One year ago, I moved to a state renowned for having some of the highest cigarette prices in the country. I came to this state a smoker of over ten years, but I knew that I would soon have to make a change, both for my wallet and my health. Not only did I not want to spend upwards of eight dollars per pack of cigarettes when I previously paid five, but I would also be renting a condominium at which I could not smoke. I needed to save money, I had to find an alternative to avoid running afoul of the condominium association’s rules, and I wanted to be free of tobacco. I decided that I was going to switch to electronic cigarettes.
An electronic cigarette is a device with three primary parts: a battery that turns on when it detects that you are pulling air through the mouthpiece, an atomizer that heats up when the battery turns on, and a capsule containing flavored liquid and nicotine. The atomizer vaporizes the liquid, turning it to steam. Upon inhaling the steam, the user satisfies their nicotine craving while having an experience similar to that of smoking a real cigarette.
Upon receiving my electronic cigarette, I was initially disappointed. My “Menthol” flavor cartridges tasted nothing like the menthol cigarettes I was accustomed to, more closely resembling breath mints. However, I had invested a great deal of money in purchasing the starter kit, and was determined to make the switch a successful one.
I quickly learned that there are a number of tricks involved in getting the best performance out of an electronic cigarette. For one, I discovered dripping, or putting the liquid directly on the atomizer before inhaling, rather than waiting for it to wick down from a disposable flavor cartridge. I found that dripping produces a satisfying amount of vapor every time. Disposable cartridges sometimes leaked liquid into my mouth or failed to produce enough vapor, leaving me continually tempted to go back to “analog” cigarettes. Dripping also allows me to purchase any e-liquid that I like from a variety of different sources online, rather than purchasing exclusively from merchants that offer pre-filled cartridges compatible with my electronic cigarette model.
I also learned that when you switch to electronic cigarettes, a certain amount of perseverance is required. You have to want to make the switch, because no matter what anyone tells you, you will not find an e-liquid that tastes like a real cigarette. You can’t achieve the taste of a real cigarette without burning tobacco, which is exactly what the switcher is trying to avoid – along with the carbon monoxide, foul-smelling clothes and breath, and carcinogens associated with real cigarettes. However, after I had been using an electronic cigarette full time for about a month and began to regain my sense of taste, I found that I preferred the flavor. In a moment of weakness, I smoked an “analog” cigarette and the flavor actually disgusted me. I thought to myself, “I used to enjoy this?”
Approximately six months into making the switch to electronic cigarettes, I began to notice more benefits. My clothes no longer carried the lingering scent of cigarettes, and I no longer had chronic smokers’ breath. I felt younger, healthier, and more active.
The target market for electronic cigarettes is people who are committed to smoking and do not want to quit, but are looking for an alternative that does not involve tobacco. For me, electronic cigarettes also provide an easy way to control my nicotine intake, which I am slowly reducing and intend eventually to eliminate. I have tried every “stop smoking” product on the market, and this is the only product that allowed me to stop smoking cigarettes forever.
New to electronic cigarettes? I encourage you to read my e-cigarette buyer’s guide before you make your first purchase.