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E-cigs, Vaping, and second hand smoke

On my desk is a book from my personal library “Tobacco – A cultural history of how an exotic plant seduced civilization.”  And yes, this column is about smoking, but before you lose interest, there is indeed something in it for everyone, so please read on.

Having been a past smoker who began experimenting with tobacco at the young age of 7, I bought this book in January of 2004 and read all 387 pages.  Now, I am not going to bore you with a bunch of stuff you can read on Wikipedia or by using a search engine, but rather make an appeal of sorts.  The book covers everything in great detail.

Like I’ve said more than once, I repair computers and on occasion I will get one from a smoking household and there is a major difference in them and all the others.  Opening this one up in my garage to try and clean out the inside, as it positively reeked of cigarette residue, I discovered what can only be described as a brown sticky mess.

Needless to say, it was dead.  Real dead.  Ruined and I couldn’t help but draw an analogy to the human lungs of anyone living with a smoker.  I write “living with a smoker” because this desktop does not smoke cigarettes. 

At some point in my observation, I realized I didn’t start smoking at 7 years old; I started smoking the day I was brought into a smoking household.  By the time I began lighting up my own cigarettes, I had already been inhaling smoke, tar, and nicotine for 7 years.

Am I attacking tobacco smokers with this week’s column?  No, not in the least; I am making an appeal.  There is an alternative and its called vaping.  To keep my column manageable, please read about it here:

I had to see it to understand how it works and of course, I am not a scientist, so I cannot say that it is safe – it is just safer than smoking tobacco conventionally.  It is considerably cheaper also.  One person explained to me that a carton of smokes was about $60 plus, while the same amount of “juice” for a vaporizer is about 8 bucks or so.

While I was at the gym, I came out of the steam room and plopped down on a bench next to a fellow close to my own age named George.  After a moment of conversation, he said he was a long time smoker and was having trouble breathing.  I asked him if he tried vaping, as one of my friends from high school had educated me on it.  He said he had tried it without success.  I told him my friend explained that the vaporizing device (atomizer) is the key and a good one is a hundred bucks or more.

If you are a smoker or someone who lives with this addiction is one of the largest forums on the Internet for electronic cigarettes. It is comprised of thousands and thousands of daily active members.

If you are still reading this column and believe I am promoting tobacco smoking, you are drawing the wrong conclusion.  I do however feel compassion for those who smoke, having been addicted.  My sole intention is educate those who want to quit smoking and stop smelling like, well, stinking.  There is no nice way to say it.

The reason cigarettes became the standard for smoking over dipping, snuffing, cigars, and pipes is the paper-rolled version is the most efficient nicotine delivery device – until the eCig came along.

A 5 minute cigarette would normally push back the cravings for a spell, but now with the atomizer, a nicotine addict can have a hit or two anytime they need it and no one is offended – unless they interpret the “cloud” of exhaled vapor for smoke, which it simply is not.  E juice “smoke” has a pleasant odor or none at all and to experience it first hand is simply amazing.  It is not smoke at all, but water vapor and that is why it is called a cloud.

There are some well-meaning people who would like to criminalize tobacco usage, but I am not one of them.  I think if you want to smoke, it is your business, but get educated and if you have smoked for long, you are most likely trying to stop.  The eCig way may be the safest and cheapest route and you won’t stink or endanger those around you while you take this path.


Wade Hickman said…
Awesome article! My wife and I quit smoking Thanksgiving of 2014. This past Thanksgiving was a year for us! So we'll soon have a year and a half behind us! I had only smoked about 4 years I guess, but my wife had smoked since she was a teenager. I am so proud of her! Vaping really helped her. I did it, but didn't really need to. However, she is off everything now. No e-cigs or anything. If you're trying to quit, keep trying. It's so worth it.
Anonymous said…
It's not the nicotine!!!

"an error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it"

"Personal Vapers" or E-Cigs are a viable replacement for delivery of nicotine, just like the patches and gums, it just "resembles" smoking and for those who developed the bad habit of oral fixation thru smoking, allows them to satisfy that habit successfully.

I know everyone has seen all the reports over e-cigs the media is pumping out, many have bought into the falseness of the's time to break it down with common sense.

What 3 chemicals are found in cigarette smoking? In ever single one no matter what brand, flavor, strength? In what ratios?

There were studies ordered by the government of tobacco companies to produce a list of the ratios.

Now what can you tell me about that list...take a close look at look at the levels and ratios of nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide?

The amount of nicotine you actually get from the cigarette is between 5-15 times LESS than the other two chemicals individually, combined 10-30 times less, so what are you REALLY getting addicted to when you "burn a stinky?"

Now...ask yourself what are the effects of those chemicals on the human body after YEARS of use? What is the damage to your immune system with the constant stressing of it each time you smoke a cigarette for years, decades even, what does a healthy immune system do to cancer cells when they are found, what does a stressed or weakened immune system due to those stresses from the known chemicals in cigarettes?

Now...let's discuss these "e-cigarette" things
When they first came out in their infancy in there may have been problems..the government did a study and found in a handful of samples chemicals that can be harmful, what they didn't tell you is that in EVERY SINGLE one of those samples the 10-30 times the harmful chemicals WERE NOT THERE.

Dennis Coulter said…
I started smoking in the 5th grade. I continued through my sophomore year of college. I quit smoking cigarettes, but the craving for nicotine and the oral fixation never left me. The thing is, I just like to smoke. As a result, I took up cigars, pipe smoking and even smoked cigarets on occasion, but not on a daily basis. However, I very time I smoked I still felt guilty, smelled up by clothes, car and body and breath. In addition, I stressed over the fact that I was still causing damage to my body. Then I went to a vape shop and tried a variety of pipes and flavors of juices. I bought a vape pipe (a good one) and a juice that tasted like tobacco smoke. After a week I got tired of the sour taste in my mouth that the juice I was using left, so I went back to the shop, tried several other flavors and settled on an orange-vannilla flavor. It tastes like a the old Creamsicles that I used to love as a kid. In addition, The shop where I go, like many, makes there own juices and will add whatever level of nicotine you want. Now I have the best of both worlds without the guilt, bodily or psycological harm at a fraction of the expense.

A final note: after I was using a vape for about a week, I found a fresh pack of cigarets in my glove box that I had forgotten I had. So, I thought, “I wonder …” I lit one up just to compare the old to the new. It tasted awful to me and less satisfying then my vape, so I threw the rest of the pack in the trash and have never looked back.

Dennis Coulter, Apple Valley, CA
Five Pawns said…
Vapor produced by electronic cigarette does not have harmful chemicals and no nicotine. Second hand smoke produced by premium e liquid of e cigs is not harmful like normal cigarettes.
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