So some of you may recall from my new years resolution post that one of my new years resolutions was to give up smoking using ecigarettes. Having tried sprays, gum and patches in the past only to turn into a narky bitch once my nicotine cravings got bad, I decided there must be a better way. My brother in law gave up smoking in 2014 using an ecigarette and has been preaching about how great they are ever since. When he was over out our house for the holidays I finally cracked and decided that 2015 was going to be the year I quit smoking. The reason I decided to try ecigarettes is that first of all they are 95% safer than regular cigarettes according to the UK government and also because you can slowly taper down the amount of nicotine you get until you are just smoking vapor.
My journey into the world of vaping would be a lot more overwhelming than I could have expected. There are so many options and abbreviations that the first time I started reading about ecigarettes my head started hurting. An ecigarette is made up of three main components: the battery, the atomizer and the tank. It sounds simple but the number of options and variations is insane. For me I wanted to have a vape that could hold the most ejuice (I’ll explain below), had the best battery life and was the least maintenance. Let’s start with the battery:
Batteries for ecigarettes come in a number of different sizes but by far the most popular sizes are the 18650 and the 26650. This is what I mean when I said it was overwhelming for a beginner! These numbers refer to Milliamp Hour or mAh. For people like you and me, all you need to know is that the bigger the number the more charge the battery can hold. From what I could gather around the web, ego make the best vaping batteries on the market.
Tanks which can also be referred to as clearomizers are what hold the eliquid/ejuice. eliquid or ejuice is liquid you put into the tank. This liquid is usually flavored and often contains nicotine, however you can also buy eliquid without nicotine. This is where ecigarettes make quitting smoking easy as you can buy ejuice with different strengths of nicotine so that over time you can taper off. For me I wanted a tank that could hold the most amount of eliquid so that I could carry it around without having to worry about needing to refill the tank. There is a subculture within the vaping community where people carry around their bottles of eliquid and drip a few drops onto the wick of their atomizer (I’ll explain this below) which gives them about 3 puffs before they have to drip again. This craziness is called drippng and as far as I’m concerned “ain’t nobody got time for that”. I asked a lot of people for advice and most people pointed me to this article on the best vape tank and I ultimately decided to go for a tank called the “Aspire Nautilus mini” which I’m told is the most noob friendly tank.
The atomizer is where things really start to get complicated. An atomizer contains a coil that gets heated by the battery. This coil is then surrounded by some kind of wick, usually made from Japanese cotton. The eliquid is dripped onto the wick by the vaper (drpping) or the tank feeds the eliquid onto the wick. The heat from the coil heats up the liquid and this creates the vapor, hence the name ‘vaping’. The number of different coil designs is massive and there is even an entire subreddit detailing all the different coil builds. This is for people interested in dripping though which as a beginner is something you can completely forget about. Most beginner friendly tanks have an atomizer built in with a prebuilt coil so that all the hard work is already done for you.
So did I actually manage to give up? The answer is kind of. I haven’t smoked a regular cigarette since I got my ecigarette in January. I successfully bought a lower strength of ejuice every month to the point where I no longer believe I have a nicotine addiction. I guess the only ‘problem’ for me now is that I’m in love with the thousands of different eliquid flavors available. Cookies, ice cream, pizza, you name it, they have it! I’m telling myself that I’m vaping just for the flavor now but I do think it’s because smoking was a good way to fill the time when waiting for the bus or for my kids to get out of school. Over the next few months I’m going to work on breaking these habits, but overall I would say that my adventure so far has been a success. Even though I still vape regularly, it’s still much much safer than traditional cigarettes.