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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day Four

I had decided to do these post to document my feelings about not smoking for the first seven days, but I think I am running out of material to talk about. After getting past yesterday and beating myself up for wanting to buy a pack of real cigarettes, I seem to be doing ok. I am not overly wanting a cigarette now, but I think wanting one never goes away, its controlling not having one that you have to do the rest of your life. I guess I could explain my plan for quitting and how its working. Some of this might already be covered in another post, but in that one I went into much more detail.

After the idea was presented to me by my 10-year-old, yes my 10-year-old came up with the initial plan, I, with his help, came up with a plan for me to completely quit. This plan is in three steps. Step one is to quit smoking by switching to an ecig replacement. Step two is to cut the nicotine back by slowly over time cutting the nicotine levels in the ecig itself, starting at the highest trying to go to zero. Step three is after I have been using zero long enough to be fully broken of the nicotine addiction, to stop using the ecig.

Step one was implemented in a very useful and creative way, again planned with help of a 10-year-old that I am not only proud of buy amazed by when he shows me how smart he really is at times. This step is implemented by instead of going cold turkey on quitting cigarettes and just starting ecigs, to instead slowly introduce the ecigs into my smoking routine. First to replace the most frivolous cigarettes with an ecig. This is like the extra cigarettes you smoke while socializing, or waiting for someone or watching tv, the cigarettes that are basically smoked to give your hands something to do and fill in time. After that becomes a simple part of the routine, you move on to the hourly or every other hour smoke, then to the one you have a break and then the extras during your lunch hour, you move to replace each cigarette you have in a day with the ecig, but slowly so you have time to adapt to it. Until you get to where I was four days ago, I smoked just the ecig all day, except for the 4-5 cigarettes that I HAD to have, the ones an ecig didn’t replace, my morning smoke, the one after meals, the one in the car to and from work.

Everyone that smokes has these one or two or ten a day that are like the staples in smoking, the rest don’t really matter, most of those are because they need the nicotine or just need to fill the time. These are the ones that you want, the nicotine doesn’t as much matter although it needs to be there. So these are the ones I put down four days ago.

This was really the most important step. Step to takes time and step three my never happen, and the reason why is simple. The hardest part for me to quit is that I like smoking, more the action than anything. If I can do the action with minimum harm to myself and no harm to anyone around me, I don’t see the problem with spending my time and money doing it.

Step two is a must to a point but I am still questioning it. As it stands I had to start with the highest amount of nicotine in order to make up for both the amount I was smoking, and to be able to feel the nicotine when I was stressed about not smoking. I have already reduced to the next level down, what is called “strong” by most companies, and I think it will be an easy transition to go to “full.” That really is my current goal. To be using “full” cartridges in flavors that do not taste, or remind me of the taste of, cigarettes. I understand why someone who smokes because they like that taste wanting it, but I, while liking the taste, am just reminded of the fact that I am not smoking when I am using something that tastes like smoking.

I am going to attempt next month to order my cartridges in the “full” strength and will only be ordering them in non tobacco flavors. That is the goal for the rest of this year actually, to stay on that for a sustained amount of time, long enough that I can safely say I wouldn’t pick up a cigarette in a tight spot. Then in the new year, assuming we are all still alive after the end of the world comes, I will re-evaluate and either continue to follow to step three and quit ecigs, or I will just continue as I am at that point. Between then and now it is possible that I will just use the ecig less and less, but I am not going to actively try for that, nor will I claim to be doing it.

Ideally I would like to have a ecig, with regular or full cartridges, that I just have around and use on occasion. The difference being that I am not using it regularly, not a cart a day or really counting, but more of I might use it more when needed, or not if not. But that is ideal conditions and I am defiantly not there yet, and the reason for steps two and three are in case I am not able to ever get there and it looks like it might be best if I just quit completely.

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Smoking

 

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Day Three

In some ways this was the hardest and easiest day so far. I felt the most like having a cigarette today than I have had before. Came really close to getting a cigarette off of someone else, and was even offered one by a friend that I hadn’t told about these posts, and I turned it down. Although I did find myself trying to justify taking it. “It’s not like on will hurt me”, YES IT IS IDIOT! That’s what I had to tell myself every time I started justifying reasons to go get a pack or get just one cigarette off someone yesterday. Found myself thinking about both.

The physical pains are gone. My body seems to have adjusted to the fact that it isn’t getting all that junk and is getting nicotine from a different source. I am still tired, but that not as much as I was the last couple days. Other than the fact that I am sitting here thinking about if it would really be a big deal if I didn’t smoke a whole cigarette, but just took a drag off someone Else’s, I’m doing pretty good.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Smoking

 

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Day Two

Like I said yesterday, I have the advantage in quiting that I didn’t actually quit, but switched to the ecig, so I’m doing much better today than I thought I would be. Although I am not having to go through the nicotine withdraws and most of the other parts and addictions that make it so hard to quit smoking, it still is harder than it should be. Not thinking about it is really the hardest part. What I am finding is also that the lasting effects of smoking are something you miss. While these are caused by the chemicals that are most likely killing you in a cigarette, you start to notice them gone. I don’t really know how to put that into words other than to say it is like a hollow feeling in my lungs. Really its all just confusing.

I know that if I had tried to do this without switching to something else, I not only wouldn’t have been able to quit, much less making it this easy. While I say it is easy, I should clarify. This is a lot easier than any other method I have ever tried. Even with something to replace both the nicotine and the oral addictions, you still get withdraws and feelings that make you want to pick it up. For me it is easier when I talk about these and not just think about them, which is why I am typing any of this at all. The feeling is like a tight pain in your chest. Its like somehow all of the tendons and muscles have been tied together and someone is tightening them individually like shoe laces, but taking all day to do it. Through this you can feel your heart beating and your lungs expanding and contracting under the ever tighter muscles surrounding your ribs.

Last night I had a dream that I needed a cigarette, this morning I started having joint pains, and everytime I do anything I think about smoking. Things like, “wouldn’t it feel good to smoke while doing this”, “a cigarette would help keep me awake right now”, “man I feel stressed I should smoke.” It is like my body and brain are conspiring against me to get me to smoke again. I just wish there was a way to make me forget that cigarettes existed during this time period. I’ve been told that the first three days are the worst, then the first two weeks are. This doesn’t make me hopeful for the next 24 hours, since I am typing this exactly 48 hours since my last cigarette, but we will see what will happen.

What does keep going through my mind is, if its this hard to drop the cigarette while still inhaling nicotine and using a method that emulates smoking, how hard will the nicotine be to give up. I know that is the hardest part in all of this and I haven’t even gotten to that step. I am just getting rid of smoke at this point. The next step is to slowly step down the nicotine to a level that I can either feel that I can have it or not, and not have to have it on me or panic, or to go to zero level ecigs and get rid of nicotine completely. That’s not going to be easy, but even still after doing that I will eventually have to give up the act as well. I’m not going to pay what I am for cartridges to inhale flavored water vapor, there needs to be nicotine in them for me to want to continue doing it. So if I drop to zero level, it is the first step in quitting the act as well. That is getting ahead of myself though, I need to stick to what I need to focus on now. Or should I say I need to not focus on it and try to let it go?

Just one more day for the worse part of the two weeks to break an addiction, then I will be broken of the first of the three addictions I am working to break here.

Man I could use a smoke right now!

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Smoking

 

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Day One

So I decided to do it, I put away the cigarettes. Ok, I didn’t put shit away, I simply smoked the last cigarette I owned. I thought about that whole thing with keeping your last cigarette. Yeah, that won’t happen, if im going to quit not only does every cigarette need to be gone, the empty packs and all evidence that I owned a cigarette needs to be destroyed. While I didn’t hold a burning yesterday, I did finish my last cigarette and then throw out all the packs and such that I could find.

I should say right here that I am still using my electronic cigarettes. That isn’t going to be changing right now, I am just not going to be smoking real thing anymore. It may not seem like a big deal to some out there that I am moving from one to the other, but for me it is. Even with using the ecig regularly for the better part of the last month, I have still showed a feeling of need for a regular cigarette. The addiction to those stupid things goes past all of the points I covered on a past post about smoking, but I have decided to break it, yet again not the nicotine since I’m getting that with the ecig, just the expensive little burning plant.

You can call this my Day 1 or my Day 43, since it was 43 days ago on May 14, 2012 was when I bought my Green Smoke trial kit in order to see about evaluating it as a possible substitute to smoking. Using it primarily when at my parents at night when in the apartment and when driving, I found that it really did have its advantages. Then around the first of this month I decided to actively try to replace cigarettes with it completely, so in that manner it is Day 26. So 43 days from deciding on a solution, 26 days from actively using it to get rid of cigarettes, and finally today is day 1 of trying to not smoke a cigarette at all.

Really it is so far so good. For some reason I am more tired this morning and do feel like I missed out on my morning smoke, which is one of the four I had the most trouble getting rid of and didn’t until today. I am not feeling the need for the nicotine, which the ecig is taking care of, but I have taken a few extra puffs on the ecig than I normally take at this point in the day.

All in all though, I think I am doing pretty good with how things are progressing. I have not the major desire to get a pack of Wides and start sucking them down, which I have had by this point in past attempts to quit smoking. The ecigs really have helped in getting rid of that. This switch to a smoking alternative, namely ecigs, seems to be working much better than any attempts I’ve made to just quit in the past. While ecigs are not something that a non smoker just start using in my opinion, they do make a great alternative to smokers wanting to get rid of all the harmful chemicals, the tar and the smell.

I’m going to say clearly here that this is a first attempt, while I have been primarily using my ecigs for almost a full month, I have still smoked a few cigarettes that I felt I couldn’t kick yet. This is my first attempt to fully get rid of smoking while using ecigs. It is my hope that this is the only attempt needed, but I will record any relapse or failures in this as well as any success. Lets all hope for the success though.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Smoking

 

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V2

I know nothing about the batteries and accessories by V2, since I did not spend money buying them. V2 is really proud of those, since they seem to charge more than anyone else I’ve tried for all of those items. If I ever do decide to buy anything more from them, I will update this post.

I ordered V2 because of its outstanding rating online by just about everyone. Although I didn’t want to buy another starting kit, so I looked into the company a little more and they are cross compatible with Bloog, which I already own, so I was able to just get the cartridges and see if I liked those. Actually so much about Bloog starts to seem like they either buy supplies from V2, or that they share manufactures. I hadn’t really thought about it until a friend pointed that out, but it almost seems like they get their base parts from the same place if not from each other directly. Being that I like Bloog, this really isn’t an issue with me.

Before even getting into the cartridges, I want to mention the adaptors. Although I was not happy with my Green Smoke batteries, I didn’t want to just chunk them out, they weren’t cheap, but when looking online it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to do much with them. Green Smoke, along with a handful of other companies, use a different thread on their batteries so that you have to use their cartridges with their batteries. Now there are several companies and websites that sell adaptors for different types of batteries to work with different cartridges, most of them seem unclear on whether any of them will work on Green Smoke. V2 sells 2 adaptors and they list exactly which ecig batteries those adaptors work on. I got my adaptors and they work great, been trying both the Bloog and V2 cartridges on the GS adapted battery, and I have had zero issue so far.

The cartridges that I got were well packaged, but this one will be confusing. It’s confusing because I really liked them, but will not be ordering anymore of them at this time. First off they solve the main issue I had with Bloog, providing a similar if not identical cartridge as Bloog but with a hard tip instead of the easy to remove soft tip. I could tell the difference in seconds because none of the cartridges showed any sign of leaking.

We hit my first issue with V2 before even ordering. They only sell 0-18mg cartridges and liquid. I am fine with a 18mg most the time, but like a 24mg around. You can get the 24mg if you order their $225 custom order pack of 100 cartridges. When it comes to flavor, V2 has 10 flavors, and blanks to be filled yourslft. I ordered their sampler pack, which comes with one of each cartridge. After trying all 10 my opinion on them is a little back and forth. I do like the flavors, while I don’t like how some of them taste, they all do have flavors that seem to be the what you are expecting. A couple of them don’t taste exactly like what I was expecting, but good for what they say it is. This goes for the flavors I didn’t like either, that alone isn’t saying I didn’t like their cartridges, I just don’t like some flavors, no matter who makes it. That said, the flavor in all of them was more subtle than Bloog, but I didn’t get that sweet taste, especially in the fruiter flavors, that I was hoping for. The Cherry flavor alone was really my favorite and a reason to use V2, I just wish it was a little less subtle and sweeter.

To say that I will never come back to V2 is most likely a lie. While I was not impressed enough with their cartridges to switch to a V2 only, die-hard, user, they do still make a lot of accessories compatible with Bloog that I might be looking for later on. Also they make adaptors and make it clear which adaptor fits which cartridge.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Smoking

 

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Bloog

So in my disappointment in Green Smoke batteries, and further trying to find something I am happier with in ecigs, I found in my research the company Bloog. Although all of these electric cigarette companies are starting to seem a lot alike to me, they really are seeming much different at the same time.

I decided to not get a starter kit when ordering from Bloog. Not that there is anything wrong with a starter kit, I just already knew what I wanted, and getting just that was cheaper than a starter kit. If you are just starting out, a starter kit is still the best way to go. In this case I got two batteries, chargers and the sample packs of cartridges. Really I am starting to think that every one of these companies needs a minimalist starting kit for someone like me, some of them do have the “trial packs” but not all of them.

The battery is what drew me to Bloog. They seemed to have a high rating amoung users online that have rated them. Like a lot of companies, Bloog offers their batteries in black with a blue lite tip. This seems to be a very popular design, and I do like the look of it myself. It gives the an attractive look to the design, while moving away from looking like a real cigarette, which is what I really want. Actually, Bloog seems to be all about options. You can get your battery in seven colors (black, white, silver, red, blue, green, purple and pink) as well as a choice between a blue or red tip light. They also offer both manual and automatic batteries, as well as a pass through option. I have only used the automatic ones myself and have prefered them without trying the others. What I do want to get is their three in one, an automatic battery that has a manual button and charges from the tip so you can use it as a pass through. The best part about all of this to me, is that they offer these batteries at a much cheaper price than other companies out there, and at the lowest I have paid so far for one.

After spending a week with the Bloog batteries, I am very impressed. I ordered the regular and the extra long batteries. The regular out lasted my Green Smoke battery, but not by much. Really it could have been just a matter of me taking less puffs on that day. The extra long one has a up and down side. While it lasted all day for me, it is a little longer than I would like. The regular size battery from most companies seems to be exactly the right size to put in my front pocket. The construction seems real nice, I even tried to force one of the batteries to come apart in the way that I’ve seen others come apart, with no luck. They do seem better constructed, keep a good charge and very sharp-looking.

Then there are the cartridges for these batteries. I got the variety packs, but they offer more flavors on their site, than they have in those variety packs. They have two variety packs, the tobacco flavors and the non tobacco flavors. They offer 17 flavors on the website, at the time I am typing this, but the variety packs have just five each. The tobacco has The Last Straw, 555, RY4, SPI and Red, the non tobacco has Coffee, Mint, Grape, Watermelon and Chocolate, as well as unfilled blank cartridges. I have tried all of these now and can say that they are pretty close to what they are supposed to be. They use extracts in making the flavors, so they get a pretty accurate flavor match. I found that with these I liked the Grape the most, while a friend of mine seemed to like The Last Straw and SPI. They also offer these flavors in a wide variety of strengths too. Offering five choices from 0 to 3.6.

What impressed me about these flavors was that they are the same most to all the way through. Other ones I’ve tried, you can tell they are getting near the end of the cartridge to a sour, sometimes burnt out, taste to them. I’ve looked into this and that seems to be an attribute of the flavoring caking to the atomizer during the use of the cartridge. These seemed to just stop without that undesirable part of the ending puffs of the cartridge. Bloog also designs all of their cartridges to be refilled, for those drippers out there. You can save a lot more money than you are already saving by smoking ecigs, by buying the liquid and refilling your own cartridges. Not something that I have done or really been interested in doing, but I do like the fact that this company has made provisions to give just that one more option to their customers. While I was not a big fan of the softer end of the cartridges, that has been designed for easy removal for refilling, I have gotten use to it a lot quicker than I thought I would.

The only down side that I came across after getting my Bloog order was that some of the cartridges did leak. This seems to be the downside to the softer removable tip. While they could solve this by not putting in as much when filling them, I wouldn’t want them to under fill my cartridges at the same time. I do like having the option of filling them myself, if I decide to do so though.

Over all, Bloog is by far the best I’ve tried so far. I did order a sample pack of cartridges from V2, but do not plan to be buying anything but cartridges from them. They are interchangeable with the Bloog batteries and I think I am going to stick with those for at least awhile. I think I will also order some liquid from Bloog and give this dripping a shot.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Smoking

 

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Mint

Mint is a financial organization website. It is basically designed to keep track of all of your financial accounts online, including your online banking accounts as well as online access to other financial accounts including credit cards, loans, and investments. Basically Quicken, but only using data from online accounts.

While I wish there was more features and the ability to integrate with offline software, I do find this site to be most helpful. I use it as my main financial software, but I might not need as many features as someone paying for something that isn’t free. For me the biggest advantage here is that I do have multiple bank accounts, plus I have school loans and investments and retirement accounts, and this site gives me a quick way to check all of them. I log in, it updates all the accounts, and I have the info I need. When you have multiple accounts, just the time consumption of logging into the separate online banking sites can make things a big headache, and then you have to do all the calculations of how much you have across them and your net worth and so on. Mint gives you one site that puts them all in one place and gives you the charts and calculations you want.

While Mint started out as a separate company, it was later bought by Intuit, so there is some added advantage to output information is compatible with Intuit software, which even if you don’t use Intuit software, most major financial softwares can read Intuit files, plus that shows promise to future possibilities to more Intuit integration.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Website

 

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