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Eletronic Cigarettes


mux
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Well, first off let me start off by saying I am in no way affiliated with any company or distributor for these things. I know this is probably conceived to be completely off topic from the general idea behind these forums, but if there are any smokers in the hak5 community, these things can save lives. On top of everything, they are in fact an electronic device, so it is somewhat related to the idea behind the hak5 community (They even have some awesome mods made by the e-cig communities out there for higher voltages and all sorts of other electronic tampering ;)). I am posting this more as a community awareness for all the smokers (And non-smokers alike) out there that could benefit from this.

I have been a smoker for quite a few years now and have tried quitting through various methods (Patch, gum, lozenges, etc), but nothing really worked. Last month I saw something on YouTube about electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). I decided to look into it since it seemed like a complete joke at first since I didn't know any real information about them. Surprisingly, the number of people who quite smoking actual cigarettes (Analogs, as we like to call them) was extremely high compared to everything else, even the prescription Chantix.

If you have a desire to quit smoking, definitely do some research about this topic. You will definitely want to go around, ask questions, and have a good idea of how these devices work before you get one. There are definitely some really crappy e-cigs out there. The general layout of an e-cig is this:

-Battery (Powers atomizer)

-Atomizer (Wicks the liquid and creates the vapor)

-Cartridge (Stores the liquid, dripping and drip tips somewhat nullifies filling carts, but that is another topic entirely)

OR

-Battery

-Cartomizer (Atomizers and cartridge in one unit)

Usually your liquid/juice has 4 major compenents. Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerine (VG), flavoring, and nicotine. The first three are FDA approved food grade substances and nicotine, of course, it what all of us smokers are addicted to. Also, regarding PG, the FDA states that this is the same stuff that is in antifreeze (Nice scare tactics :/), but they fail to mention two major things:

A.) The PG found in anti-freeze is non-USP PG (USP being the food grade equivalent) or Polyethylene Glycol (Something entirely different than Propylne Glycol)

B.) USP PG is an FDA approved food grade substance

Anyways, I'll let you research all of that crap the FDA is spewing versus some hard evidence dozens of scientists have done in the past about USP PG long before e-cigs were around.

Another great thing about these is that they produce throat hit like a cigarette (The good e-cigs do), they don't produce second hand smoke (Nothing is lit and the vapor evaporates in less than 15 seconds from the time it wicks on the atomizer), it doesn't produce an odor, it is cheaper than smoking analog cigarettes (Assuming you don't buy over 9000 different types of e-cigs and juices), and the liquids don't have over 4000 chemicals and carcinogens that have verified cancer causing substances.

I will state the obvious, of course. If you don't smoke or have a nicotine addiction already, don't bother getting one of these things.

Hopefully this might help any of the smokers out there, or anyone who knows a smoker, quit. I have been combating my nicotine addiction (Yes, I've never been afraid to tell anyone that I have an addiction to nicotine) ever since I entered adulthood, but to no avail. I have been nearly 2 weeks free of analog cigarettes after the holiday weekend with no desire to smoke an actual cigarette. These things DO work, just do your homework before purchasing anything. Most of you guys in the hak5 community are already smart enough to research electronic devices/components before you buy them, right? RIGHT? ;)

Edited by mux
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Tried the cheapies, they worked.. till it screwed up.

Bottom Line - Too expensive to make a real investment into until the laws surrounding the e-cigs are cleared up..

BTW - I have smoked for 13 years, and quit with the aid of nicotine gum. Regardless of what it is, how it's delivered or how much 'less you will spend' on it, nicotine is addictive and you should just stop whenever you can. I know it's hard as hell. I am still battling it, but the point is it's a money pit and a life shortener.

E-cigs are great IF you wanna try to use it to stop smoking, but for the most part I have only seen people move their addiction to them. The same thing that has happened to many of the 'successful' people who quit smoking however ended up stuck to nicorette.

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I wholeheartedly agree with almost everything you said. Nicotine addiction, in any form, is not something that should ever be labeled as "good" or "safe". E-cigs or any other method used to quit smoking work only as good as the person using them allows them to. The one thing I didn't necessarily agree with was this statement:

Bottom Line - Too expensive to make a real investment into until the laws surrounding the e-cigs are cleared up..

Why wait for the FDA to clear up anything? Most of their reports are inconclusive at best in finding anything wrong with e-cigs and the FDA hasn't even tried to come to a final conclusion.

I'm not one for conspiracies, but I'm pretty sure the FDA knows they can't regulate this nearly as much as they could with the big tobacco industry. Anyone with half a brain that knows how to measure liquids can make their own juice. About the most the FDA could even do is establish harder and more expensive regulations for nicotine sales and distribution. At that point, they're fighting big tobacco as well as e-cig users. That's a lose-lose situation for them. Thus, they have no real interest in coming to a conclusion about the "safety" of these products and instead they pursue for state and federal legislation banning them instead. Which, btw, if you read up on most of the bans already in effect (in the USA), they do not state anywhere that the use of e-cigarettes is illegal. It only states that the sale of e-cigarettes (Not the e-liquid) is illegal. Oh, most of it also states that they will come to a final conclusion once the FDA finishes their studies. Why would the FDA waste more money on studies when they already won their fight in those states?

Too expensive? Compared to what? What about the possible medical bills in the future for smoking over 4000 carcinogens and cancer causing chemicals? Most other nicotine cessations out there have under a 10% success rate (Chantix excluded), I think the gum was around 7% or 8% last time I checked. Chantix has a higher rate of success as well as a high rate of patients who developed clinical side effects. Severe depression was the most common. Even in patients who had no past history of clinical depression.

I'm sorry, but I'll take my chances quitting analog cigarettes with basic electronic components, 3 food grade substances, and nicotine over any of the other alternatives listed. Also, just out of curiosity, were you buying pre-filled cartridges or buying juice and refilling your own cartridges? The latter is usually 5x cheaper. ;)

Hopefully you don't take my opinions on the matter as an attack on you. Just trying to share my own opinion on the subject, just as you did. I'm actually glad to hear that you quit smoking. That in itself is a major accomplishment for anyone regardless of the method(s) used to do so.

Edited by mux
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Oh no negativity felt here man, it's all good.

The reason why I said it's too expensive is because for a decent e-cig (I have done more than an extreme share of research), your looking at around $45+ for a good setup, not including the juice (around $10+ for a small bottle) which does last a little while (depending on if you drip, or refill, or both), and fresh cartridges (around $5 for a pack of four usually).

So to get set up you are looking at:

$45

$10

$5

= $60 (and this is on the cheap)

When you don't even know if you will be able to buy more juice tomorrow. I hope it does make it as a regular product and stay out of the FDA's sh*tlist, but it's not out of the woods yet, and yes you can make your own juice, but then if you can't buy liquid nicotine (could be outlawed in the future) then what would be the point?

To top it all off you need to make sure your kit keeps running, so right there your going to want to buy a replacement battery (around $10 to $30 usually), and backup vaporizers (around $2 a piece usually).

If it does become completely legal (and not price inflated to hundreds courtesy of the FDA) then it would be a great tool to use to quit but we just don't know this yet.

Also I do believe it's totally f$'ed up that the FDA will allow chantix to even be developed with it's horrid effects yet tries to ban something that has as of yet not had any negative effects...

One thing I do want to detract that you didn't catch is that I said nicotine shortens lifespans. It does not. Carcinogens reduce lifespans, but nicotine has never been shown in scientific research to cause any negative side effects.

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Hey mux, just out of curiosity what brand do you smoke, and where did you get it from? I really want to get one of these, but don't know how to tell the difference between the good and bad brands, other than getting the most expensive one I can find.

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If your going to take this up as a "healthy" alternative to smoking, for the love of all things holy make sure your getting it from a good source. Fags might be full of shit, (I smoke roll-ups myself, which are marginally better IMHO), but the market for these things is completely unregulated and for every firm that makes these things with nothing but love for the customer, there a 100 dodgey fuck-holes in a china that couldn't care less if you went about your day puffing away on the contents of a lead smelting plants waste bin.

P.S. We all know smoking is fucking dumb, no matter how much we like to rationalize it. I need to quit, despite loving them.

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The reason why I said it's too expensive is because for a decent e-cig (I have done more than an extreme share of research), your looking at around $45+ for a good setup, not including the juice (around $10+ for a small bottle) which does last a little while (depending on if you drip, or refill, or both), and fresh cartridges (around $5 for a pack of four usually).

So to get set up you are looking at:

$45

$10

$5

= $60 (and this is on the cheap)

When you don't even know if you will be able to buy more juice tomorrow. I hope it does make it as a regular product and stay out of the FDA's sh*tlist, but it's not out of the woods yet, and yes you can make your own juice, but then if you can't buy liquid nicotine (could be outlawed in the future) then what would be the point?

To top it all off you need to make sure your kit keeps running, so right there your going to want to buy a replacement battery (around $10 to $30 usually), and backup vaporizers (around $2 a piece usually).

If it does become completely legal (and not price inflated to hundreds courtesy of the FDA) then it would be a great tool to use to quit but we just don't know this yet.

Also I do believe it's totally f$'ed up that the FDA will allow chantix to even be developed with it's horrid effects yet tries to ban something that has as of yet not had any negative effects...

One thing I do want to detract that you didn't catch is that I said nicotine shortens lifespans. It does not. Carcinogens reduce lifespans, but nicotine has never been shown in scientific research to cause any negative side effects.

You went over a lot of different things in your post. Most of which I agree with. One thing I wanted to point out is that you can wash your used cartridges out and reuse those as well. Usually people mod the filling in the cartridge to something that wicks and absorbs better than the standard fluval filling (Blue foam mod, Pyramid Tea Bag mod, or one of the dozen different cartridge mods).

Another thing to take into consideration is that if the FDA bans liquid nicotine, they would be essentially banning modern day cigarettes as well. Big tobacco companies add their own nicotine on top of the natural nicotine found in a tobacco leaf. Thus, the FDA would be fighting a massive battle in court over the next decade if they did something like this. In all seriousness, I would be more worried about the banning of replacement e-cig parts more than the liquid for the e-cigs.

Hey mux, just out of curiosity what brand do you smoke, and where did you get it from? I really want to get one of these, but don't know how to tell the difference between the good and bad brands, other than getting the most expensive one I can find.

I really don't like to push brands for a few reasons.

1) If you receive a DOA unit, it is heart breaking if you have been looking forward to getting it all week. Sometimes it is unavoidable just like any other electronic component arriving DOA. Most companies, however, will replace DOA units with no questions asked.

2) It is not in my nature to sound biased towards one company or product over another if I have not had experience with a company. Trust me, I have not had experience with the thousands of different companies and products on the market.

Some tips I can give you are that you will probably want to get a 510 kit. They are cheap, have plenty of replacement parts available all around the net, and are really regarded as the community standard of a great starting point. You can usually pickup a great 510 starting kit with 2 batteries, 2 atomizers, some carts, and a charger for about $40-50. Definitely stay away from the super mini e-cigs like Blu (or any e-cig that is around the size of a normal cigarette) to start off with. These usually do not have the throat hit or vapor production that most people want.

From my personal point of view, if I were to start over knowing everything I know now, I would pickup an eGo starter kit. Make sure that you get a kit that has 2 batteries, 2 atomizers, and some cartridges. You can get an eGo kit with all of this for $55+shipping w/ no warranty if you look in the right places (DOA products are replaced even with no warranty). Usually eGo kits go for about $80 + shipping w/ a 1 year warranty (Note: Warranties do not cover atomizers dying 99.99% of the time). Atomizers usually have a lifespan of 2-6 weeks and are only replaced by companies if they are DOA, so keep that in mind as well. eGo's have 650mAh batteries compared to the normal 140mAh or mega 280mAh batteries found in standard 510 kits (Charge lasts about 6-12 hours depending on how much you vape). Downside is they are about the size of a small cigar, but still not as big as you would expect (I can palm 3/4 of my entire eGo).

I still highly recommend that you research information and ask questions on the ECF forums regardless of what I just typed above or any other information you have heard. There is so much bad information on the net about e-cigs and a ton of people are just out there for affiliate referrals (ESPECIALLY ON YOUTUBE!).

EDIT: Also, one quick note. Getting the "most expensive" e-cig on the market is a really bad practice unless you know exactly what you're buying. A recent example of this is a company selling the same kit that I just bought for 3x the price. There are also just some really overpriced companies selling crappy products. It seems like a lot of people are trying to make a quick buck with e-cigs instead of trying to promote a healthier, more affordable type of nicotine replacement product.

If your going to take this up as a "healthy" alternative to smoking, for the love of all things holy make sure your getting it from a good source. Fags might be full of shit, (I smoke roll-ups myself, which are marginally better IMHO), but the market for these things is completely unregulated and for every firm that makes these things with nothing but love for the customer, there a 100 dodgey fuck-holes in a china that couldn't care less if you went about your day puffing away on the contents of a lead smelting plants waste bin.

I can't agree more. I have heard so many horror stories about people buying from disreputable companies and were turned off of e-cigs simply due to the way the company handled their customers' problems. Blu is a really good example of this (Months worth of waiting on a package, really bad customer service, really bad warranty + return policy, etc). Try to avoid dealing with companies that ship from China as well. It's not necessarily because their products are of poor quality (In fact, I would say 99% of the e-cig components are manufactured in China), but there have been issues with Chinese e-cig shipments being hijacked by the FDA and EU customs. So if you're from Europe, order stuff from a European company. If you're from the USA, order stuff from a US based company. If you're from neither, check your nation's laws for any e-cig regulations.

So far, the FDA has found no lead in any e-cig components, thank god. However, if you are still skeptical, there are companies (In the US at least) that manufacture most, if not all, of their components themselves. Altsmoke is a good example of this. I have no experience with the company myself, so I have no idea how their QA is over other companies.

P.S. We all know smoking is fucking dumb, no matter how much we like to rationalize it. I need to quit, despite loving them.

I couldn't have said it better myself. ;)

Edited by mux
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The only reason I smoke is because I like smoking. e-cigs would never work for me. Thankfully I don't plan on trying to quit anytime soon...

Edited by dr0p
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The only reason I smoke is because I like smoking. e-cigs would never work for me. Thankfully I don't plan on trying to quit anytime soon...

I used to smoke 2 packs a day for the same reason until I started churning up lung butter every morning. :P

Just out of curiosity, what is it that you like about smoking? Not going to tell you that you should quit, just kind of curious. I used to say that I loved the taste. I tried smoking an analog after about a week of vaping e-cigs and couldn't stand the taste or the smell after about 4 drags. It was a pretty shocking experience for me.

Edited by mux
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+1 to VaKo and mux about quality control. I was going to put some of my thought on that in the first post but didn't get a chance..

When I bought these e-cigs: 4c07d662acf61_146949n.jpg (which totally f*ing blow btw, DO NOT buy them unless you find them dirt cheap, and you just wanna try it out before you drop good cash on a kit) I went around telling people I was probably smoking chinese drywall or something (hell who knows right?!) Tasted about like it... I got some smoke juice and actually did get a little bit of a drip off of it and was pretty darned good, but just never bought an outright kit.

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The only reason I smoke is because I like smoking. e-cigs would never work for me. Thankfully I don't plan on trying to quit anytime soon...

I always find this interesting. As a former smoker for 19 years myself ( I started when I had just turned 11, snuck around until my folks felt it better to have me smoking in front of them, vs burning down the house/getting into trouble with the law at 14), I always thought when I was smoking that I enjoyed it, and that is why I continued to do so.

I'm not going to tell anybody what to do. I've come to realize that I've become an asshole former smoker that I despised while I still smoked, so it is best if I limit myself in these conversations to simply this point, and to relate my life experiences:

With an open mind, thinking not of your own self or situation, but merely in the abstract:

The smoker does not enjoy smoking. He simply enjoys not smoking even less than the act of smoking.

Continuing the addiction and not going through the withdrawal process is easier and feels better than quitting.

Thus the addiction continues....

Tinfoil hat stuff below!

There has been a lot of study done on the subject, and it seems that cigarettes and smoking are self-rewarding. There has also been some research that shows that smokers actually have a chemical change occur upon addiction that makes life without smoking seem unlivable. This same mechanism is seen as the reason smokers think that inhaling toxic fumes that taste bad is "relaxing" and that they "enjoy it". It seems the only thing *really* happening is that the addiction is fed, and the timeclock reset for the next intake of nicotine. This satisfaction settles the anxiety that the addiction won't be fed. Thus its thought of as "good".

The latter was the biggest obstacle to quitting that I experienced. How was I to continue on? What do I do every hour or so? How can I wake up and not smoke? How do I get past every meal without the 5 minutes that I got?

The simple answer of course, is that you live your life, but you don't smoke while doing so.

I quit cold turkey Dec 1 2009 and I haven't looked back. I think about smoking just about every day but there is nothing I will ever do about it. The urges have gotten very weak, and now I think about them as if they were thoughts of a really good steak. Sure it would be nice, but I don't have to do it, and a few minutes after it comes up the thought is gone.

I became an asshole former smoker because the lie of nicotine angers me so much. I'm sure a number of other folks feel the same.

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I can agree with that, it is just a simple chemical reward mechanism. But then I also enjoy other chemical reward mechanisms, like coffee, and while not so much now I'm older, things like pot, MDMA, LSD etc. The bastard is that nicotine happens to be addictive, cheap, easily available and simple to consume. I have noticed that I used to take my fags everywhere with me, now I can go out and spend an entire day without them, and not get that urge.

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I used to smoke 2 packs a day for the same reason until I started churning up lung butter every morning. :P

Just out of curiosity, what is it that you like about smoking? Not going to tell you that you should quit, just kind of curious. I used to say that I loved the taste. I tried smoking an analog after about a week of vaping e-cigs and couldn't stand the taste or the smell after about 4 drags. It was a pretty shocking experience for me.

I'm not 100% sure, but I just like it. Cigarettes, hookah, weed, whatever. I just enjoy smoking.

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