I don't want to quit smoking or kill myself on the installment plan. I don't really believe in the hype about limited exposure to second hand smoke but I could be wrong and I don't smoke in closed rooms with children around.
When I first heard about the e-cigs it was from "kids" who were very excited and frankly I figured it was some kind of pot thing. I stopped into a couple of the "vape shops" which only confirmed my suspicions. The displays seemed to be full of devices that looked a lot more like some sort of automated bong from the 70s than any cigarette or pipe I ever smoked.
When various brands that resembled conventional cigarettes started showing up in mainstream stores I invested in a few of them and found the experience disappointing. While there was a superficial physical resemblance the e-cigarette "smoking" experience had no similarity to actual smoking in taste, flavor or feel and I initially rejected the idea.
I remained intrigued by the idea and started to do some research. A few years back I had been hospitalized and during my stay they slapped a nicotine patch on me. During the nine days I was in the hospital I never really felt the urge to have a cigarette so I knew that nicotine replacement therapy would work for the addiction cravings. I also knew that once I left the hospital I resumed the habit of smoking which is a separate, deeply ingrained pattern.
As I said I don't want to quit smoking, or more accurately I don't want to go through the hell of nicotine withdrawal. Not even a little bit I had tried the patch and gum but what I found was that they didn't have the on-demand delivery of nicotine that smoking offers. Which meant that often I wanted a cigarette and I wanted it right now...goodbye patch, goodbye gum, hello Mr. Bic....Maybe if I had a desire to quit I could beat this but I don't and I couldn't.
The e-cigs offered a very, very inviting on-demand delivery solution and I determined to investigate them in more detail. I knew that were two components to smoking, the nicotine addition and the tars which caused cancer. If I could transition to an alternate nicotine delivery system I could eliminate the biggest risk to myself and those around me.
This instructable is the result of that investigation. It outlines the process I used to transition from conventional smoking to e-cigarettes without difficulty.
At the time of writing this I have not smoked a tobacco cigarette in over a month. During the entire process I can assure you that I experienced no significant discomfort or urging to have a conventional smoke. I can feel substantial overall improvement, particularly in my breathing. No stinking ashtrays, nobody complaining about the smell or moving upwind.
I urge all of my fellow smokers to seriously consider the e-cigarette and to investigate some process, perhaps this one, perhaps another and make the switch. There is a special page for your non-smoking who want to help and support you make the change to a healthier lifestyle.
Step 1: What You Will Need...
In a later step I will talk in more detail about e-cigarettes, nicotine and so on. Overall the strategy is extremely simple, we are going to use a kitchen timer to control when we smoke conventional cigarettes. During the timer interval we are going to use our e-cigarette whenever we want and as much as we like. We will gradually increase the timer interval and increase our use of the e-cigs until we get down to 2 or 3 cigarettes a day and then we just stop buying them and use our e-cigs from then on. There is no official "quitting" or targets or goals. What we are doing is retraining out bodies to condition them to the e-cig nicotine delivery mechanism. In the process we are also breaking the pattern of smoking.
Most importantly there is no plan to ever quit the e-cigs so I do not recommend a support group or some formalized program. If you do this right you will not need a support group or program because you will not experience discomfort or withdrawal symptoms.
You must come to grips with the fact that you are nicotine addict and will be a nicotine addict. This is not a bad thing but you will face tremendous pressure from people who don't realize they are Puritans. Nicotine has some adverse effects but it will not give you cancer. The good news is that if you are still smoking you have already faced worse pressure and can deal with it. They will think that perhaps this is some new form of quitting smoking. Let them believe that if it makes them happy.
Otherwise you will need only some basic supplies:
- You will need a starter e-cig and e-juice of some sort. Do not rush out and invest in a "starter kit" for $100 or more. When you find your e-juice you can get their kit. If you walk into your local vape shop you will get oversold. Just trust me on this. You don't need anything that they are selling ( yet ). Once you have transitioned and are experienced you can experiment with $150 batteries...There are some specific recommendations later in this section.
- You will also need a timer, I recommend at least two ( work and home ). The timer must go up to at least 4 hours. Be careful because many smaller timers only go to 99 minutes.I recommend the Polder Buzz & Beep. The main feature you want in the timer is the ability to reset to a previously selected time and not zero. On the Polder if I set the timer for 2.5 hours and stop it early the 'clear' button will reset to 2.5 hours ( press twice to go to 0 ). This feature is used whenever you have a cigarette early and is a must have. Otherwise you have to reset the timer every time which is pain at 3 hours and 3 minutes ( actually much sooner ).
- A calendar. This is a 6 month program. Why? Because its painless and incremental. Also it it useful, the program drags on and its easy to lose track, focus and interest. By marking off the days its easier to see progress. In my case going to 1 hour the first month was completely painless and I cut my cigarette consumption in half. It was easy to measure progress, but I still marked off the days.
- And you will still need your ashtrays. The e-cigs are cylinders and will roll about, fall off the table and generally act like round things. The tank systems can also leak slightly from the top, particularly when full, if laid flat. By keeping your ashtrays about you solve the problem of how to store, find and use your e-cigs. Both the tanks and the classic form factor
The choice of e-cig is a personal one. Every e-cig manufacturer has a disposable product and others which can be recharged in various ways. For starters your going to try out some of the disposable e-cigs to explore different flavor and feel.
There are three factors in e-cig vapors: flavor, strength and "throat hit" or the feeling one gets on an inhale. I found all the mainstream products lacking in any number of ways ranging being way too mild to just being bad tasting. I tried flavors from a couple of the local vape shops and got some interesting results. Finding the right "throat hit" for you is the single most important factor. If you are a menthol smoker like me flavor is the second biggest challenge we face. I searched a long time to find a menthol I liked.
I do have specific recommendations based on my own experience:
PureSmoke - I like their e-cig form factor menthol. Battery life is good and throat hit is very realistic.
My own selection: Halo E-Cigarettes
Halo won the PC Magazines Editors Choice for E-Cigs. Their juice is domestic and food grade. I personally own their G-6 E-Cig and Triton Tank systems. They are also less expensive than many of the other starter kits and I am very impressed with their quality.
I would recommend you start with an inexpensive e-tonic tank system. Google this: "E-Tonic Vape 1100mAh E-Cig" and buy two. Should run you about $20 each.
Then order one of the sample packs: http://www.halocigs.com/e-liquid/sample-packs.html
to try various alternatives. This is a very inexpensive way to sample their products.
If you find a flavor you like then you can order it along with the starter kits or just order the e-liquid from them. Order the 18mg ( or 1.8% ) level. We will discuss the reasons for that later.
So if we've got our bits lets talk a little bit about our friend nicotine....
Step 2: All About Nicotine...
"Nicotine is addictive. It activates the mesolimbic pathway ("reward system") – the circuitry within the brain that regulates feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Dopamine is one of the key neurotransmitters actively involved in the brain. Nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Like other physically addictive drugs, nicotine withdrawal causes downregulation of the production of dopamine and other stimulatory neurotransmitters as the brain attempts to compensate for artificial stimulation."
Smokers are drug addicts. Some people say this like its a bad thing, often between trips to Starbucks for their caffeine fix. This program is not about fixing this. Much like the Mandarin in "Iron Man 3" we aren't getting off the drugs, we're getting more of them....:-)
In ancient Greece Plato held that man had a body and a soul. This model will serve us well in understanding our relationship with nicotine. Our mind or will may want ( at some level ) to quit smoking or switch to e-cigs. Our body, on the other hand, is very attached to nicotine, knows that it comes from the cigarettes and will do everything it can to trick us into getting it.
Make no mistake your entire body is emotionally attached to smoking, not just to the nicotine but also to the process by which you get it. Our body will make us feel hungry to trigger a smoking response and it will trigger urges to smoke until they are practically irresistible.
The timing of this is associated with the metabolization of nicotine by our bodies. Once ingested ( by whatever means ) our bodies will consume the nicotine in 3-4 hours. At some point in the process the nicotine becomes depleted to a level which triggers the desire. This generally occurs sometime after the half-life of nicotine metabolism ( approximately 1-2 hours ). Understanding this timing and its relationship to our desire for a cigarette is absolutely critical to success.
The entire goal of this program is to transfer that dependence and association from the conventional cigarette to the e-cig in a way that causes no emotional or physical discomfort. We are going to literally retrain our limbic system triggers until our body wants us to reach for an e-cig rather than our pack of Lucky Strikes....(LSMFT)....
We are going to do this by two methods, first by using our e-cigs regularly between tobacco cigarettes we are going to train our body that this also works. Secondly by using a stronger nicotine level in the e-cigs ( 18 mg or 1.8% ) than is found in most cigarettes our body will learn that the e-cigs are superior.
The reason that this is a more successful strategy than gum or patches is the efficacy of delivery. When one inhales vapor or smoke containing nicotine the first molecules will reach the brain in about 20 seconds, nothing else matches this delivery mechanism except injection. Peak levels ( per inhale ) will be hit in about 20 minutes or so and obviously each hit will deliver additional nicotine. Since the e-cigs are delivering higher nicotine levels our bodies will rapidly learn to prefer them.
The form factor of consumption is also comforting to the body. Anyone who has worked with drug addicts know that they have a deep emotional attachment to the drug delivery mechanism, be it cigarette, pipe or needle. The limbic response is triggered in part by this emotional attachment to the method. The e-cig classic form factor in particular satisfies this emotional need in a way that no other alternative delivery mechanism can.
Anytime you find yourself thinking "Gee, I really feel like a cigarette" you should hit the e-cig at least once or twice. Even if its 5 minutes before your cigarette timer goes off grab a hit or two.
About nicotine levels:
Yes, we are going to use a higher level of nicotine than that which is found in an ordinary cigarette. If you want to use a 1.4 or 1.0 go ahead and give it a try. Find a level that works for you.
Care should be taken to determine the correct number of puffs for a session. If you notice yourself getting sweaty or feel nauseous you have probably ingested a little too much, much like one smokes too many cigarettes.
How to tell if your level is working: You don't want to have a cigarette. If you have the right level in your e-cig then in two or three hits you will lose the desire for a cigarette and will be able to focus on something else. If you find it is still difficult to not have a cigarette on schedule then increase the level.
I'm not kidding. Resist the urge to reduce your nicotine intake levels as part of this exercise. That is self defeating. If you were going to be able to reduce your nicotine intake levels you wouldn't be reading this. Do this to eliminate the tars and reduce your risk of cancer and other respiratory illness.
Step 3: What Exactly Are E-cigarettes Anyway?
An electronic cigarette (e-cig or e-cigarette), personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) is a battery-powered vaporizer which simulates tobacco smoking by producing an aerosol that resembles smoke. It generally uses a heating element known as an atomizer, that vaporizes a liquid solution known as e-liquid. E-liquids usually contain a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings.
There is a huge global debate about the value of e-cigarettes. There is no evidence at all that they lead to quitting smoking which frankly is the whole point of this instructable (not quitting smoking). They clearly are less toxic and less dangerous than conventional smoking if for no other reason than eliminating the fire hazard associated with lighting and burning tobacco. But if you're looking for a way to quit you're shopping in the wrong store.
The switch also requires some work. Smokers invest a lot of energy making sure they don't run out of cigarettes. They must also invest energy ( not as much! ) in making sure they have e-cigs. They have to be charged and you have to have juice for them. This is not hard but its an adjustment. I've never really felt the loss of cigarettes but a few time I had to remind myself to find an e-cig.
The e-cigs come in two form factors, the traditional cigarette form and tank based systems that hold more e-juice. I use both. The e-cigs are handy and sturdy. I can throw them in a pocket and have them instantly accessible while the tank system makes it easier to track the remaining juice. In the e-cigs the atomizer is contained in the disposable part so it is not an issue. In the tank systems the atomizer unit must be replaced periodically ( every 6 weeks - 3 months ) and cost $1-$3.
Choosing your juice:
Many vendors ( including halo ) offer a variety of exotic flavors in their e-cigs but I wasn't interested in watermelon-mango. Most have a variety of conventional tobacco flavors which are quite good and some menthol flavors which are hit and miss. Since I smoke "Kool" brand cigarettes I am particular about my menthol.
If one looks on the internet one very quickly discovers that the guiding factor for juice is something called "throat hit". This is the feeling a user gets when inhaling, in particular the way the vapor hits the back of your throat. The throat hit is a big, big part of the smoking experience and you will not get a good replication with an e-cig. But it is possible to find an acceptable throat hit which is why one tries multiple juices.
The best throat hit I've found is the PureSmoke e-cig. Even though I swear by Halo the PureSmoke folk have the best smoking experience for my money. I am switching over the Halo G-6 but that's only because the refillable cartridges will hold my preferred menthol flavor ( and actually I don't like the TH as much! ).
Choosing your e-cigs:
If you look on the internet you will find endless discussion about batteries, battery life, atomizers and wicks, matching resistance and a whole slew of pseudo-technical discussion. Save yourself some pain, find a juice that you like and buy your system from that vendor. They will have matched everything and will sell you the consumables such as atomizers.
You will need at least two e-cigs that will last a day. I found both the PureSmoke and Halo cigarette form factor met this criteria. Most tank systems have pretty good sized batteries and will last more than one day, but I also have two of them. I try to keep the spare charged as much as possible.
In a tank system it is easy to track the remaining juice, in the one piece cartomizer of a conventional form factor it is harder to tell when the levels get low. This is a two part problem, sometimes the cartomizer needs to "rest" so that the remaining juice can get distributed, sometimes its running out of juice. In theory manufacturers claim a cartomizer is equivalent to two packs so run based on that. The cartomizers cost between $1.50 and $2.50 or so each so don't be afraid of them.
Personally I bought and recommend both the Halo G-6 and Triton Tank Starter systems. In particular the G-6 ( their conventional form factor product ) has refillable cartomizers so I can use any juice in the e-cig and not just the standard flavors. The batteries have two options as well, manual or automatic. In the manual version the user pushes a button to initiate vaping, in the automatic version circuitry detects the inhale air flow and triggers the vaping.
I use automatic for the classic form factor and manual for the tank systems. Because the tank systems have a longer battery life I turn off the spare after recharging it so I don't lose power in the backup.
Using your e-cigs:
I use my e-cigs everywhere including in my seat during a night flight to Chicago. Discretion is the key, particularly during the exhale phase. The vapor dissipates so rapidly that one can hit the ecig, pocket it and exhale discreetly downward with virtually no risk of discovery. There is no smell or residue deposited as with conventional smoke. Two seconds after the hit "it never happened". A quick run to the break room, supply closet or bathroom and your back at work with no one thinking about your smoking.
There are many ways I do not use my e-cigs like a regular cigarette. Normally it takes 10-15 minutes to smoke one of mine and I think I take 25-30 puffs. This buiilds up a nicotine reserve which carries me over to the next smoke. With the e-cigs I am much more likely to take 1-2 puffs at a time but with a higher frequency than I would smoke a cigarette.
In the course of this project I discovered that, at least for me, the urge to have a cigarette ( not necessarily do it but the urge ) came about every 20 minutes and it was not uncommon for me to use an e-cig pro-actively if I noticed the clock. This often involved "secret smoking" mentioned above. I'm not suggested you do or do not this. It is possible you could jeopardize your job, I don't know. I'm just saying if you try it and are careful it may be easy.
Even if you are in an environment where it might be permitted you should err on the side of discretion. This isn't anybodies business but yours and you don't need to dig up the snake to kill it.
On the other hand there are many cases where I do use my e-cigs very similar to a conventional cigarette. In particular I use the classic in cases where I normally smoke casually ( such as downstairs watching TV ). I keep an e-cig in the ashtray on the table and grab it just like I would a regular smoke. This is very, very, very handy.
I also use the e-cig classic after dinner when I can sit at the dinner table and enjoy my after dinner smoke without ashes or smells. Plus I can just lay it down and pick it up, nothing burns, no marks,
The "BLU" brand advertising makes an interesting point, the Blu e-cig does not look like a cigarette and people are less likely to get upset. Most vendors have a conventional white/tan model as well as black and other colors. Consider choosing something that might not be mistaken for a conventional cigarette.
The tank systems, on the other hand, are likely to be mistaken for some form of drug paraphernalia. While this sort of thing is easily cleared up again discretion is the key.
Step 4: Okay, Let's Make the Change
The actual program is such that I hesitate to call it that. Here's what we're going to do, we're going to spend a month to 6 weeks experimenting with juice to find our flavor. Maybe it doesn't take that long. Once we have our juice and e-cig setup we're going to use the kitchen timer to regulate smoking. During this period we are also going to retrain our limbic system to associate the e-cig with nicotine delivery by using the e-cig without restriction and in particular to respond to any urge to smoke.
You are also going to change where you keep your cigarettes. They must be inconvenient so that you use your e-cig instead of instinctively grabbing a smoke. At home I kept them upstairs on the dresser while at work I left them in my backpack. Handy but tedious enough that going to get them made me think about what I was doing. Forcing yourself to think about and use the e-cigs are the cornerstone of this method. This is a lot easier than giving up cigarettes but it still requires work. This is not the last time I will say this.
Also use your e-cigs after you have a regular cigarette if you still feel like smoking. There were many morning where I had a smoke and burned up plenty of e-juice with my morning coffee.
Month 0 - Experiment with flavors and e-cigs. Try to mentally time your smoking to 1 hour between cigarettes and get used to using the e-cigs as a substitute. If you go outside for smoke breaks try using the e-cig. Keep approximately the same time and puff on the e-cig as you would normally.
Now you are ready to actually start. I recommend the first of the month, any month. But any day will also do. Don't make a big deal out of it, just get started. Mark off each day with an X. If you blow it on one cigarette restart the timer and get back on the horse.
This schedule is extremely gentle, if you use your e-cig you should not experience any symptoms of nicotine withdrawal or significant smoking urges. It is not that hard to keep the schedule but it is up to you to do it. You have to use the timer, you have to smoke by the timer and that's all there is to it. If you dick around and fool yourself and reset the timer you will not succeed and it will not be the fault of the process.
If, on the other, you use the timer and you try hard to use your e-cigs you will find that you no longer particularly want to have a cigarette ( as long as you have your e-cigs ). You will also begin reaping many of the significant health benefits associated with quitting smoking which you will be able to feel.
So here's the schedule I suggest. You may find that once you've settled into an e-cig routine late in month 3 or 4 you might be ready to not buy your next pack of cigarettes.
Month 1 - 1 hour between cigarettes, two in the morning if desired. Nicotine level 1.8
Month 2 - 1.5 hours between cigarettes, two in the morning if desire. Nicotine level 1.8
Now we're ready to reduce our morning cigarette to one, I recommend use of a tank system.
Month 3 - 2 hours between cigarettes - one in the morning. Nicotine level 1.8
And now we are going to get rid of the morning cigarette and have our first smoke no earlier than 2.5 hours after we finish our morning smoke. This is an anchor habit problem and is surprisingly easy to transition to e-cigs although very difficult to break when quitting. Any time after we get rid of the A.M. smoke is a candidate to convert completely to the e-cigs. This is also a bridge point for other replacement therapies since we will metabolize the nicotine in our systems and neither gum nor patch offers the quick pick me up that a morning hit does.
Month 4 - 2.5 hours between cigarettes, eliminate morning cigarette. Nicotine level 1.8
Over the next two months we will accelerate the pace, reducing the cycle to two weeks. You should be generally over the threshold now and your primary smoking activity is e-cigs. This part of the cycle is to finalize training of your limbic system.
Month 5 Week 1 and 2 - 3 hours between cigarettes, reduce nicotine level to 1.4
Month 5 Week 3 and 4 - 3.5 hours between cigarettes. Nicotine level 1.4.
In this stage a curious thing has happened. The timer becomes the reason we are smoking since the e-cigs are satisfying and fulfilling. But when the timer goes off we react like Pavlov's dog. In month 6 we move to 4 hours between cigarettes and 3 cigarettes a day since we don't have a morning cigarette anymore. This means we can move to a fixed schedule of 6,10,2 and 6. The 6 A.M. target is a valid time slot if you get up and go to work at 2 A.M. otherwise its 10,2 and 6.
Month 6Week 1 and 2 - 4 hours between cigarettes. Nicotine level 1.4
Now we drop the 6 P.M. evening cigarette and transition exclusively to e-cigs in the evening. Leaving only the social 10 and 2 for spending time with our smoking friends at work.
Month 6 Week 3 and 4 - Smoke at 10 A.M. and 2 P.M only. Nicotine level 1.4
Complete. At the end of month six you should no longer be purchasing or consuming conventional tobacco.
You will notice that it starts with 1 hour between cigarettes. This is the minimal half life of nicotine in the system and should not cause any stress or discomfort from nicotine withdrawal. If you smoke more than 1 cigarette an hour this will be your adjustment. Use the e-cig classic form factor and smoke it as you normally would.
Since this is not a nicotine reduction program the entire focus is on getting out of the habit of tobacco and replacing it with e-cigs. The easiest way to fail is to lose focus of that fact. There's a whole 'nother section of this instructable on this later.
It is very, very, very important to remember that you can and should feel free to use your e-cig at any time. Any time, any place ( that you can, of course ).
I have often said that you should not experience any discomfort or significant urge to smoke. If used properly the e-cigs will do this. However this process is not completely free and painless, it takes a commitment to use the e-cigs and make them work. Your brain does not magically want to be retrained, this is an intellectual process. You must keep them on you and get in the habit of using them first! This is harder than it sounds and requires a sustained effort over time. Particularly if you have both cigarettes and e-cigs available.
I have talked with many people over time. A very significant number of them are able to just switch. They bought some e-cig, tried it for maybe a week and then dropped tobacco. They reported success doing this and you might want to try it. A few reported minor challenges with getting used to not smoking tobacco but no one suggested any withdrawal ( or more importantly no failure was reported ). Personally my biggest concern was making it as easy as possible so I took virtually no risk of withdrawal or habit issues.
If you are accustomed to having cigarettes with your morning coffee ( as I am ), there is a very gradual adjustment. We start with a maximum of two cigarettes with our morning coffee. If you smoke immediately on getting up you should have a couple of puffs on your e-cig while you are making your morning coffee and delay lighting your first cigarette until you settled in. This will help the transition to an e-cig morning habit.
The reason for this is very simple. The drugs caffeine and nicotine have a characteristic called cross-potentiation which means that the drugs enhance each other. When one has a cigarette or two with the morning coffee the physiological effect is approximately that of 20 mg of amphetamine which gives the morning a nice kick start. So we keep the two cigarettes to make sure the morning is not disrupted and gradually transition that to the e-cig later in the process.
Also there is a provision to reduce the nicotine level late in process. Going from 1.8 to 1.4 does not seem to have been a challenge for me.
You must literally use the timer to calculate the time. Do not trust your instincts.
If you break the schedule restart the timer and resume.
Step 5: Tips and Tricks for the Transition
Just because the nicotine addiction is satisfied does not mean that this is some magic way to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes in your spare time with no work. You have to use your e-cigs. This must be a conscious act. You are trying to create a new habit of keeping these things charged and handy.
If you run out of e-cigs ( or your battery dies and you don't have a backup ) buy a disposible e-cig such as Blu rather than your regular smokes.
I always run my batteries until the blinking light indicates that it needs a charge, but I often know that is coming because the quality and quantity of vapor is reduced. I think the problem of "memory" in the lithium ion batteries has been solved but who can be sure what a product is engineered for?
Unlike conventional smoke the vapor intake does not contains tars and will not generally make you cough. You can maximize your nicotine uptake on a given puff by holding it in your lungs for 10-15 seconds. Just mentally count 1-1000,2-1000 etc. Very useful for stealth smoking....
Speaking of stealth smoking I'm not going to tell you to do this where you're not supposed too. I am going to say this, if a tree falls in the forest and no one sees it or hears it it will still be down and fallen when someone walks past later. If someone takes a quick hit off an e-cig and carefully exhales just about 2 seconds later it never happened. I have done this in my seat on a night flight to Chicago and in the bathroom everywhere. Basically anytime no one is looking for the 2-3 seconds it takes the vapor is dissipate the coast is clear so to speak....
With the classic it fits almost exactly inside my closed hand and I have become a master at putting my closed hand to cover a slight cough....
If you have the urge to smoke off schedule then hit your e-cig and try to find something to distract you while the nicotine courses through your system. This is easier than waiting for it to pass. Just go back to work ( or whatever ) and in about 20 minutes you'll start thinking about having a smoke again and wondering where the time went.
A really interesting event is the first few times you forget to smoke. This happens after you've adjusted to your e-cig but are still smoking regularly. The timer will go off but that exact minutes will not be convenient for whatever reason. Sometime later you will have a spare moment and think "Wow, I'd like to have a cigarette". Then you will check the timer and realize you have forgotten to smoke.
Be discreet and do not dig up the snake to kill it. If you are someplace and you think it may be permitted just shut your mouth and be discreet.
If confronted about using your e-cigarette outside of an authorized smoking area do everyone a favor, explain its an e-cig and you are not actually smoking, ask them if they'd like to take a look and then put it in your pocket.
If you go outside to smoke at work do not stop doing that, simply use the e-cigs. In particular the classic form factor is handy when hanging out with fellow smokers who are actually probably interested.
Resist the urge to over reach. In particular do not worry about your nicotine levels. If the 1.8 is too high ( makes you dizzy or feel ill ) reduce the level. Also take smaller puffs.
One person told me they quit using the e-cigs because they didn't feel anything and another had this huge battery and vape setup to get bigger hits. Here's the thing you're not supposed to feel anything. You don't get a buzz ( normally ) when you smoke a cigarette and you shouldn't get a buzz with the e-cigs. What is supposed to happen is that you don't think about how nice it would be to go outside and have a smoke.
If you find yourself heading outside to have a smoke off schedule, take your e-cig and hit it first! Wait a few minutes and then see if you still want to have your cigarette. If so then smoke. But make the e-cig habit come first.
Don't deal with quitting. I don't talk about quitting smoking, I talk about my most recent cigarette was a month ago. I don't say I've quit smoking, I say I've switched to e-cigs.
If pushed about quitting smoking you can point out that you've already quit smoking. If someone is rude enough to point out that you are still a nicotine addict agree with them. Yes, we are.
Step 6: Okay What Next?
This is not a program to quit smoking, this is a program to switch to a safer, healthier form of nicotine delivery. Maybe you're thinking about quitting, if so good for you. This may be a good first step, it may not. I do not know.
You have probably significantly changed the pattern of your smoking behavior. If you are like me you take one or two puffs at a time rather than spending 10-15 minutes smoking once every mumble interval. This is a very important change in pattern of nicotine consumption and may make the transition to traditional nicotine replacement therapy such as the gum or patch more manageable.
Alternatively you may want to reduce the level of nicotine for no particular reason that I can think of. One of the guys I smoke with was complaining that e-cigs didn't work for him. It turned out his girlfriend has pushed him from using the 1.8 stuff down to .6. This is a recipe for failure.
So if you want to reduce your intake I recommend extending the program by another couple of months and switching your e-juice down one level each month. I would also focus on really stabilizing nicotine levels by taking measured puffs over time, consider using the timer for this as well. Maybe one puff every 20-30 minutes.
At the end of some sort of regimen like this it might be easier to transition to the patch or gum which rely on a consistent base level of nicotine to moderate the symptoms.
Step 7: For Non Smokers....
Dear Non Smoker,
If you are reading this its because you have a friend who smokes and you care about them. You don't want them to do harm either to themselves or indirectly to you and others. This is reasonable.
Your friend is considering switching from conventional tobacco to e-cigarettes. You may have heard about these in the news and there are some links below with more information.
While there remains some controversy about e-cigarettes what we do know is that they are safer way to use nicotine than conventional tobacco. There is no flame, ashes, smoke or smell. There is a vapor which is exhaled, this may contain trace amounts of nicotine but does not present the risk of a 'contact high' like that associated with marijuana smoke.
The exhaled water vapor completely dissipates in a few seconds and there is no evidence of second hand exposure in a ventilated area.
This letter is to ask you to help your friend adopt a healthier lifestyle by becoming informed and permitting use of e-cigarettes in places and areas such as indoors where traditional smoking is not permitted.
Here's the links I promised you, thank you for taking the time to become informed and help your friend change to healthier lifestyle.