Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The beginning

October 27, 2014 - about 2:30 a.m. - my father lost a long, painful struggle against COPD and lung cancer at the age of 69. I got this news in a cell phone call as I was racing down to highway trying to get to the airport to be with him and my mother.

I was sad. I was angry. I was devastated. I could barely see the road through the tears.

Now, I feel I've found a way to remember him and to celebrate the life he led.

How? I quit smoking. Something he wanted me to do, but was unable to do himself, even at the very end. What is more, I've found a way to help my friends and family quit smoking. Maybe there's something in here that will help you, too.

I had made a promise to my mother, and with my children, to quit smoking after my father's death. I'm very happy to say that on November 24, 2014 I quit. I had visited my doctor and he had prescribed Wellbutrin - an antidepressant and stop smoking aid. I was uncomfortable with that as I am already taking Amitriptyline - another antidepressant - to treat migraines. I got a second opinion from my neurologist. She prescribed Chantrix, another pill form stop smoking aid.

Being serious about quitting, I stopped by the pharmacy on the way home and picked up both prescriptions. As I was checking out, I saw a display for a product called Haus by Mistic. Mistic is a cigalike - a personal vaporizer that looks and feels a lot like a traditional cigarette, and a product I had tried when it first came out with little success. The Haus by Mistic is a larger, more powerful personal vaporizer with a refillable tank instead of tiny cartridges. The battery is larger and lasts longer. There are a variety of flavors of e-liquid you can purchase to fill the tank. I chose tobacco and java, a coffee flavor.

Aside from 2 slips - once when the battery died while I was away from any kind of power source, and once when my tank ran dry with nothing to fill it up with - I have not had a cigarette. I've also not had to take any of the prescriptions I picked up that day.

The Haus Personal Vaporizer I started with.
You know from the title of this blog as well as the preceding introduction that I'm talking about vaping. Let's not use the term e-cigarette because, aside from the shape of some and the possible nicotine content, there's really very little in common with cigarettes or pipes or cigars or dip... any tobacco product, really.

Let's call it vaping. The devices are called Personal Vaporizers or Advanced Personal Vaporizers. The liquid that is vaporized is called E-Liquid, E-Juice, or just Juice. There are literally hundreds of terms and acronyms to get to know in the realm of vaping. I have a glossary page designed to help you figure those terms out.

Let's take a minute to meet the community. There are a lot of people using personal vaporizers. We're called vapers. It doesn't matter what you are using, if you're vaping, you're a vaper. The community is very welcoming, helpful, and often generous to a fault. There are links to some of my favorite vendors and online forums and reviewers in the links section of the sidebar. I'll also sprinkle links into the stories I write.

Let's also dispel the myths and answer some questions that have been getting a lot of media and political attention. For that purpose, I have an advocacy page with links to stories about the good that vaping can do. Stories about the good that vapers do.

We will also take a look at the devices. I've created pages for entry level, intermediate, and advanced reviews. Yes, there are hundreds of sites that offer reviews and just as many YouTube channels. However, in my own search for answers, I found a lot of the review sites used jargon I couldn't understand and referred to devices I had never heard of. I thought I was pretty advanced with my Haus. I was so very, very wrong. I am creating this blog, then, to help the person I was.

Is there more? Oh, yes... lots...

Let's start our journey...