Rebecca Juro

Can An E-Cigarette Really Help You Quit Smoking? Part 3 - The Totally Wicked Tornado

Filed By Rebecca Juro | July 13, 2010 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: e-cigarettes, smoking cessation

Trying to describe the difference between using Blu and using Totally Wicked's Tornado is like trying tornado-uk-tw-1-platinum.jpgto describe the difference between a light snack and a full meal. The Tornado is about as close as you can get to actual smoking in terms of vapor and nicotine, easily as much of both as you get from any tobacco cigarette.

While I still find myself leaning it as upright as possible when I'm not using it for maximum efficiency, I get a good solid drag just about every time unless it's time to refill. In addition, the flavor seems to come through more cleanly with the Tornado than it does with Blu. In short, it's nice for a change to find a product that does exactly what it's supposed to do.

The truth is that I bought the Tornado starter kit on the advice of the people at the Totally Wicked forum. Originally I was going to go with the Titan, a slightly cheaper model, but I was convinced to go with the better version and I'm happy I did. One of the many things I learned reading the forum is that there's a special kind of blue foam used in fish tank filters which works very well as batting in e-cigarettes because it holds a lot of juice. There's even a site which sells bags of this foam in pieces precut to the right size. I ordered a few bags of these and using them does extend the time between needed refills significantly.

Another thing I've begun doing is expanding my palate, and this, I've found, is where the real fun comes in. There are literally hundreds of different flavors of juice available sold by dozens of different companies, but besides the five rather basic flavors that were included in the Blu starter kit, I'd only tried Totally Wicked's Marlboro copy flavor, the generic tobacco flavor of the cartridges that came with the Tornado starter kit, and the Patriot Range Cherry Cigar flavor I'd ordered along with the kit.

This time, I decided to go a little off-the-reservation and ordered a cryptically-named flavor from Totally Wicked, "State Express", and a couple of others from another company called e-SmokeyTreats, coffee (which was recommended to me... not bad but a little too sweet for me) and cola (which I just took a shot on... erm, not one I'll be reordering). I've just received an order from Ms. T's (peanut butter, coffee, both great) which offers bakery-themed flavors, and many more.

You're really flying blind until you get a little experience, so as with the hardware, do your homework if you plan to order. Ask around, read and watch reviews, don't be afraid to follow popular recommendations and take a few chances. Very often you'll luck out, as I did with the wonderfully smooth and nutty State Express and the flavors from Ms. T's, my current favorites.

So, Can An E-Cigarette Really Help You Quit Smoking?

The answer is yes, but also no. It really depends on the smoker. What I'm discovering is that because I'm enjoying the flavor of the vapor more than cigarette smoke I'm becoming more and more inclined to get my nicotine that way and as a result I'm smoking far fewer cigarettes. This can and eventually will replace tobacco smoking for me and of course that's a very good thing. What I'm not yet sure about and I suppose I'll find out over time is whether or not vaping can get me off nicotine as well. In all honesty, I'm really in no big rush. I'm well on my way toward accomplishing my major goal, quitting tobacco smoking, and for now, that's enough.

In a way, the convenience of using an e-cigarette is actually a detriment to successfully quitting tobacco smoking, at least for me. One of the deterrents to cigarette smoking for me is having to get up from whatever it is that I'm doing and go outside to do it. With vaping I need only reach for my Tornado and take a few drags whenever I feel the urge. No muss, no fuss, and no deterrent whatsoever.

Yet paradoxically there are times, particularly first thing in the morning and just before bedtime, when the urge for a cigarette, not necessarily the nicotine craving as much as the desire to get up, go outside, and smoke for a few minutes, remains hard to resist and when I most often find myself giving in.

So for me answering this question is still a work in progress and probably will be for some time, as these things so often are. Of course, there's also the question of whether switching from smoking to vaping credibly counts as quitting smoking. I suppose it depends on whether you define quitting smoking as completely discontinuing the behavior or only discontinuing (most of) the negative side-effects of that behavior.

And once I truly am a full-time vaper and off cigarettes completely, will I then quit vaping? That's still the plan at this point, but that's going to take some time. The flip side to vaping being more enjoyable than smoking is that it'll be probably that much harder to give up when the time comes, and in all honesty, I'm not really sure I want to.

If there's anything the experience of trying to quit smoking seven times previously has taught me it's that chemicals and technology alone will not see me through this. It's also about having the willpower to use these things as tools, not crutches. How far I go with it and where I eventually find myself are the potential topics of perhaps another piece down the road, but for now it seems that I'm going to be vaping for at least the immediate future.

Success? Maybe, maybe not. Positive progress? Definitely. I am breathing better and my voice is stronger and richer-sounding. That's what I wanted most when I started this quest, and that's what I've gotten out of the deal. As for the rest of it, I suppose I'll just take it as it goes, and if it's interesting, maybe I'll blog about it.

To those of you who do smoke and are looking for a way to quit, I suggest you check this out. I can't imagine that it'll work for everyone, but it's working for me, and hey, one thing I can promise you is that vapor that tastes like peanut butter cups or coffee is a lot more tasty than any tobacco cigarette you're smoking right now. That's the best part of this: it's not what most quit smoking aids are, poor alternatives to tobacco, it's an alternative that's actually better and cheaper than smoking.

Maybe that's the real answer to how to quit tobacco smoking after all, not to make do with a poor substitute but rather to move on to a better and far less unhealthy alternative. It's the only thing that's never been tried: a quit-smoking aid that's actually a more pleasant, satisfying, and healthier alternative to a cigarette. The politicians will no doubt be all over this in short order to defend their donations from Big Tobacco, so get in now before e-cigarettes and the industry are legislated and over-regulated out of existence by Big Tobacco defenders in Washington and in state capitals around the country.

The more support that can be shown for a truly realistic alternative to tobacco smoking like vaping, the more difficult it will be to for the politicians to remain on the wrong sides of history, progress, and just plain common sense.

As for me, right now I'll admit I'm actually enjoying "smoking" for the first time in a long time, probably since I was a kid. It may prove even harder to quit vaping when the time comes, but eliminating tobacco smoke and all of its negative impacts from my life is a step in the right direction which I'm comfortable with for now.

Now, if I could just cut out those last few early morning and late night cigarettes....


Recent Entries Filed under Living:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


Do you know how many e-mails and spam comments we're getting now about e-cigs? I find it kind of funny because you can tell they know nothing about us, care nothing about your attempt to quit smoking, and just want to push product.

Unfortunately, it really doesn't surprise me. This is a relatively new, burgeoning industry which right now is essentially self-regulated, so it's not surprising that the scammers are popping up anywhere there's even a hint of interest.

As I emphasized in the series, research and doing your homework before buying anything is key. There are many reputable dealers but also plenty of scams and misrepresentations.

Quitting is always the best option. I would check any adverse affects cause by not just smoking but nicotine...and of course, ask your physician.

I quit after 10 years of smoking traditional cigarettes by switching to electronic. I think 50% of it for me was the actual act of smoking, which the e-cigarette obviously helps. The ecig doesn’t smell, no second hand smoke, you can smoke it pretty much everywhere, and you still get your nicotine with much less chemicals!

I guess the companies don’t make quit smoking or health claims due to FDA regulations but common sense says 4000+ chemicals vs. a few is going to be much much healthier for you.

As far as brands, just do your research. I tried a few before finding ProSmoke from www.ProSmokeStore.com but everyone might want something different. Check cigreviews and electroniccigarettespot for opinions and reviews. The other brands came close but I am very content with what I have now.

In the long run, it is also much cheaper. I would say 50+% for smokers. God this sounds like an infomercial....but do your research and good luck quitting!

I just read something fascinating about nicotine. It seems that one of the reasons it is addictive is that it raises blood sugar in a matter of seconds, as opposed to eating, which takes about 20 minutes to raise blood sugar. One of the reasons some people are cranky when they stop smoking (or in the morning after not smoking for 8 hours), is that their blood sugar is low. Smoking immediately releases blood sugar. When you stop smoking, you increase your intake of food because you don't feel satisfied until the food changes your blood sugar 20 minutes later, so you keep eating. If, when quitting, you drink a few ounces of juice every hour or so, this effect is diminished.

My girlfriend and I stopped smoking in April. Our decision to quit was entirely money related. We had literally gotten to the point where were making decisions like "food or cigarettes." Or we'd run out of money and not smoke for three days. I used part of my tax return to get us the Nicotine patches. I didn't want cigarettes to eat up my whole tax return only to repeat the cycle.

And I do not mean this in any sort of sarcastic way...there came a point where I had to stop reading so much LGBT news. I had to stop following LGBT activist blogs. To say I was cranky would be putting it lightly. It was more like rage. There's a sense that no one is in control of this thing, no one knows how to win. I definitely don't. And nicotine dulls that feeling. Nicotine rewards the brain chemically, makes you feel like you won something.

I don't know if it's the same for anyone else, but for me quitting nicotine required some outlook adjustment...to pay attention to smaller wins. Or, I guess I could start gambling. LOL...no. But I at least had to take a step back and not be so obsessive about something that's probably not going to result in a jackpot win immediately.

Rebecca...

I have so appreciate hearing your experiences with vaping.

I never smoked, but my mother did from her late teens to mid-to-late 50s. There were a few cold-turkey periods of quitting, but many more seasons in which she was at 3-6 cigarettes per day. The last of it was a year or so of 2-3 per day at the favorite times.

I completely supported and affirmed her on that path. She was being honest about her ambivalence about quitting and taking concrete steps in healthy directions. It was an excellent example of harm reduction.

Long-standing cultural and institutional forces have condemned harm reduction as too little, unrealistic, unreliable, counterfeit, and living "in denial." Good, hard evidence supports it, though. People who feel empowered by taking positive, incremental steps are actually gaining coping skills instead of trying to integrate the counter-intuitive notion that powerlessness leads to abstinence. On that point, Mom seems to never have really accepted her use of harm reduction -- the 2-3 smoke/day period remains an embarrassment and sign of weakness.

Kudos to you on reducing harm. Sounds to me like you're on the path to not just reducing it but slashing it to a skeleton of its former self.

I stumbled on links to these three articles from a response to Mike Siegel's Blog "The Rest of the Story". Great job documenting your experience. For those curious, much more information on many products is available on e-cigarette-forum.com. There are a lot of helpful people there and information on many different varieties of PVs (personal vaporizer as a synonym to E Cigs).

My experience ran a somewhat parallel track by starting out spending a whole lot of money on Blu and finding the mentioned forum after a couple weeks of moderate success but wanting something more. For anyone wanting to try but not spend a lot of money, I'd recommend the 510 model. This was mentioned in one of the articles as the Titan. It's also sold as a Joye and other names but they are all 510's. I had excellent success with hardware quality with those made by Joye.

A search on the web for 510's and a little research and you should be able to find them in the $49 kit range if you're lucky. That plus some liquid (a lot of great stuff out there) should get you enough to find out if it's right for you at the cost of a carton of cigarettes.

I'll mention it again, use e-cigarette-forum.com.
Make it your knowledge base and help line, I did. I smoked 43 years, 2-3 packs a day. For seven months I dropped down to about six cigs a day, but started edging back up to a half pack at the end.

That's when I decided to get serious. I elected to go big and started looking for a better PV and settled on a Chuck. This guy custom makes them and makes two sizes, big and bigger. All you get is the battery body and hand designed graphics of your choosing. However, you can use the same atomizers (if you liked them) from a previous model you owned and the batteries are generic and can be bought either in a store or off the internet. Anyway five months later, I am using the same two batteries I started with and they cost $12 and are good for two or three days for me.

Then I learned about Swedish snus so I'll mention that also. No need to go into any details, but keep it in mind and other smokeless alternatives that might later help in quitting smoking entirely if that is your desire.

Today marks my six month anniversary of not having a single drag off a cigarette and for me, it's a great deal.

I stumbled on links to these three articles from a response to Mike Siegel's Blog "The Rest of the Story". Great job documenting your experience. For those curious, much more information on many products is available on e-cigarette-forum.com. There are a lot of helpful people there and information on many different varieties of PVs (personal vaporizer as a synonym to E Cigs).

My experience ran a somewhat parallel track by starting out spending a whole lot of money on Blu and finding the mentioned forum after a couple weeks of moderate success but wanting something more. For anyone wanting to try but not spend a lot of money, I'd recommend the 510 model. This was mentioned in one of the articles as the Titan. It's also sold as a Joye and other names but they are all 510's. I had excellent success with hardware quality with those made by Joye.

A search on the web for 510's and a little research and you should be able to find them in the $49 kit range if you're lucky. That plus some liquid (a lot of great stuff out there) should get you enough to find out if it's right for you at the cost of a carton of cigarettes.

I'll mention it again, use e-cigarette-forum.com.
Make it your knowledge base and help line, I did. I smoked 43 years, 2-3 packs a day. For seven months I dropped down to about six cigs a day, but started edging back up to a half pack at the end.

That's when I decided to get serious. I elected to go big and started looking for a better PV and settled on a Chuck. This guy custom makes them and makes two sizes, big and bigger. All you get is the battery body and hand designed graphics of your choosing. However, you can use the same atomizers (if you liked them) from a previous model you owned and the batteries are generic and can be bought either in a store or off the internet. Anyway five months later, I am using the same two batteries I started with and they cost $12 and are good for two or three days for me.

Then I learned about Swedish snus so I'll mention that also. No need to go into any details, but keep it in mind and other smokeless alternatives that might later help in quitting smoking entirely if that is your desire.

Today marks my six month anniversary of not having a single drag off a cigarette and for me, it's a great deal.

Rebecca

I first read your column about three months back. I was already vaping with a "Pure-Smoke" kit but my real cig usage was creeping back up.

I ordered the Tornado and was impressed by the hit and strength from the "high" 18mg pre-filled cartridges supplied with the kit but I was still smoking about 5 "analogs" a day.

About three years back I got an ear infection from swimming in the ocean off Los Angeles. The infection went down on to my chest and never really went away. I've had to nurse several older family members through their final days all at once so my own health was taking a back seat through all the stress. The infection kept getting worse and worse and I could feel it taking over both my lungs. Then after particularly heavy smoking sessions I started to feel numbness in my fingers. One morning I smoked just one analog and my whole right arm went numb. I realized that I just could not smoke any longer despite the fact I love it and have smoked about 15 cigs a day for the past 33 years.

I'm pleased to say that I have gone without cigarettes for nearly two weeks now. I'm using the Tornado with extra (24mg) strength "State Expess" flavor liquid. The soreness in my lungs has gone away and the numbness in my fingers has also. I did have a couple of days of intense flu-like symptoms as the infection worked its way off my chest but afterward I felt so much better and can already breathe like I used to.

It may not be the perfect solution (I still get one or two deep cravings each day) but I think this Tornado has probably saved me from a life of increasingly miserable illness and perhaps even death! Thanks for sharing your research. This is one product that really can work if you have the will-power or, like me, no other choice and can't face the "cold turkey" option.