Monday, May 18, 2015

Unintended benefits

Making the switch from smoking to vaping was, for me, an inevitable no-brainer. There was the promise I had made my family in the wake of my father’s passing. My non-smoking wife was tired of the stench that, even though we smoked outside, seemed to permeate everything. Of course, I’m breathing easier and have more energy.

But there were a few side effects that we were not warned about. For us – and, as they say, your mileage may vary – there were several unintended benefits:

Community: When I started vaping, I felt I was in a void. There are no B&Ms within 40 miles of me. That’s 40 Ozark miles which is the same as about 80 miles anywhere else as, on these curves, you don’t drive fast. But there’s the Internet and out there, amongst the speeding electrons, there are groups – families, even – that will help you out with advice, a review, point you towards a deal, contests everywhere, even supply you with a vape if you fall on hard times. Never in all of my other endeavors have I met a group as giving and open and helpful as vapers. I am members of several groups on Facebook. I follow several vaping tweeters on Twitter. You can find me in several vaping groups on Google Plus. I am subscribed to a lot of YouTube reviewers. I watch online broadcasts on Vape.TV and Vapers.TV. Most of the community comes from  the E-Cigarette Forum, although I am also a member of The Vaping Underground and can be found, on occasion, on Bent Dreams.

Advocacy: It wasn’t that I didn’t care about the state the world’s in. I did. I do. However, I was frustrated as I felt I could DO nothing about it. Most every email I received was asking for money to lobby this representative or support that candidate. Very few emails directly focused on the issues, and those issues that were addressed… well, I felt I could DO nothing. And, so I didn’t. With vaping, I am far more active as this feels and behaves like a grass-roots, living, caring, breathing organism and I feel I CAN do something. This is due in a large part to CASAA.

Education: There’s an Internet meme stating that “I learned more about electricity vaping than I ever did in school.” This might be stretching the truth a little as I was, at one point, in school to be an electrical engineer. However, as I did not end up on that career path, I never put any of that book-learnin’ to use until now. And the education did not stop at Ohm’s law. There’s a bit of chemistry and metallurgy involved, too. 

Weight: I’ve seen a lot of people balloon when they quit smoking. The compulsive hand to mouth behavior is replaced with candies and cookies and other such junk. Not with vaping. The increased sense of taste coupled with the intense flavors available to vapors means I think I eat less.

Hydration: Vaping can cause dehydration. I read early on that drinking a glass of water every vape session is best. As I don’t have “vape sessions” and vape a little all day long, I find I am drinking a lot more water. From what I’ve heard, that’s good for you.

Sanitation: In simplest terms, things are cleaner. Of course, there are no more overflowing ashtrays filled with tarry, stinking, crumpled cigarette butts. There is no fine film of grime or ash everywhere in my shop (where we smoked). No more crumpled empty packs laying around, and no more tobacco flakes showing up in the lint trap of the dryer for those days when I forgot to empty my pockets before running a load of laundry. However, it goes beyond those direct observations. I also find that I am wash my hands and workspace a little more frequently. Working on a farm, you get some interesting things on your hands, and I never worried much about the things I could not see ruining my smoke. However, I make sure my hands are clean when I am filling or coiling my tanks. 

Financial savings: Although not what it could be as I have purchased A LOT of gear for myself, my Stepdot, my Stepson, and my Mother, we still figure we’re saving a couple bucks. Now that my gear is (mostly) purchased, we should be saving even more. We’re also looking at starting to craft our own e-liquids, and that will help, too. In the long run, I can see where we will spend $50 per month instead of $50 per week… $150 a month should add up nicely!

Fun: Yeah, I find vaping fun. With cigarettes, I was just looking for the next nicotine fix. With vaping?


  1. Great post Shawn. I agree, as vapers, we have the best support groups I have ever seen. With the traditional quit smoking support groups, you get the feeling that they don't have a clue, and all they do is make you feel bad about yourself.

    With vaping groups, they are all about support, and helping you to feel good about yourself, and helping to keep you smoke free in every way they can.

    I can also relate to all the other benefits you posted as well!

  2. Shawn, I stumbled across this by accident and you put things very nicely into perspective and it is a good read. Means a bit more to me because you mention Bent Dreams which means that you are part of a pretty close knit group even though you don't mention your username in the post. Don't know if you have stopped by recently, but we are now and it would be great to see you cross post this over there as I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy reading it as much as I did.