I smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes per day for eleven years. I loved smoking, the ritual of it, it was relaxing and fulfilling. A smoke with coffee in the morning, one right after eating, one before bed.It just felt good, and calmed me. But then in 2008-2009, it really started to bother me.
I was coughing and hacking every morning. I couldn’t run or ride my bike without wheezing. I was waking up in the middle of the night, not able to breathe, fearing death. I needed to quit but didn’t want to. I had tried cold turkey and the patch before. Obviously neither worked. Then I tried an electronic cigarette. It was a mediocre one from the mall, bought after Yule in 2009, just before New Year.
It wasn’t the same as smoking, but it was pleasurable, and it was nice to be able to “smoke” in restaurants, movie theaters and stores. Plus I felt better. But I still smoked, up until 1/21/10. I was determined to never smoke again. It was killing me.
1/22/10 was my first day in over 11 years without a cigarette. Coffee was really hard without tobacco. I probably wanted a smoke a dozen times that day. I stuck with it. After the first week I was no longer hacking in the morning or waking in the night. After the first three weeks I no longer had a craving for a cigarette. I could smell things better, and food tasted great. Corn was like a whole new experience. It was so sweet, it was like I was a child trying foods for the first time.
But the e cig I had purchased didn’t work very well, and they had customer service on paper only. So I ordered a popular internet brand that had a 30 day money back guarantee. I got my money back. So I spent a couple of months with another brand, which performed satisfactorily, however, I couldn’t clean the atomizers. An atomizer is the heating element that produces the vapor. It requires a cartridge filled with flavored juice that contains nicotine, or no nicotine, if you so choose. Now most e cig companies and customers use what is known as a cartomizer, an atomizer and cartridge combined, which hold alot more juice and tend to perform better.
Most atomizers now cost around $10, back then I was getting mine for $16 a pop. They would last about 2-3 weeks, and die after I cleaned them. I spent alot of time on forums and trying various methods of cleaning them before I decided I was getting ripped off. There is a degree of user error with these things, and I wasn’t willing to give up on that brand until I was certain it wasn’t me.
Then I came upon a company worth endorsing: Volcano. www.volcanoecigs.com They offered two e cigs at the time, the Volcano and the Magma. The Magma is what I chose, as it’s the same diameter as a tobacco cigarette, but a little longer, and lasts about twice as long before recharges as the Volcano. The atomizers for these things were $8 a piece, the customer service was nothing short of excellent, and the attys (atomizers) cleaned up easily, they were lasting me on average 3 months, with 6 of them in rotation.
In November of 2010 I upgraded to their newest model, the Inferno. It came in two sizes, both of which look more like metal cigars than cigarettes. One has 1000 mili amp hours, the other 650 mah. The former lasts me 2 and a quarter days between charges, the latter last 1 and a half days. I now primarily use the latter, because I like the size of it, and it can be used while plugged into the wall or computer, which also charges it. I’ve been using clear cartomizers for close to a year now, they’re the easiest to clean, produce wonderful flavor and vapor, and they’re bloody cheap! $11 for 5 of them, and they last 2-3 months!
I spend between $3-$8 a week on juice, the equivalent on a carton of cigarettes. I feel great, my girlfriend has never been happier, non smokers around me love it, and my dental hygiene has improved. Electronic cigarettes have changed my life for the better, and I strongly recommend them.