An Amazing Journey with a Satisfying Ending…

Many years ago I got some horrible advice from a well-meaning friend.

I was halfway through my first year of college and I had put on the inevitable “freshman fifteen”. Now seeing as I had always been thin and athletic, I came home on Christmas Break and received way too many comments concerning my fleshy new weight gain. That’s when a girlfriend of mine said… “Have you ever tried smoking? Nothing can curb your appetite quite like it. You’ll lose tons of weight without even trying.” And I took her advice to heart…

In truth, appetite was not my problem. But I was too young and too dumb to come up with the real answer… STRESS! My appetite hadn’t changed. In fact, I probably ate less. I ran five miles a day during cross-country practice and worked at the stables training horses. And I don’t care who you are, lifting hay bales and feed sacks is a workout in itself. And since my day was so full of classes and work and practice, I often missed our scheduled cafeteria meal times. All of these things played their part and played it well… Irregular eating times, skipped meals, studying into the wee morning hours, unknowingly sending my body into ketosis and back out again, and stress… all the STRESS!!! I went from a “straight A, sheltered, pampered, catered-to high school kid” (overprotective parents) to a “wake yourself up, live with people you hate, practice too long, party too hard B/C semi-adult. Yep, no stress there. Try explaining to your highly expectant parents that college isn’t the 13th grade. Things are not as they were in high school, this is a whole nother ball game folks. You see where I’m going with this rant, right?

Anyway, being (as I said) young, dumb, and full of piss… I took my friends advice and began smoking when I didn’t have time to eat, or while I stayed up all night studying for that next exam. Needless to say, I had to suffer through getting used to those horrid things–the stink, the taste, the feeling that my lungs were full of paste. And let’s not even get into how hard cross-country practice actually became. Try running five miles after you’ve been puffing on those things all night. I threw-up… a lot. BUT, I did lose the weight. Yeah, don’t get me started on another rant here. Alas, it was all temporary. Smoking only curbs your appetite when you first start. After that, you look forward to eating because of that all-satisfying after dinner cigarette. Now, you are living as you were before but have a lovely new addiction to tend to. It sucked!!! Make no bones about it. Smoking makes your hair stink, your breath stink, your clothes reek, and it’s expensive as hell!! You couldn’t smoke inside on campus so you froze your arse off standing on the sidewalk in wintertime. For what? To help scoot Death along on his job? But even a nicotine addict is still an addict.

I frickin hated smoking and loved it in the same breath. The same hacking, coughing, spitting breath. Oh I quit many, many times. I did the gum, the patch, every new cessation technique that hit the market. And I immediately quit smoking when I was pregnant with my kids. I mean, who cares about gaining weight when that’s what people are expecting you to do, right? That’s just more to get off later, but I was use to working out and running my guts out. That’s how I helped with tuition. Yet the addiction always returned.

Society today frowns on smokers more than they do crack-heads. Now don’t get your panties in a wad, or do, who cares. But we see drug addicts as poor pitiful creatures we must move mountains to save. And smokers are simply the filthy scum who deserve the death they are bringing on themselves. If that offended you, please stop reading now. You didn’t have to pay to view this post. Why raise your blood pressure for no good reason?

But in all seriousness, that is pretty much the truth of this whole matter. Now… all the jawing and squawking aside, I have found the answer. My answer!

Two years ago, a real friend gave me what turned out to be the bestest, most awesomest, totally rock your face off present EVER!!! Of course, I only rolled my eyes at her at the time and said… “Hey thanks. Cool…”

What was it, you ask? Well I’ll be glad to tell you. It was a disposable classic tobacco flavored ecig from Blu. Hang on, let me finish my story y’all. And let me just qualify this whole thing right now. I am NOT being paid by anyone to say anything. These companies/people have no idea I’m even talking about them. And believe me. It ain’t all gonna be good. I just felt like sharing my story, casting light on my own personal journey. Take what you want from it, glean where you may. Here it is…

So Brandi gave me this disposal ecig because she was trying to help her new husband kick the habit. You see, Brandi wasn’t a smoker. Her mom was. Her dad too, I think. And now her husband. Her quest for an alternative solution was paramount in her world. And being my very best friend, she shared with me her growing knowledge on this formally foreign subject… the electronic cigarette. Apparently it’d been around in various forms for years. Who knew? Not me. And I wasn’t particularly interested in learning about it. I’d walked so many cessation paths, I’d worn holes in my (smoke scented) Irregular Choice boots. (Which are totally awesome, ya gotta check em out. Just google it.) Anyway, she bounced in my office one day around Thanksgiving 2011, or there bouts. And politely handed me the thin black box with a smile on her face. Now… that stupid little box caused me ridiculous amounts of trouble over the next month. I dropped it in my purse, thanked her (sort of), and immediately forgot about it. Well, I forgot about it until I entered a store… ANY store. Apparently, and unbeknownst to me, it had a little sensor in it. Everywhere I went during that holiday season just trying to do my Christmas shopping, I got frisked/searched going IN the stores… and coming out as well. I didn’t have a clue what the culprit was at the time.

The job I had afforded me a Winter Break. When I left work for the holidays, I rarely emerged from my writing cave until it was time to return to the unavoidable grind of the working masses. Let me clarify something here. I was a smoker, yes. But I never smoked inside my home. Geesh, I’ve got kids people. Just because I’m shortening my life, didn’t mean I was taking them with me. And I’m a writer as well, and I like to smoke when I write. So winters found me on the back deck, freezing my arse off, writing and puffing away. But when I got up this particular morning and reached for my cigs and my journal… The pack was empty. No worries, I’ll just dig through my purse… nothing. No. Frickin. Way! How in the holy heck did I forget to buy a carton before I came home for my treasured hibernation period? This wasn’t possible!!! The thought of having to take a shower, fix my hair, put on makeup, and drive all the way back to town made me feel sick. I’m just too lazy for that kind of commitment during my off time. I work tirelessly the prior week to this one just to ensure I do not have to step foot back outside until after New Years. Uggghhhh!!!

And that’s when it happened. I saw that skinny little black box there in the bottom of my gigantic purse. Ahh, my salvation! I determined that this little miracle would tide me over until I could con someone else into braving the cold and driving the thirty minutes back to town for me. When I realized there was no fire needed, that you simply pulled the little sticker off and started puffing away, my curiosity was piqued. There was actually no smoke involved at all. What??? Yeah, I know, right? No smoke! You simply blow out water vapor… water vapor… You gotta be kidding me. This crap won’t work. But oh how my ignorance did flee, brothers and sisters. Not only did it taste identical to my normal brand, I could smoke it INDOORS. It was like the skies parted and Angels belted out… Hal-le-lujah… Hallelujah… Hallelujah… And I ain’t even playin. The puffs of vapor were thick, my toes stayed warm and toasty inside, and I could write to my heart’s content without shivering. It was glorious!

With my vigor renewed, I actually got ready and braved the elements to drive even further than the tobacco store to get to the nearest Walgreens. To my chagrin, this disposable answer to my prayers costed a whopping ten bucks! Now, this one disposable ecig was supposed to be like three packs of cigarettes. In my case, it should have lasted three days. Not so. Mine only lasted a day. The theory behind this product is totes magotes (lol). But the reality is… The disposable battery dies out WAY too soon for me. So now I’m looking at switching from a five buck a day habit to a ten buck a day habit? Things are sliding downhill and fast, my friends. Then the friendly clerk suggested I get the rechargeable battery pack with replaceable “cartridges”. The Angels picked back up from the chorus. So for like sixty bucks for the battery pack and another fifteen for the five pack of cartridges, I was on my way back home. Being the ultimate online shopping geek, I found the Blu website and saw the huge “quantity discount” I was hooked. Game over, baby. The UPS man (total hottie) would bring me a two week supply in just two days. AND… they had a vanilla flavored cartridge as well. Bam!!! Need I say more? Yes, yes I must.

While this gloriously delicious new habit of mine was totally rocking my face off… my hair smelled like shampoo, I wasn’t freezing my butt off, and my writing was fast improving (you can accomplish so much more when you’re comfortable). But it was still rather expensive. And when the day came that the Vanilla flavor was “out of stock” with no definite arrival date, I was floored… sick and devastated. I’d given this product an entire year of my life and now the stock was gone and then the new cartridges tasted nothing like the old ones and only seemed to last half as long. Ugh… depression was fast approaching. That’s when my old friend Brandi stepped up the game, hit that sucker out of the park. She is the epitome of what every geek wishes they could be–an engineer with common sense and good looks. Yeah, you should be jealous. But her OCD was relentless. And her quest to find the next great thing in the ecig world granted us just that… juice you can refill your cartridges with. Then, tank type cartridges that holds like 1.5mls of juice. Then larger batteries that don’t die every thirty minutes. Then rockin awesome favors like, blueberry cheesecake and buttery nipple. Seriously, Mama don’t play about ejuice flavors. And then on my birthday in 2013, she gifted me with the epic answer. She bought me a 1300 Vision Spinner battery and a Kanger pro-tank. Again, google if you must.

These batteries cost like twenty five bucks, there bouts, and the tank was another eighteen. But the ejuices we’d found were only like twenty dollars or less for 30ml… that lasts a LONG time, ladies and gentlemen. So here’s what I found and why I wrote this, to help you see the light without having to walk the long road…

Fasttech.com has the best prices on the pro tanks (you need a tank for every flavor, you just keep refilling it)
Hoosier ecig had the best prices in batteries and chargers at the time. Google for your own best deal.
Best juices…
Alice in Vapeland – Zombie Apocolypse, White Rabbit, Punkin Tumble, ‘Twas Brillig, April Moon
Bi Polar Vapors – Chocolate Cake
Vape-A-Licious – Samoa Cookie pie, Blueberry Cheesecake, Goddess, Strawberry Lava Flow, and many more.
Johnson Creek – Vanda (same as the vanilla I use to get from Blu), Merango
Vape Dudes (my fav) – Buttery Nipple, Chocolate Strawberry, Cinnamon Roll, Blue Honey, Black Honey, the list goes on and on.
Top Vapor – Carmel Popcorn, yum
Suicide Bunny – Mothers Milk, Sucker Punch
Prime Vapor – Vazilla, Drunk Monkey
Boondock Vapes – Grape Pixie
High Caliber – Tiramisu, Wildberry Champagne
Virgin Vapor – Kona Velvet Milkshake

There are hundreds upon hundreds more, these are just my current faves. But I count myself lucky that I have been smoke free for over two years. And the thought of ever having to smoke another cigarette makes me physically ill. Do I still get the nicotine? Yes, duh… But you can get all these juices with zero nicotine, if you just wanna vape for absolutely no reason in the world. To each his own. The nicotine itself is not much different from caffeine, same kind of drug… and I don’t see many people jumping on the “down with coffee” bandwagon. The crap in cigarettes and the smoke is what’ll kill ya, not the nicotine. And any high and mighty reader who feels the need to vent where you believe I’ve erred… vent away, baby. Cause your prattle only comes out sounding like blah, blah, blah to me. Bottom line is this… I was a smoker with a a smoker’s future waiting on me. Now, I’m not. Simple as that. The thing is… society doesn’t mind if smokers quit with the patch or gum or whatever. What they can’t see doesn’t hurt them, right? But you let someone “vape” in front of them and helllloooo, Katie bar the damn door… that woman’s blowing smoke out. No, you uneducated troglodyte, it’s water vapor. The dude’s breath sitting next to you is more harmful than this. And mine smells like Blueberry Cheesecake, not two day old arse, like his. And correct me if I’m wrong, my self righteous fleshy little friend, but you don’t seem to have a problem with steam/water vapor coming up outta that big old pot of chicken n dumplings. You sniff that right up your nose like its Sunday go to meeting feast day. And I promise you now. That crap’ll kill you long before my vapor ever could. I mean, my vapor won’t kill you at all. But what’s a good rant without a hyperbole or two? Hmm?

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