Saturday, May 26, 2012

E-Cig - Transitioning from Analog

It's been 18 days since I transferred on to the nicotine e-cig. 
The first e-cig I had, I purchased at Rexalls. It was menthol with 0 nicotine. Both my boyfriend and I were impressed. It was disappointing that there was no nicotine but I tried to substitute it/intersperse it with analogs for the next couple of days at work. 
While waiting for the first nicotine e-cig order to come in, some questions arose. When should I smoke it? Should I still go outside? If I do go out, a traditional cigarette burns away so how will I know when to stop smoking it? Set a timer? I really couldn't answer these questions until I had one in my hands but I talked to my boyfriend to get his input since he intended to give them a go too.  He had similar questions and he had decided that he would still treat them like a regular cigarette and observe banned places and continue to smoke outside when he was home as well as not puff in the car.
For the most part I decided to adopt his policies with the exception of work. I was tired of constantly running out for a smoke. 
When I was going to order my first one (disposable) I got a 1.2mg and 2 0.6mg. I wasn't sure what strength to get. The 0.6 was ok for me but in hind sight, I think it might have been a smidgen low. I got used to it pretty quickly though and when I eventually tried a 0.8, I found it strong. 
At first, I tried sitting at my desk and taking drags but I found that I would get anxious even though I had the nicotine and the only relief I had was to actually go out and smoke there. I guess my brain hadn't fully adopted them.  
So in accordance to our new policies, I went outside with my e-cig at work. I got to say, I felt a bit silly! Standing beside smokers or standing by an ashtray until I thought "What am I doing?" I got used to smoking outside and the silliness wore off. 
As the days went by I found that I was taking drags less often and after 2 weeks I found it pointless to go out anymore and was able to sit at my desk for extended periods and only go out every 2-3 hours. I still like to go out for fresh air and escape the office though!
I learnt with the disposables, to get a stronger hit, cover the air-flow hole. After some experimenting, I discovered you can also take a slower drag (don't drag so hard like you would with an analog) to get a stronger hit. 
The day that I got the first nicotine e-cig, I was sold! I didn't look back. They were exactly what I was hoping they would be. I had read that some people did have trouble transitioning to them and did it more slowly. For some, it took about 2 weeks of switching between e-cig and analogs to make the switch completely. 
My boyfriend found this route to be better for him. At times when he was especially anxious, he would have an analog but he had very few and within a couple of days he switched completely. 
At first, you may find that you're puffing a lot. Keep in mind this is like a novelty at the beginning. You're getting used to this and it will subside.  In addition, you are no longer smoking a cig that will burn away so your tendency to drag on it will wane once you're more used to it. 
Most times I held it like an analog at the beginning and sometimes still do but it's naturally turning more into an instrument which is great to move away from the smoking crutch. 
Keep in mind, that if you were using a patch to quit, you could be starting out with a mega dose of nicotine which you normally wouldn't smoke. Like the patch, after weeks you drop down the dose. If you want to quit with an e-cig I suggest the following:
Smoke like you normally would but switch to an e-cig. 
After 12 weeks (or however long you're comfortable) drop down to the next lightest for another 12 weeks. When you hit 0mg, stay there for as long as you're comfortable. You will still have the crutch but your system will not be reliant on nicotine anymore. Hold a pen if you want. 
Right now I'm not thinking about quitting. I'm just happy to take it one day at a time and am delighted in tobacco free!
No more stinkies! No more dirty ashtrays! No more rushing out to have a smoke!

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