because those sellers sell cartridges (tanks with nicotine liquid) at such a low level of nicotine as to make you miss nicotine. When you buy online, you buy a jar of nicotine liquid and glycerine to cut it with so you can make it as strong as you like.

You can also start cutting the dosage of the nicotine to slowly wean yourself off the stuff. I, honestly, have not done that yet. I'll do so on my next batch.

Because people don't know what to get, I'll recommend the model I currently have, which is the best I've had so far.


It's called the Tornado Tank Ego-C Mega. Corrected: Apparently it's "eGo," not "eCo."

The "Mega" part is a variation of the regular one. The Mega has a bigger battery and bigger tank of liquid, so you have to swap those out less frequently. I don't think this part of it makes much difference, except the Mega version is a little bigger, and is more convenient for heavier vapers.

Here's a video review.

Because people don't know much about this, I'll explain the basics. The thing is made up of pieces. All pieces usually come in a starter kit, but call someone (like Totally Wicked e-liquid) and order verbally with a salesperson to make sure you're getting everything you need.

The pieces are:

1. Battery. This is a battery, shaped like a tube.

2. Atomizer shell. This holds the atomizer and the tank. It's just a piece to hold other pieces.

3. Atomizer. This is a little widget that permits a bit of liquid to drip on to the hot surface inside the atomizer and thus turn it into warm vapor. It's powered by direct contact with the battery. When the thing screws together, the battery touches the atomizer. One Tricky Thing: The atomizer does not snap in or otherwise fit securely in the atomizer body. It just sits on an interior surface. It gets locked in when you screw the whole thing together. Don't do what I did and sit there like a stumped monkey for three hours trying to figure out how to snap it into place. It doesn't snap. It'll all work itself out when you screw it all together. This'll make sense when you actually do it.

4. The tank. This is a plastic reservoir containing (in the mega version) 2 ml of fluid. It has to be refilled about once per day... if you're a heavy vaper. Less if you vape less. Fluid is pulled into the atomizer via a channel in the tank, and then comes out of the mouthpiece in the form of vapor.

That's the unit. You'll also need a charger (comes with the battery in most starter kits, or else buy it separately for $10 or whatever) and a bottle of nicotine fluid. This last thing is pricey -- like $60 for a bottle -- but it's concentrated nicotine so it lasts for three months or more.

Also buy yourself a 30 mi eyedropper bottle. This is like $3 from them, but I'm sure you can get it a lot of places for less. This is where you mix your liquid. You poor in the nicotine fluid and then cut it with glycerine (cheap, and should come with the liquid). I think the fluid comes in a 72 mgc level; most people will cut that down to 18 (one part liquid, three parts glycerine). You can go as high as 36 (which will have a powerful, Marlboro Red level nicotine kick).

You use that eyedropper to fill your tank when you're out. You also take that opportunity to switch batteries, putting a fresh one on the unit and putting the old one on the charger. (You always should buy two batteries.)

You have to mix liquid about once a week, less, of course, if you vape less. Takes five minutes. It's not chemistry. It involves pouring and then shaking.

So: Mix the stuff once a week (or less), fill the tank once a day, switch batteries once per day.

Replacement costs: The atomizer wears out about every month or two; they sell them in five-packs for about $20. Liquid, as I said, cost $60 or $70, and lasts three months (and I vape a lot; a more casual vaper would get a year out of it).

So, after the first $160 outlay, it'll cost about $70 or so every three months to order new liquid and new atomizers. Compared to cigarettes, that's not expensive.

Now, they keep putting old models out of commission and introducing new ones, so in like a year, year and a half, you might not be able to get the parts for your old one, and you might have to buy new parts for their new model, forced into that new model. That's how I moved to this new model, the Eco-C. Still, that's something that happens once every 18 months or so. That'll set you back an extra $80 or so, when it happens. (Some parts, like batteries and chargers, are compatible between models, though, so costs may be less.)

Like I said, every once in a while I want an actual cigarette. Old habits die hard. But weeks can go by between actual cigarettes.

And I never actually crave them. Convince myself I want one and am entitled to one? Sure. But crave? No. I'm getting nicotine.

Also, as I said, you can start reducing the concentration of nicotine in your liquid so you wean yourself off of it entirely, as you like.

It's a bad habit. Give this a shot and see if you can kick it. I know CDR M is now off of cigarettes thanks to this.

digg this
posted by Ace at 09:02 PM

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