back to article Reg man inhales the smooth, non-cancerous, taste of USB nicotine

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or vapes, sound like a great idea because they deliver a nicotine hit in a familiar form factor, but without the nasty stuff you'll find in conventional smokes. The jury's out on whether they're safe, with a University of Queensland study attracting criticism almost before it began, …

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Re: Good to see coverage, but a few notes:

Thanks.

Just to be clear, what I mean by eGo-T is the original kit which bears that name - a kit with an eGo style battery, an atomiser (a larger version of the 510 style, except with a spike inside instead of an exposed bridge) and a transluscent plastic hollow tank cartridge with a sealed hole in the end which you had to puncture to fill/use.

If you still use that type of ecig then that's great, the beauty of ecigs is that everyone can build one to their own taste, and I'm not one to be telling anybody they must upgrade to Uber-Vape v5 or whatever, but I would consider them obsolete by this point, they've been outclassed and left in the dust of the eternal evolution of eciggery. All for the better, too, I owned a 510-T and I could taste nowt but plastic, very muted flavour... :P

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MJI
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Never understood smoking

Along with a lot of friends never understood why people started.

School smokers used to get flak from the ordinary pupils, and I remember getting a prefect into trouble, she told me to do lines, I told no, she reported me, I reported her for smoking on the school bus and she got the bollocking.

But then as soon as I was 16 I rode to school, saved an hour a day for 5p of petrol, own transport beats smelling any day of the week.

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Re: Never understood smoking

Jesus, you could have saved yourself a lot of keystrokes by just writing "I'm a smug cunt and always have been".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never understood smoking

Very useful input MJI, many thanks.

Any more interesting anecdotes about how you're better than us?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never understood smoking

Hey, smug cunt, did you ever consider that some kids were addicted by their parents?

I started smoking myself from the age of 9, but I guess I was a smoker since I was born. Even when I got car-sick and wanted a window open because the car was also full of smoke I wouldn't be allowed because the adults would get 'cold'.

Bastards.

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MJI
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Re: Never understood smoking

And you are an ignorant twat so what!

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MJI
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Re: Never understood smoking

Of course.

Well for a start I lost THREE grandparents to cancer, two of them from smoking.

One grandfather lost a whole lung and a lobe of the other to lung cancer.

Sorry I cannot sit there getting insulted by addicts!

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MJI
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Re: Never understood smoking

AC

Yes seen it happen, not good and pretty horrible.

I remember when young smokers in confined spaces making me feel ill.

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Re: Never understood smoking

I think the reason you're getting insulted by addicts is because of your original comment about how you never tried smoking and therefore never got addicted to it (obviously) and then some anecdotes about how you're better than the evil smokers around you.

Personally, I've never tried heroin and therefore am not addicted to it. But I don't make a point of going into a forum where heroin addicts are discussing methods of quitting or at least cutting down on their heroin intake and smugly claiming that I'm not addicted to heroin and I don't understand people who are.

The responses to your original comment are along the lines of "if you have nothing constructive to add, then don't add it."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never understood smoking

As the AC who was addicted by their parents - I am no longer an addict.

I smoked from age 9-29, and now aged 42.

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Re: Never understood smoking

"ignorant twat"? Ignorant of what? My eyes are open.

At least I'm not a sneak, a grass or smug about anything.

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Use in an office would be OK with me, but I've seen their use banned in a couple of places and have to agree with the reasoning behind the ban. These places were a pub and a station platform and in both cases the reason given is that the staff are too busy to wander over and check the nature of each cloud of smoke seen from a distance to determine if it is electronic or burning weeds.

Overall, I approve of them as a way to get the nicotine fix without the tars and crap, but I'm utterly unconvinced that they are a method to break the habit. I successfully managed to give up 20 years ago by just stopping. Wasn't easy until after a full month, but haven't looked back since. Funnily enough, to this day I still occasionally catch my hand unconsciously straying towards my pocket in quest of fags and lighter when sat in a pub with a few friends. Even if I were to find cigarettes there, I know I wouldn't light up, but it shows how powerful the habit is that it remains a reflex action after a couple of decades.

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Anonymous Coward

Pubs are starting to ban it. Our local doens't alow it inside. I asked why and was told it "gives the wrong impression". It's a chain pub not a private landlord.

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Big Brother

re: "staff are too busy" to be arsed checking if it's a real fag

So what do they do in cold weather when exhaling causes clouds of vapour?

Do they ban breathing too?

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My local banned it.

I stopped going to my local.

Capitalism in action, kids!

Steven R

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If you hold it in for 10 seconds, there's nothing to breathe out, by the way...

If you want to really annoy the fascists, though, hold it like a fag, wave it about publicly, occasionally tap the filter end on the bar, but don't ever take a draw. If they say "you can't use that in here" just tell them you're not. You will destroy them inside, visibly sometimes.

Watch out for policy that says "No smoking, and that includes e-cigarettes". They don't listen when you tell them (puff) that's it's okay (puff), you don't have a lighter (puff), and the thing would probably melt plastic everywhere anyway (puff). Would probably make a person very ill, too (puff).

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Anonymous Coward

Used to smoke, mostly dope and roll ups...

Went to some free classes, hated the taste of the tablets, got bored with the patches, just stopped and never started again. (It is called will power, seems to be out of fashion now)

T'other half had a much harder time, went on for several weeks with various nicotine therapies, eventually we got settled down and we now rather dislike the smell of old smoke etc.

BUT I really would like the very occasional joint. Bright spring mornings etc. I'll smoke a little joint of (modern) grass, straight, with a long roach, and very good it is too. Seriously hits me though. Last time (when the bastard Thatcher died?) I had a little celebratory smoke and totally forgot all my passwords and how to get into things, for a whole 24 hours!

Is there any point in any of this 'vaping' stuff, can I add some dope into the mix somehow? I seem to have entirely lost my 'chillum lungs' and now cough and splutter like a newbie.

P.

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Re: Used to smoke, mostly dope and roll ups...

Alas, not at the moment, really. The things that THC dissolves in (butane and the like) aren't the solvents used in e-cigs. Oil and water, basically. You *can* add some ash oil to vaping fluid and it'll work; but it's quite wasteful and it'll fuck up your atomiser really quickly. Also, if you've lost your 'chillum lungs' you'd need to experiment with a few different fluids - mostly fluids are built to replicate the 'throat hit' and can be harsh even for a habitual heavy smoker if you choose the wrong one.

On the plus side, the hash oil loses most of the distinctive smell in the process and you can get monstered in a public, enclosed space without anyone knowing. Until you order 3-dozen doughnuts.

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Re: Used to smoke, mostly dope and roll ups...

Check this out http://www.wellcoolstuff.com/product/VV5.html as used in all the best coffee shops in Amsterdam. Theses are the real vapes

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Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

Cigarettes cause cancer and heart disease. The former can be squarely blamed on the carcinogens in the tar, but the latter? The blame was usually laid with the nicotine ... is this now believed to be incorrect? (Citations rather than opinions sought).

If Nicotine is indeed a cardio-toxin, there is good reason for banning vaping in a public space or workspace. As for smokers turned vapers, they're reducing the harm to themselves, but by how much? Are they reducing their nicotine intake, or increasing it?

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Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

You could just google it? ;-)

I had a look into this a while ago, and the idea that nicotine is about as harmful as coffee on the human body was borne true by the more recent studies that have looked at nicotine specifically in humans, as opposed to cigarettes overall, nicotine on mice, etc. There haven't been many studies on passive vaping, which is really what you want to see. The ones that have been done have been....just awfully badly done, at least the ones that I found at the time. They've been ridiculed by the scientific community for their methodology and testing practises.

I'll see if I can dig out the info I found, but I am at work and a bit strapped for time - if anyone else wants to Do The Research for me, feel free, as I recall it was a bit tricky to find and I don't have an hour to go trawling the web at the moment...

Steven R

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Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/10/10/5146

"Comparison of the Cytotoxic Potential of Cigarette Smoke and Electronic Cigarette Vapour Extract on Cultured Myocardial Cells" - Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos + team.

See also: http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/127-no-adverse-effects

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Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

Thanks Shinku, that was one of the few studies I can think of that has been done in a reasonably sane and sensible manner (as opposed to stuffing someone in a box filled with e-cig vapour and watching them cough, etc).

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Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

Well, if the toxic effect on the vaper himself really is no worse than a serious expresso habit, I'm willing to accept that passive vaping is unlikely to be a serious hazard after the vapour is diluted in a large volume of air. Which just leaves the aromas.

During the hayfever season, most strong aromas and scents can send me into a sneezing fit. Vapers, please note. (This occasionally happens on the tube in response to perfumes. Any heavy perfume-wearers reading this, please fix in your memory that I enjoy my sneezing even less than you do, and that it is YOUR FAULT -- although I'm usually too polite to point this out )

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Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

http://www.tobaccoharmreduction.org/faq/nicotine.htm

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Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

On the subject of aromas, it's pretty faint. If I've been puffing away in the workshop on something fruity or sweet, someone will pop up asking who's got the Fangtastics, etc. but it dissipates pretty quickly - within seconds IME unless you've been hammering it. And it really doesn't linger.

It's certainly nothing like as bad as the perfume a lass in here uses to hide her cigarette smoking smells after her lunch break - which makes my fecking eyes water! ;-)

(she doesn't believe she smokes enough to justify giving up or switching to leccy tabs - and as I'm not 'that' kind of ex-smoker, I don't push it. Apart from pointing and laughing when her lighter breaks...muhahaha, etc.)

Steven R

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Holmes

Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

Yup, it's a neuro-toxin and a widely used insecticide due to this property, a 60mg dose is lethal to most humans. Like most neuro-toxins it affects the transmitter agent receptors between neurons, stimulating some and suppressing others; vis increased heart rate but paralyses the bronchial cilia which remove crap from the lungs.

So while an e-fag is much less harmful than a real one due to no tar, it is not fully harm free.

Being an old smokey myself I have tried the 10 Motives brand (any supermarket) and found it quite effective with a couple of hits dispelling the NEED. More than that actually is too much. Also none of the quality or cleaning problems related in the articles as the tip you suck on is the bit replaced when empty.

Patches just don't work for me and the gums taste awful, like a stale ashtray smells.

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Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

Actually the LD50 of nicotine has recently been called into question, see this article by Professor Bernd Mayer from Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Karl-Franzens University Graz, Austria:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00204-013-1127-0/fulltext.html

I'm not going to pretend I have any real insight into the toxicology of nicotine, or indeed any substance, but I'd rather we get the figures right. I'm sure that nicotine is probably toxic in a large enough quantity, but if the currently accepted figure is incorrect, I'd rather it be debunked. After all, that's what science is for, no?

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Anonymous Coward

Not as safe as people believe

My workplace used to allow them onsite but outdoors in the smoking area but has now banned them from all locations.

The reason for the ban - 1 exploded whilst being charged and has damaged the work area and nearly burnt the person that owned it.

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Re: Not as safe as people believe

They'd best ban mobile phones and laptops too - they have been known to have exploding batteries too....

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Re: Not as safe as people believe

To say nothing of PCs and other electronics with exploding power supplies. I once watched a switch turn itself into a small flamethrower. It's a good thing I was there to yank its power cable. Another time a PC PSU went BANG and took out the power to about forty rooms.

And don't talk to me about water heaters.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not as safe as people believe

They have actually.

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Tolerance for all

I am vaping for the last two years and like someone else I am also back running and also cycling.

A few points to make in regard to others comments.

Firstly even if someone is suffering from a placebo effect then they are still affected so I would be tolerant.

However I object to being sent to the smoking area as I view myself now as a non-smoker and I don't want to be next to someone smoking a cigarette. So we might have to compromise somehow on that one.

My local cinema has banned e-cigs and I can understand the logic and accept it. For instance if there is a smoker sitting next to you then you may make them feel uncomfortable because they want to smoke. Likewise we would also have the placebo effect for other non-smokers. I say placebo but it is entirely possible that people are affected so I am not having a pop at anyone.

Similarly I have used them on aircraft but as a courtesy I would only use in the loo for similar reasons to the cinema.

For me I found out one thing that I need. I had a unit that delivered a good hit of nicotine but failed to produce much vapour. I need the visual stimulus of a heavy vapour.

The bottom line for me is I am not going to be dogmatic about my right to vape. I will be courteous to others and respect their views.

But I will have a sneaky puff now and again where I shouldn't.

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For some people these E-cigs are a literal lifesaver. My wife was averaging four hospital stays a year due to COPD, asthma and sundry lung infections, mostly due to smoking. Since starting on e-cigs back in February this year only one infection, less severe than usual, and no hospital stays.

As an ex-smoker I don't think e-cigs are good for you, any more than any other addiction is good for you. I do think that e-cigs are much less harmful for the user and much less unpleasant for close spectators.

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Silver badge

Within a week I quit tobacco altogether, within a month I was mixing my own juice, within 2 month I was modding my kit.

After 4 month I started craving some good old THC, but didn't want to roll, and as it happens I found dry vape chambers. All in all, I vape, and this is a happy smiley thing.

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Dry vape chambers? How does that work? Got a link? I must confess; THC is the main barrier to me ditching tobacco altogether. Also, how is it in practice...smell, effect and the like?

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Anonymous Coward

good review - i am using an electronic cigarette and patches to try to kick the habit - I find the patches deliver the nicotine I need and the e-cig helps with the habit of smoking - the problem is, after nearly 3 months, I am still hooked to nicotine - i need to figure out a way to stop the patches, the e-ciggy is hardly ever used now. Still, not smoked a real ciggy in that time, so providing I can get over the last hurdle of stopping the patches, I hope I can actually quit nicotine for real. Will keep the e-ciggy for emergencies where I feel I must smoke something.

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TRT
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Oh Christ, not another one...

e-cigs are a time bomb.

There are two key papers out there already. One discusses the quality of these vaporisers, namely a nichrome wire which heats up and cools down repeatedly, sloughing off nano-particles of nickel into the vapour stream which you pull deep into your lungs, and the other discusses the effect of nickel nano-particles on the brains of both mice and humans. Turns out they can start off the cascade of neuron death that becomes Alzheimer's.

Like asbestos and thalidomide, this is another tragedy-in-waiting.

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Re: Oh Christ, not another one...

I'm not going to claim to be an expert in such fields, but that cartomiser is either of incredibly poor quality (and yes, I agree that quality control is important in such a device), has been overheated to the point of destruction (which couldn't happen during actual use, it would begin to taste unusably foul long before that) or both. I would also question whether the numbers involved are of unacceptable levels, we inhale all sorts of horrific crap every day but the presence of a chemical isn't the important bit - the quantity is. There are traces of all sorts of nasty stuff all over the place. Consider alcohol, it's a poison, in significant quantities it can lead to death, in lesser quantities we consider it within a sensible risk envelope, enough to use it recreationally. Is ethanol dangerous? Yes. Is it dangerous in small quantities? Not really, no.

The point I'm trying to get at here is that I want to know the actual numbers which would put a user at risk. Is a miniscule trace of nickel more damaging or more harmful in the short or long term than a cigarette? What are the chances that there are significant enough quantities to render electronic cigarettes *more* dangerous than cigarettes? If the chances are lower, as far as I'm concerned, we're on to a winner. I'm not qualified to answer these questions, but I don't believe that dismissing this technology on the strength of a single study which may or may not be consequential is a very good idea.

Here is said study, by the way: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0057987

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh Christ, not another one...

"e-cigs are a time bomb... Like asbestos and thalidomide, this is another tragedy-in-waiting."

It is also true that harmful nanoparticles, especially combustion-derived nanoparticles, are globally ubiquitous and are produced by many of our daily activities.

Within the scope of normal daily life, nickel nano-particles from e-cigs present a trivially minuscule risk to health in comparison to the (combustion-derived) nanoparticles that you inhale with each and every single breath you take.

Sure, there's a risk. But please, keep it in perspective.

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Re: Oh Christ, not another one...

An interesting commment from the end of that article:

"Table 1 lists a range of alarming health effects of the detected exposures, but this seems to be just made up. E.g. 0.2 micrograms of copper inhaled from 10 puffs of e-cigarette are presented as causing 'respiratory irritation, coughing, sneezing, thoracic pain, runny nose and vineyard sprayer’s lung'. Looking this up shows that ACGIH allows that workers can be exposed chronically to an environment containing 0.4 mg/m3 of a respirable aerosol of copper without health effects. Assuming a workday inhalation of 10 m3 and correcting for a 5 day work week, the expected daily copper inhaled dose would be 2860 micrograms. I.e. inhaling over 10,000 times the amount of copper released by this e-cigarette has no ill effects. "

And a response to it from another commenter:

The authors should respond to this rather serious criticism, and place their findings in an appropriate risk framework. It is not adequate simply to detect substances and then argue that these substances are known to have health effects. What matters is exposure, the risks that arise from that exposure, and what level of risk should attract the concern or otherwise of users and regulators - especially in comparison to the very harmful dominant nicotine products, cigarettes, that these products aim to replace.

Clive Bates is one of the people who are pushing for better quality research on this subject, for reference, and he made the second comment in response to the first.

Draw your own conclusions. This is the sort of 'flaky' research I was referring to earlier in the comments section....high on data, poor on process and conclusions.

I'll be honest - I don't want 'positive' research, I want better research.

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Re: Oh Christ, not another one...

Well, quite.

Here is another response to that study, response by Dr Michael Siegel:

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/new-study-sounds-alarm-about-metals.html

I absolutely agree though, I want *good* research, I don't want either side to be making things up, implying things which aren't true or are overblown or using numbers to prove a point, I simply want to know that what I am inhaling is considerably safer than cigarettes. At this point in time, however, I have no reason to believe that there is a significant risk based on my own judgement of the information I've read/seen/heard thus far.

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Pint

Re: Oh Christ, not another one...

I wasn't going to post here... I really tried hard. Reading the number of posts from sanctimonious, smug, ignorant morons here is truly stultifying. Which kicks in my urge to retaliate.

Really - we now see a post where the nickel from nichrome wire in the vapouriser will cause a health timebomb. You may be a troll but go suck on some UK 5 pence pieces eh? You knob.

Vaping is working for me, Amaretto flavour at 24mg - it's addictive ;) I don't do it in public or at the workplace (as they're all sanctimonious twats there) thumbs up and a pint of whatever you like to all those who've kicked the weed - I know how hard it is.

SD

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Anonymous Coward

Gave up for 8 months using jacvapour ecigs with clear tanks. Beat any other technique I've tried (and that's about all of them). They don't defeat the nicotine addiction but they can defeat hot-as smoking.

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For Heavens Sake, Regulate.

Alas, this article and conversation is proposed to be outlawed.

Please see proposed section 5 (control and restrictions of information to consumers)

http://nicotinepolicy.net/documents/policy/Article%2018%20-%20Electronic%20cigarettes%20-%20Commission%20proposal%2022%20Nov%202013.pdf

This includes

d) any form of public or private contribution to radio programmes with the aim or direct or indirect effect of promoting electronic cigarettes is prohibited;

Anyone feeling just a little bit sick yet?

These proposals were recently rejected by the European Parliament , much to the commissions disappointment (but don't worry, Big Phama, they are still pursuing it.

Rebecca Taylor (MEP) has a buzzfeed which puts things in layman's terms

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rebeccataylormep/8-reasons-why-e-cigarettes-should-not-be-regulated-gjtd

But if folks really want to discover more, please walk over to UKVapers.org

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Been using e-cigs since June

Started out with a cigalike - which was crap. Moved on to a cheap battery/clearo which got me off the fags, but was poor build quality (like in the article the threads went very quickly) then finally moved on to an eVic with a Kanger ProTank - which is awesome.

Since then, I have not looked back - I stopped smoking without even intending to. My first experience with an e-cig was simply an experiment to see what the hype was all about.

I love some of the many flavours that are available and find the eVic is great in that I can adjust the strength of the hit. I also love the fact I can download my "smoking" history to my computer and see when I use it the most. Battery life is awesome on this device as well easily lasting a couple of days.

The ProTank (as featured in the article) does have its issues though. It is very prone to flooding, in which the coil / wick becomes too saturated. This results in a gurgling when you inhale and the occasional bit of unvapourised liquid getting into the mouth - thats a bit unpleasant.

Most of my friends and family don't mind me using it in front of them - my parents (who hate smoking) even let me use it in their house. I am also one of the lucky few that can use it in the office. The only objections I have had have been when smoking some of the stronger flavours which do produce a noticeable odour.

To date, I have converted 9 smokers to vapers. Every single one of them (and myself included) has seen health benefits from quitting the stinkies. In my case, I had a persistent wheeze and cough whilst I was smoking - that has completely disappeared. I also have more energy and my blood pressure has gone down.

Also worth noting - my wallet is MUCH better off.. Now I have discovered mixing my own liquids and I have some favourite flavours the habit is only costing me around £5-10 / month. Compared to £7-8 / day.

Anyone interested in trying to quit smoking should give vaping a go - get a cheap kit (they can be picked up for £10-20) and try it for a couple of weeks. After that - if your actual smoking is reduced it is worth investing in a kit that features variable volt / variable watt so you can get the most out of it.

As for the risks - much less than staying on the cigarettes so there is nothing to lose.

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Re: Been using e-cigs since June

Agreed, I bought a starter kit last December (Jac Vapor) after doing the research and haven't smoked tobacco since. I was smoking 6 or 7 a day previously, years ago, a pack a day, but it was affecting health and lung function. The thing smokers have to understand is that it's not just the drug, but other factors, such as something to do with the hands, oral stimulation and social. Anyway, haven't convinced my other half yet, but feel no temptation at all to smoke cigs, even in the same room as a smoker. Better sense of smell, taste and stamina + save a load of money are good enough reasons for me, not to mention decreased risk of serious disease.

Tis link is the sort of site I looked at to get more info:

http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Been using e-cigs since June

I'm a big fan of Kanger's kit. They're really one of the only manufacturers bothering to build a brand based on quality. Everyone else just seems to flog rebranded chinese stuff they're buying in wholesale from e-cig.com (and I can't blame them - the profit margins are fantastic).

I also had a problem with flooding in the ProTank; I was seduced by the damned capacity. I switched to the Kanger Evods a couple of weeks ago and they're the best tanks I've used as of yet. They come in some lovely spangly colours, are built very solidly, and i've had no bubbling or flooding so far. They do however seem to absolutely drink juice - I've dialled down the nicotine content a bit to compensate. I don't think you can find a better tank without customising.

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