E-Cigarettes and Harm Reduction

Last New Year’s Eve I stopped into a Walgreens drug store and bought a disposable electronic cigarette. That one action has changed my life.

A Blu disposable cigarette

Being curious by nature, I just had to autopsy the disposable once done:

The Anatomy of a Blu Disposable Electronic Cigarette

I’ve been a smoker for nearly 34 years. Yeah, that’s what I said too. Until recently I was smoking a pack to a pack and a half a day. I’m now down to 3 cigarettes a day!
I didn’t buy the Blu e-cig with a plan to quit smoking in mind. No New Year’s resolution. Nope. It was just something that kind of intrigued me. Miss Bee, whom longtime readers of this blog know is a very close friend of mine, bought herself a Blu starter kit. It features rechargeable battery modules and replaceable vapor (smoke) cartridges that can be purchased online or at many retailers in the analog world.

Blu Reusable Electronic Cigarette

A Blu Starter Kit

I really liked the disposable units so i decided to pick up a starter kit. I wasn’t very impressed with the volume of vapor or the strength of the nicotine in the cartridges of the Blu reuseables. I am used to high nicotine and need the feeling of the “throat hit” when inhaling normal tobacco smoke and these were just not doing it for me. I’m different in this way I guess. Everyone I know who has the Blu’s enjoys them and I really do, to a point…

I learned that you can’t draw on an e-cig as you’d do on a normal one. You need to draw slowly and for 3 to 5 seconds to get a decent amount of vapor in your mouth before inhaling. That did help a bit but I was still craving more vapor and throat feeling.

Last night I found another brand, Cig20. A basic starter kit cost around $17 (vs $50 for the Blu) but comes with just one battery module and two cartridges along with a USB powered charger.
While Blu brand cartridges top out at the 16mg level, the Cig20’s go up to 24mg! The difference is dramatic. Much more vapor and a very definite “throat hit” that feels identical to smoking a genuine flame driven tobacco cigarette.

A Cig20 Electronic Cigarette

While I’m quite satisfied with the Cig20, I know I can do better. The main drawback to the Blu and Cig20 systems is that the cartridges are consumable thus requiring constant purchase of new ones. Although the math works out to around $2 per pack equivalent, a refillable cartridge system would be much less expensive. It just so happens that there is such an animal…
The Joye eGo-C Personal Vaporizer!

The eGo-C Personal Vaporizer

The Ego-C looks much different that the previous examples of electronic cigarettery I’ve shown you. Instead of being activated when you draw on it, it has a manual pushbutton that powers the heating element which vaporizes the nicotine bearing e-smoke fluid.
The only consumable in this system is the fluid and an occaisional battery or atomizer. BUT, the battery will last much longer in use, the vapor produced will be much more substantial, and the satisfaction of cravings will be awesome.
I am not intending to quit nicotine but rather quit the manifold chemicals that accompany traditional smoking. Electronic cigarettes eliminate smoke, tar, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, benzene, phosgene, and many other (1000’s) of chemicals and compounds that are produced by cigarettes. The e-cigs have very few ingredients and very few chemicals emitted and in quantities that are below typical exposure to traffic while driving. Nicotine in the amounts used here is not carcinogenic or toxic. I’m not pretending that it is 100% safe but I will say that it is 1000’s of times safer than inhaling smoke several hundred times per day
I’ve tried not to get too technical in this post but will go into more details after the eGo-C arrives and I learn more about it.

Oh yes. The fluid? 30 – 50ml is enough to last a month or so. Cost? $12 – $15, PER MONTH. The cost of cigarettes? At 1 1/2 packs a day, $270 PER MONTH!
Yeah. Really.
I’ll keep you posted.

I get my e-cigarette supplies at Northwest Vapors. If you choose to shop at Northwest Vapors be sure to use the redemption code FOXFUR and receive a 10% discount on your entire order. You can use this on your first and every order after that. I told them I blog about E-Cigs (it is the most frequently accessed topic on this blog) and would like to be able to offer my readers a discount. They immediately created the Foxfur code. I am not paid or compensated by them for traffic directed over there. I simply want y’all to save some money and your health.