How I Quit, Part 5 (Final)
Article: 05 Febuary 2015 – by Andy Prevost
As of 7:30 pm today (Thursday February 5 2015), it is six days since I switched to zero nic. From what I understand, that is well past the point of breaking an addiction to nicotine. I really haven't felt any withdrawal symptoms. The only real change started with day 2: I noticed my sense of smell and taste was far more acute than when I switched from tobacco cigarettes to vaping.
This will be my last article on switching to zero nic, so I will be as thorough and complete as possible.
I planned this over several weeks. It all started with a conversation I had with Randy Laporte, the owner of The Canadian Vaper. Randy had started with 18 mg/ml and transitioned to 12, 6 and 3 mg/ml before deciding to switch off of nicotine completely. According to Randy, he felt some of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms for about 4 days. He has been on zero nicotine since. What finally decided it all was a conversation with Shai Be of Dashvapes. Shai was a heavier smoker than I, but went through the same vapor liquid nicotine levels. When he decided to make the switch to zero nicotine, he told me that he increased the wattage in his battery to 35 watts. And, quite frankly, I felt like slapping my forehead – why didn't I think of that.
Listen to the hobbyists in this industry that like chucking clouds ... most use zero nicotine in the pursuit of their hobby. That's to avoid the nicotine buzz from the high wattage used to make those huge clouds. According to Shai Be, the higher wattage simulates the throat hit of nicotine ... increase the wattage, so simple, such a good strategy.
So, my thanks to both Randy Laporte and Shai Be. Those discussions were valuable and I appreciate you doing this before me so that I could use your experiences in planning my own efforts to switch to zero nic.
One aspect that I want to make clear. I am planning to continue vaping at zero nic. Although my transition to zero nic will involve high wattage and low resistance coils, I want to get back to regular wattage (around 8.5 watts) and regular resistance coils (between 1.2 and 2.0 ohms).
I wanted to keep this simple, no additives, no special tanks, no special batteries. Here is the equipment I used:
For a clearomizer, I got a brand new KangerTech Subtank Mini from NYX E-Cigs. The reason I picked the KangerTech Subtank Mini is that I was planning on using a variety of batteries and the 22 mm diameter of the Subtank Mini is common to them all. Since I was planning on using high wattage as part of the strategy, I also wanted to start with low resistance coils at 0.5 ohms and have the option of moving back up to regular resistance at 1.2 ohms. Only the Subtank can give me that flexibility. I also have a KangerTech Subtank (the original) and several packs of coils compatible with the Subtank already.
For batteries, I used: Cloupor Mini, Cloupor T6, and Franken-IPV. The Cloupor Mini supports up to 30 watts, the T6 up to 100 watts, and the Franken IPV up to 50 watts. I started with the Cloupor Mini for several reasons. I had originally wanted to review the Cloupor Mini despite a few user claims of overheating/smoke (or fire) problems. The Cloupor Mini is a tiny advanced personal vaporizer with changeable 18650 battery. It's a perfect fit for the KangerTech Subtank Mini too and supports the wattage that I thought I would need. The Cloupor T6 is my favorite over-all device, so it's usually included in everything I do. The Franken IPV is usually with me too, it's the device I made from the case of a Unicorn and chipset from an IPV with dual 18650 "in parallel" batteries. With the T6 and Franken-IPV I get more than a full day of vaping between recharges.
For vapor liquid, I started with Minted Fresh from NYX E-Cigs. This is a nice fresh and powerful mint/menthold flavor with a cooling agent added. The throat hit is exceptional, even at zero nic. This helped give an edge to the initial start of the campaign to switch to zero nic. After about the first 15 ml, I started mixing the Minted Fresh with various other zero nic juices – and enjoyed those immensely. The other juices included Blue Balls and Strawberry Kiwi Kick from The Canvape Store and Pomegranate from Dvine eLiquid – all zero nic. Starting with day 2, the vapor liquids took on a totally new flavor profile: much richer, more intense flavor.
I must point out that anyone wanting to do the same switch to zero nic: get two to three times more juice at zero nic than you usually use. You'll find that red berry based juices provide more throat hit effects – and any mint/menthold that includes peppermint can also help with the throat hit. I have used about double the amount of vapor liquid daily since going to zero nic – and even if I stay at this level (I doubt I will), it's acceptable to me. I would rather twice as much juice and zero nic.
When I was vaping at 3 mg/ml, my batteries were set to 8.5 watts most of the time. The only exception was the odd flavor needed a bit of kick and I would up the wattage to compensate. Overall, 8.5 watts was my vape. When switching to zero nic, I found doubling the wattage for red based berry flavored liquids to be adequate. So, somewhere around 17 watts for red berry flavors. For mint/menthold, particularly if it included a cooling agent like Koolada, 12 to 15 watts was adequate. Other flavors needed as much as 25 watts, but I did not have to go over 25 watts. And note, that is at the start of the day or after several hours without vaping. Once I started vaping, I could gradually dial down the wattage back to my average (in my case 8.5 watts) without any noticeable impact on throat hit. The only exception to this was when I was out in my car ... and I can't explain this in any logical way, but while driving I usually had to increase the wattage by 2 to 3 watts to get throat hit impact.
Throughout the six days I have been vaping zero nic, I have had no problems whatsoever. No withdrawals symptoms, no additional eating, no panic attacks, no anxiety, and I have gained no extra weight (now, I need to point out, it is almost impossible for me to gain weight anyhow, don't go by that alone). I do like the new intense aromas and taste. And, I like to continue the physical manifestations of vaping ... using my mod, pressing the fire button, tasting good liquids, inhaling and exhaling steam (or clouds). At this point, I have no intention to stop. This is keeping me off cigarettes, I am no longer addicted to nicotine, and I find no credible research that shows personal vaporizers are not safe.
If you are a smoker and considering quitting, please be aware that there is an alternative that can deliver the nicotine you are addicted to in the same manner as smoking. It even has a similar look and form. Vaping. Like many others, you'll likely pick up a personal vaporizer and never have another cigarette again. And, personal vaporizers are NOT smoke cessation devices or Nicotine Replacement Therapy ... they are an alternative to smoking cigarettes. They are not claimed to be healthy either ... but common sense says they are healthier than smoking. At the very least, you'll get rid of some nasty-shit chemicals in cigarettes that are known to cause cancer. Vaping has food grade ingredients. It features a liquid that you heat up and inhale. The steam you exhale looks like smoke – that's about the only connection between the vaping and smoking.
The good part is that it is the nicotine that you are addicted to, not the cigarette. The cigarette is just a delivery device for the nicotine. And you can get a much healthier alternative with vaping gear. When you start vaping, you'll also get rid of the techniques that tobacco companies use to make nicotine far more addictive that it used to be. With vaping, you can decide how much nicotine you want, and you can cut back easily and without withdrawal. Many of us have already done that, and my story here is real. I've gone from 24 mg/ml that a heavy smoker would use and cut back from there over a one year period. And, now, nicotine free. I'm not the only one either and you can do it too. I know you can, and I'll gladly support you through your process.