Hi everyone - wanted to do the full intro post in the Canadian forums, seems as good a time as any. I wanted to say a bit about who I am, about my impressions of e-cigs before starting and after, and talk about what I got started with.
About me - I'm a photographer and heavily involved in the world of specialty coffee. I run the CoffeeGeek.com website and have been a smoker for over 20 years. I'm your typical stealth smoker though - a lot of my colleagues in coffee are very surprised to find out I smoke (when they do find out). It's interesting because I know I have a fairly decent palate (I passed the FDA's pretty difficult supertaster test a few times, and qualified as a tasting judge at the International level), but as soon as some people find out I smoke(d) all of a sudden they'd think less of my ability to taste, evaluate and judge coffee.
One caveat though - when I knew I was going to be judging something major, like a regional, national or world barista championship for eg, I'd take my 1.5 pack a day habit down gradually... going to maybe 5 cigs two days before, only a few the day before, and none the day of the competitions, so I could taste the drinks better. Not actually sure if that worked much or not - the big inhibitor to taste is the amount of tar that coats your tongue, and it takes more than a day or two to dissipate.
Anyway, I've tried to quit for years off and on. Tried switching to pipes. Tried just cigars. Tried cold turkey. Tried patch, gum, stupid 6mg inhaler that is the only legal "pseudo cigarette" legal in Canada (Nicorette's lobbying is responsible for that, no doubt). Nothing worked. If anything, I ended up smoking more.
My comments below are laced with "a note for you vets" trying to give an insight to someone who doesn't know squat about vaping and e-cigs.
So I was aware of e-cigarettes a few years ago. Looked into it then, including this website forum; quickly found out that Health Canada had a ban in place and read stories of customs confiscating US shipments. Got discouraged. In all my quitting attempts, it was the action of smoking I missed most, not the nicotine (which I took plenty of, like chewing 4 chicklets of nicogum at a time). Got pissed at my government about it, and moved on.
A note for you vets
For the past two years, I was under the impression that everything about e-cigs was illegal in Canada. Many of my friends think the same thing. Would be good to hyper emphasise the equipment is legal; just the nico-juice isn't.
Okay, so fast forward to this summer. My wife hates that I smoke. When she found out BC would be funding smoke cessation costs starting this fall, she basically forced me to agree to quit, and get the govt-funded items. I told her in turn I think the only thing that would really help me quit is a placebo effect item (what I was calling e-cigs at the time) but they were illegal in Canada. So she went to Poland to visit family in early September, and came back with... a polish branded e-cigarette kit! It is a pen style one. I was intrigued. Said I'd give it a try.
Side note - we found out only a few days ago BC's funded cessation stuff only covers three specific products - two branded nico replacement therapy items (a gum and a patch) and if doc gives a prescription for zyban (whatever the heck it's called), that too. e-cigs a no go, nic free or not.
So i tried this kit my amazing, beautiful partner brought back for me. I was amazed at what I called "my miniature hooka" (hookas are very popular in Vancouver), but the flavours it came with were horrible. I smoke menthols, and the kit had marbloro (spelled that way) and plain and "coffee" which wasn't even remotely anything like coffee.
BUT... I managed to cut my real analog smoking down to half almost instantly. Within two days, (re)discovered this forum, and finally found out that e-cigs are legal in Canada (well, unregulated), and that only the e-juice with nicotine is not allowed. But also (very happily) discovered there's plenty of nic e-juice resources out there for Canadians who search (I hope this never ends lol!)
In a few days, I spent literally 12+ hours researching, watching vids, reading reviews, edjumacating myself in my typical OCD way. Settled on the bloog system because a) big amount of vape and throat hit from a small package and b- a small, cigarette like package. So I ordered the mini PCC charger system from Happy Vaper (great customer service there - wish they sold e-liquid with punch though) and lots of juices from a few sources.
Well, yesterday and today, everything arrived. And it has now been erm... 36 hours since my last analog!
Note to vets - a lot of you dish out advice about the minis and super minis, re being great intros for smokers looking to quit. That is fantastic advice, but if I could go one further - don't even bother recommending the mods or fatties - speaking for me, I probably wouldn't quit smoking if I was using a device that was NOT "just like" a cigarette at the start. One reason I didn't quit with my wife's purchased kit was because it wasn't a cigarette... it was a pen with a flat mouthpiece.
Newbie's 1 day review of the Bloog
This thing is absolutely fantastic. Of course, it depends on the juice you get, and the two juices I've been using are BestVapour.com's Ice Menthol 24mg and Gentlemen's Reserve GR Rugged Blend with Menthol added (25mg). The GR has more vape and a good throat hit (sidenote - throat hit is a hard thing for newbies to "understand" if they've never had a vape before). The BV Ice Methol is different - less vape, more throat hit, and a real nice chill menthol hit reminiscent of made-in-europe Davidoff menthol cigarettes.
The Bloog... I could not imagine or ask for a better introductory e-cig for someone who wants to quit smoking. Well... maybe a slightly lighter weight (you can tell it's not a cigarette via the weight - which is one of those key factors). Vapour is phenomenal. Size is perfect. Taste is like 100x better than my usual smokes (Peter Jackson Menthols). Even the smell of the vapour is amazing - for what you can smell (sweet, fruity).
I've had to charge the batteries once each in 36 hours (after initial charge), and I'm hitting it all day long, but usually one, two puffs, set aside, 2 mins later, one, two puffs.
The freaky thing for me is this - I seriously do not miss (or crave) the analog. I'm completely amazed by that in fact. I still have a full pack of the aforementioned Davidoffs on the sundeck, untouched.
The other freaky thing for me is how quickly my smoking habit has changed. I've gone from trying to draw out a cigarette for 8 minutes when relaxing (or chain puffing in 3mins if I'm between here and there - smokers know what I mean) to having it go all day long, but only one or two puffs then breaks between lasting between 2 and 30 minutes. Haven't had a puff the entire time writing this so far, so excuse me as I break to have one.
Anyway, sorry for the ramble. Very long intro so let me end with two things. First, thanks again to everyone who is so welcoming and forthcoming in these forums (my welcome in the newbie forum was fantastic).
Second, I've asked for someone to PM me the list of Canadian e-Juice suppliers a few times in that other thread, but haven't gotten the list yet. I hope I haven't disabled my PM system (checked, doesn't seem to be) could someone pm it to me?