Now I’ve done it. A few days ago, I quit vaping. December 24 was my last toke. I ran out of juice and haven’t bought any more.
Most people start vaping in order to kick cigarettes, basically regarding it as a safer substitution. I wasn’t a smoker. I started since it seemed pretty safe, and I figured it might help me stay perky and focused. Freud did mention that his cigar consumption did that much for him. Since in modern times we’ve figured out how to do that without breathing the smoke of burning plants all the time, I figured, why not? I could get whatever boost it provided without goddamn cancer or goddamn COPD. I found some pretty good juice too – it was like vaping a candy cane! I took it further than Bill Clinton would’ve done in his wildest dreams, because I inhaled.
Why did I quit now? It has nothing to do with being a better Mormon; I’m still a terrible one. Mainly it’s for health reasons. Vaping might not be as safe as I’d assumed. Surely it’s better than sucking down a pack or two of tobacco leaves, but still, I’ve heard some things. Also, I’m not entirely comfortable with being hooked on anything. Other than that, now I have one less product to buy, and I’m cheap that way.
Are you hooked on nicotine?
First, I’ll cover some good news. There are those who say that nicotine is a worse addiction than cocaine. Most fortunately, that’s baloney. In the past, I’ve dated three coke heads, and two were in and out of jail because of that noxious chemical. There’s just no comparison; nicotine is nothing compared to the devil’s dandruff – or worse – Satan’s boogers. Moreover, quitting nicotine isn’t even as close to as bad as quitting caffeine.
There are two ways to kick the habit. First, you can taper down. The other method is going cold turkey. Some might be surprised that cold turkey ain’t that bad!
Whenever I’ve flown somewhere on vacation, I’ve left my equipment behind at home. A vaporizer is a battery operated electronic device with a heating element. Obviously stuff like that is going to get extra scrutiny at an airport. Since all that is just bad juju, I’ve never attempted to bring a vaporizer on board a plane. So what is it like, being in another city without a vaporizer to suck on? I’ll get two or three fairly mild cravings that day, and less the next. Big deal! I’ve seen people getting a little irrational from nic fits before, but experiencing it myself it was nothing like what I expected. Sudden nicotine deprivation certainly didn’t drive me mad.
On the other hand, when I’m at my desk and can’t find my vaporizer, it drives me up the wall! I’m used to having that candy cane to inhale when I’m sitting there. So this is how I realized that habit and ritual actually have longer claws than the nicotine itself. Substitutes like gum and patches will provide nicotine, but doesn’t address the ritual component to it. I did think of switching to jelly beans, but that would’ve been extra calories that I don’t need. I also thought of vaping somewhere not at the desk to break the association, but I didn’t follow through.
How I stopped freebasing that candy cane
One of the cool things about vaping is that there is a very large selection of juices out there. You get different flavors, and different concentrations too. I started out with 36mg, which is as powerful as it gets. That’s what I’ve been sucking down for years. Then lately I switched to 24mg. Going down to two thirds of the previous concentration wasn’t such a big deal. Then the case of asthma that I’d been battling for a very long time went away. Well, how about that!
I searched my supplies and finished off all my old oils, so I wouldn’t have any “sunk cost” considerations. I finished all the fruit blends and chocolate flavors and so forth. Then I bought a new bottle, 18mg concentration. The next steps down were 12mg, then 6, and finally 3. Those bottles were 30mL. Dialing down wasn’t too difficult of an adjustment, but some might prefer to taper it slower with 60mL bottles for each step.
Finally, there was nothing left, so I packed up all the paraphernalia. After that was the tricky part! There was little nicotine in the juice by then, but at least I was toking on something. They do have 0mg oil, and I could’ve got some of that, but it is what it is. So for the next couple days, I was at my desk, thinking that surely the candy cane had to be somewhere within reach… Gollum wants it, where did the tricksy little hobbittses put My Precious?
At that point, I could’ve gotten some more vape oil and fed the monkey. However, I didn’t. I decided that I’d stick to my plans because I am not a bitch. As of now, I’m over the curve and doing pretty well. No more changing batteries for me, or oil leaking everywhere, or gummed up igniters. Anyway, hopefully this inspires someone.