I went into vaping knowing that it wouldn’t be exactly like smoking cigarettes or really smoking anything because it isn’t smoking. What I was greeted with is something, that for me, has far surpassed smoking cigarettes. Yes, I’m still using nicotine. Am I addicted? Yes. Does that bother me? No. At one point it might have, but with vaping it feels different. I went back and read what I wrote here on being a nicotine junkie and it is still true, only now I’m both physically and psychologically dependant on nicotine.You might be thinking, ‘Wow that didn’t take long!’ But you have to remember that I’ve been using nicotine for much longer than simply two weeks. I’ve been dabbling to various degrees since I first successfully inhaled at 17.

To be fair, I never really let myself give cigarettes a chance. I suspect I never let my body have a chance to get used to having carbon monoxide in my blood all the time or all the other toxins. But I kept coming back for the nicotine. The result is that while smoking cigarettes was pleasurable, I would still have some of the ‘negative effects’ that new smokers suffer like light-headedness and nausea. These would occur randomly and unpredictably.

With vaping, I get the nicotine I so craved, but without the other junk. The effect feels different, but still very good. For me the effect is better. My body is much happier without the other stuff that cigarettes were delivering. I mentioned before that it was hard to track when you are done with vaping compared with smoking as when you smoke a cigarette, you reach the end of the cigarette and you are done. I’ve gotten better with this with vaping. It is more reliant on listening to your body. I found I had to slow down a bit to let the nicotine enter my bloodstream. What is nice, is now that I have an idea of what ‘satisfied’ feels like, I haven’t overdone it on the nicotine. Sometimes, it is just two or three hits. Other times, it is more.

Initially, I purchased two flavours of juice: watermelon and chai. I kind of regret the watermelon now. That must have been the kid in me picking that one out. The Chai is really nice. I find the flavour complements the bite of the nicotine better than the watermelon. I don’t know that I will finish the watermelon as I decided after vaping it for a few days that I didn’t like it very much. I could probably vape chai forever. I have since picked up another two flavours: one that tastes like a strawberry milkshake, smooth and creamy, but not to sweet and another that tastes lightly of peaches but again not too sweet.

I’m also slowly starting to come out with my vaping. It is hard because smoking, for the most part, is always something I hid. Sure, I smoked socially in very specific situations, but nobody would ever call me a regular smoker. What I am finding works best is just telling the truth to people. That I started closet smoking again (truth), did not want to continue smoking cigarettes or hiding (truth),  I’m not ready to live without nicotine in my life (truth) and I am using vaping as a harm reduced way of ‘smoking’ without actually smoking. I’ve only told one friend so far and they were pretty accepting. I suspect I’ll get a variety of reactions and that some people will want me to quit.

While I recognize that it would be better to not  be addicted to a substance and that abstinence would probably be healthier as while vaping is less harmful, it still isn’t clear what the level of risk is. The only thing that is known is that the level of risk is much lower than smoking. I know that I would have continued to find ways of justifying my smoking because I was smoking so little. Because I was smoking so little, it was easy to delude myself into thinking I wasn’t addicted.

I’m interested and excited to see where things go from here. Right now, I’m glad to have found vaping as it has freed me from the cycle of conflicted feelings I had when indulging in smoking cigarettes, something I couldn’t seem to stop myself from doing despite all of my negative feelings about it.

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