8 Months With Vaping, Not Smoking

It’s just about 8 months since I switched from smoking to vaping. I changed to stop my health declining, to avoid harming those around me, and to be able to lose the smell of old tobacco whereever I went after two decades of Marlboro abuse.

Last time I updated was just after my 40th birthday. Since then a few things have changed. I’ve moved house to be closer to my son, which meant packing up everything I owned and renting a property for the first time in years. It’s also meaned relocating my business, and starting to build up a new client base in Peterborough for the first time since I left about 7 years ago. I’ve got back involved with both Digital People in Peterborough and Peterborough STEM Festival. And most unexpected – I’ve been lucky enough to start a new relationship with a wonderful lady who is understanding, supportive and just all-around lovely. As a bonus, not only do we have similar interests, but we also both run similar businesses, so there’s a good understanding when one or both of us is sat at a laptop at 11.59pm on a Saturday night working on something important.

I’ve also learned and reinforced a few things about vaping.

  • Finding good local shops for advice is always handy. Big thanks to the friendly staff at The Vape Project in Werrington Centre, Peterborough, and the Central Vape Shop in Peterborough city centre.
  • Switching brands means experimenting with new flavours. I’d been using Ultimate for ages, and switching to different brands means that some flavours, like Blackcurrant, just didn’t work at all from a different company. In fact, it was pretty awful. Fortunately, I’ve now discovered a new selection that works – current favourites include Zeus Juice ‘The Black’ blackcurrant and menthol (despite hating menthol flavours usually), Nasty Juice Green Mango, and Dream Mist Peach and Pineapple Coconut Rum….
  • Check before buying and fitting the wrong ohm coils. I wondered why one vape kit seemed utterly clogged and useless before finally spotting I’d bought 1.6 coils, not the usual 1.8 or 0.7. After adjusting the wattage on the kit, they were usable again, if not as nice as the others…
  • Don’t fit an old, loose 1.8 coil you have laying around at the bottom of an old box, because it turns out you probably swapped it out a while ago because it was worn out…
  • Expect that sons and girlfriends will take an increasinly active role in dictating what flavours you are allowed to vape around them – even if you don’t vape near them.
  • And try not to get annoyed at all of the misinformation about vaping. Cancer Research in the UK has been sharing advice about using vaping to quit smoking, and every post gets endless Facebook comments about myths and half-truths. I’m not a doctor or health expert, but I’ve put in substantial time to read as much of the available medical research online etc, and there’s a wide and well supported body of evidence for the benefits when compared to smoking. And nothing that suggests any short or medium term issues unrelated to nicotine – which is the main active ingredient in vaping for obvious reasons.

Incidentally, if any vaping brands etc need any help with marketing, do get in touch. My business website is still TheWayoftheWeb.

8 Months Vaping and Not Smoking




8 Months Vaping Stats:

  • 244 days since my last cigarette
  • 3,660 cigarettes not smoked (average of 15 per day)
  • £1,830 cigarettes not bought (average of £10 per pack of Marlboro)
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £314.98. Total: £406.98.
  • Savings after 8 months: £1,423.02
  • At 10 minutes per cigarette, I’ve now potentially regained: 610 hours of life. Which is 25.41 days. Or 2-3 weeks of potential life expectancy.
  • Exercise: Still not ideal, but by hitting 50 push-ups and squats when I have been committed, I can still just about claim a 30 per day average despite some unrelated injuries. Which is 5,970 push-ups and squats. The aim is to manage somewhere around 75-100 every day in future.

Turning 40 and Reaching 5 Months of Vaping

I recently turned 40. Which means my thoughts have oscillated between deciding it’s just an arbitrary number and cataloguing the achievements I hoped to accomplish by now. Should I see it as a major turning point at which life begins, or a sad realisation that I can no longer aspire to be listed as a ‘top 30 under 30’ or ‘top 40 under 40’ in anything? And that’s not helped by by dreaming subconscious apparently reliving my teenage and student years through the lens of John Hughes in the sleeping adventures I can remember when I wake up.

But there are positives I can focus on. If I had to pick a time when my life began, it would be when my son was born – rather than an arbitrary round number of years since my mother began years of hard work to support alongside my dad. My business adventures are not the most wildly successful in history, but they continue, and they’ve helped others achieve impressive success with contributions both large and small. I haven’t managed my childhood dream of creating an amazing novel or screenplay. But I did appear for a few seconds in a British film with featured names you might actually recognise, and have got to know some very talented writers who have inspired me to improve my fiction. And having played a small part in getting some geeks to meet up at a local pub, it’s now a thriving monthly gathering and an annual STEM festival attracting hundreds of children and their families.

Most of all my son is growing from a very cute child (I’m biased, I know), into a very intelligent, sociable and confident young man.

And I’ve got a growing awareness of the things I can control and work on, and what I need to accept and adapt to. I can’t control the events of life, only how I react and deal with them. And that has meant building up my persistance and determination even as I’ve encountered the loss of family members or friends.

That includes celebrating the smaller victories. To write a novel, or build a business, means maintaining momentum over a long period by gaining fuel from the small accomplishments each day. Enjoying each step on the journey, whether it’s completing a page, finishing a task, or even managing client communication and billing.

A shared pre-40 celebration with 4 of my oldest friends earlier this year

A shared pre-40 celebration with 4 of my oldest friends earlier this year

One of those things that I’ve been tracking and celebrating to keep up my enthusiasm has been my switch from smoking to vaping. And I can take some pride in the fact that not only have my ex and her partner also switched – meaning my son no longer has any smokers in his immediate family circle, but I’ve even had a few people contact me via Facebook etc to say they’ve been following what I’ve been doing and it’s helped or inspired them to either quit smoking, quit any nicotine delivery, or to share it with friends they’d like to encourage to stop smoking.

With that in mind, here’s the latest progress….

Turning 40 and Reaching 5 Months of Vaping

  • 152 days since my last cigarette.
  • 2,280 cigarettes not smoked. (Average of 15 per day)
  • £1,140 cigarettes not bought (Average of £10 per pack of Marlboro)
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £222.48. Total: £314.48.
  • Savings after 5 months: £825.52
  • At 10 minutes per cigarette, I’ve now potentially regained: 380 hours of life. Which is 15.83 days. Or just over 2 weeks of potential life expectancy.
  • Exercise: I’ve had to take more pauses than I’d like due to some joint/muscle issues. But 107 days of exercise in total still means I’ve managed roughly 3,000 push-ups and squats. And I’m glad to have pushed towards 50 every day to allow me to have the odd recovery period and still achieve an overall 30 per day average…

4 Months of Vaping

Today marks 4 months since I switched from smoking to vaping. Or 122 days exactly. And I’m still sticking with it pretty easily after 4 months of vaping.

Occasionally I still get an occasional hankering for a cigarette, but it’s easily dismissed. And I don’t get the cravings I associated with previous attempts to go cold turkey. Or even from nicotine replacement like lozenges or patches. Because while they supplied the nicotine, they didn’t give me a reason to get away from my desk, go outside and do some deep breathing to collect my thoughts.

4 Months of Vaping

Or to occasionally amuse my son by blowing smoke out of my nostrils ‘like a dragon’.

So how does that translate into progress?

4 Months of Vaping Totals:

  • Roughly 1,830 cigarettes not smoked (I was on around 15 a day)
  • And £915 cigarettes not bought (At £10 for a pack of Marlboro)
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £198.48. Total: £290.48.
  • Savings by switching after 4 months: £624.52
  • At 10 minutes per cigarettes, I’ve regained 305 hours. Or 12.7 days
  • And my exercise regime is now regularly over 50 push-ups and squats per day. Not quite enough for me to bump up my average yet (and I can’t be bothered to track every single day). So roughly in 77 days, 2,482 push-ups and 2,482 squats. And I’ve started doing some hamstring raises while I’m out vaping anyway…

So pretty good.

Having experimented with some other flavours, I’ve not found anything yet to justify the extra price and shorter coil life. And I’m still not switching to Direct to Lung (DTL) and chasing huge clouds of vapour yet. So I’d imagine I’ll stick with 6mg nicotine eliquid until after Christmas. Still half of what I was on for the first couple of months.

And I’m still happy with my vaping kit. Which, for the record is:

And so far, the only consumables have been some replacement coils, despite constant use.

I’ve mentioned the health improvements I’ve noticed before. One thing I’ve also started to notice is that I’m not waking up craving nicotine and caffeine as I did in the past. After 8 hours of sleep following my last cigarette, it would generally be the first thing I’d do as soon as my eyes opened.

I still tend to have an early morning vape. But that can be within an hour or two of waking up. And I don’t feel the need for caffeine until the afternoon, as opposed to requiring it early in the day to function.

And the good news is also that one of the main concerns regarding vaping is being slowly addressed. The issue tends to be that normal ingredients can take on different properties when heated, leading to undesirable compounds which could be harmful. So alongside any retailer/producer testing, the recent EU TPD regulations now require some emissions testing for products to comply.

A lot of companies make this available via their websites etc, which makes sense to promote themselves as legitimate and safe. Plus it’s also available via the MHRA website.


Vape Update: 101 Inhalations

It’s now 101 days since my last cigarette. And vaping is being backed as part of the annual Stopober campaign. Along with Public Health England, NHS Scotland has also stated that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco, and around 53% of people quitting smoking last October used them. Despite the fact that some newspapers claimed health advisors were at odds, what the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence actually said is that there’s still little evidence relating to long term ecigarette use, but that advice should be offered on them for people wanting to stop smoking.

So basically, there’s still not a huge amount of information on the potential longterm effects of vaping. But all studies into their immediate effects show that they’re much better than smoking. Although obviously it’s safest not to be inhaling anything.

Which all means I’m still chuffed to be happily vaping away on 6mg liquid 101 days after starting out with 12mg and no more Marlboro.

AspireZelos With Nautilus 2 and Eleaf iStick with Nautilus 2

My Aspire Zelos (right) and Eleaf iStick 40W (left), both fitted with Aspire Nautilus 2 tanks

So what are my latest totals?

  • Around 1,515 cigarettes not smoked.
  • And £757.50 cigarettes not bought.
  • Total cost of vaping kit: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £162.48. Total: £254.48.
  • Savings now at £503.02
  • At 10 minutes per cigarette, I’ve regained 252.50 hours. Or 10.5 days.
  • And continuing with a little over 40 push-ups and squats to mean I can take an occasional rest day and still average out on target – 1,602 push-ups and 1,602 squats in 55 days.

So far, the only times I’ve had any issues have been learning to make sure the chimney of the e-cigarette coil is dried out with a bit of tissue if there’s too much liquid in it. And the occasional taste of burning when coils are due to be replaced – I think I’ve now replaced each tank twice in over 3 months. Trying a ‘premium’ liquid which I didn’t enjoy did result in burning through the coil a little more quickly, but even so, another pack of coils for £10 or so should last me until after Christmas.

Being healthier and essentially giving myself a £2,000 payrise for minimum hassle seems to have worked out pretty well!

Looking at prices, it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to try vaping. The Aspire Zelos feels like a marginally better piece of kit, but at under £30 for the Eleaf, you can be up and running for under £50 including a tank. Even if you’re stocked up on duty free cigarettes, it’ll still save you cash fairly quickly.




Vaping at 90 Days

Bit of a check-in, as today I have now been vaping for 90 days. Which means it’s 3 months since my last ever cigarette, and it’s still going well. I get the very occasional temptation for an ‘analogue’ cigarette every few days, and it’s always late at night when I’m low on nicotine. My brain obviously still psychologically associates nicotine cravings with the final cigarette of the night, but as soon as I vape that goes.

And I’m now converted to 6mg liquid rather than the original 12mg recommended for regular smokers just under a pack a day. I’m still vaping a bit more than previously, but nowhere near the double required to match the nicotine previously – I’m probably vaping somewhere between 20-40% more. But it’s slowly easing off, and I’m enjoying being able to find a slightly wider range of flavours available in 6mg.

And I’m still enjoying improved circulation, particularly in my fingers and toes. Plus I no longer have any kind of cough, or the feeling like I need to hack up a lung in the mornings. No waking up with sleep apnea during the night. And doing daily exercise appears to be working as my recovery time afterwards seems to be slowly coming down. I’m not exactly turning into some kind of athlete, but I’m slowly rediscovering arm and leg muscles. And although I’m way off a beach body, I’ve found that not only are the arms of my T-shirts not quite reaching as far as they used to (spot the tan line), but I did take off my shirt and go swimming in the sea with my son recently… I’ve never been confident or happy with taking my shirt off in public, so that was quite a victory.


So the totals?

Vaping at 90 Days:

  • Around 1,350 cigarettes not smoked.
  • £675 of cigarettes not bought.
  • Total cost of vaping: Kit (inc 2 tanks) £92. Liquids and coils: £162.48. Total: £254.48. (I’ve just bought 8 more bottles of liquid, which should take me to another 2 weeks+.
  • Savings £420.52.
  • Potentially at 10 minutes per cigarette, that’s 225 hours, or 9.375 days of life regained.
  • And on the exercise front, I’m now just under 40 push-ups and squats per day. Which means I’ve managed around 1,162 push-ups and squats across 44 days. And will now be doing 1,200 per month.

So not bad. Add another 2 weeks of smoking, and the savings will be more than £500, which is a pretty decent saving for something which has made me feel healthier, stopped me stinking of cigarette smoke, and saves me from having to drive to buy cigarettes at 1am in the morning when I’ve run out and most shops are closed.

The worst temptation I’ve got is potentially buying a Direct To Lung kit to produce more smoke and make it easier to switch to 3mg liquid in the future. Mainly for entertaining myself at home by impersonating a choo-choo train, and keeping the more discrete kits (like my go to Aspire Zelos) for when I’m out in public…


78 Days of Vape

Bit of an odd number, but I haven’t updated on my vaping/exercise progress in a while. Mainly because I took time away from work and the internet while my son visited. So my push up and squat routine continued, but supplemented by visits to the countryside, and massive ice cream desserts.

So it’s 18 more days since my last cigarette. And it’s now 2 days since switching permanently to 6mg nicotine eliquid from 12mg. I’d mixed the two a bit to try and wean myself down in preparation. And then used the wrong strength liquid for a day out with my son and didn’t really notice. Having spent the weekend at the lower strength, I have vaped more, but not double the amount. Halving the nicotine means I’m probably vaping 3ml per day compared to 2ml usually. And that will probably come down soon.

So the totals to date:

  • 1,170 cigarettes not smoked. (Quite a nice big number to encourage me further)
  • £585 of cigarettes not bought.
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit £92. Liquids and coils £124.50. Total £216.50
  • Savings: £368.50.
  • Potentially at 10 minutes per cigarette, 195 hours, or just over 8 days of live regained.
  • Plus I’ve moved up to 30 push-ups and 30 squats every day, which works out at about 730 push-ups and 730 squats over 32 days.

And having bought 60 ml of liquid (6 x 10ml bottles for £24 total), that should last me 2-3 weeks. So no need to spend anything else for a bit. That should take my savings towards £500, since stopping smoking under 3 months ago (Based on buying Marlboro at UK supermarket prices).

I’m hoping some studies on the relative nicotine inhalation/absorption will be released between cigarettes and vaping, and also more detailed information on what conditions were actually set. For instance, the newspapers reported a while ago that vaping was apparently as bad for you as smoking, based on the idea that you got as much nicotine from vaping as smoking. Except it was based on 30 minutes vaping vs 5 minutes smoking, and nowhere seemed to actually have info on which strength liquid was used, what strength cigarettes, what wattage, or the average inhalations per minute etc. As someone who could smoke a Marlboro Red in under 3 minutes, and also only ever vapes for 5-10 minutes at a time, it’s a pretty meaningless bit of information portrayed in a pretty sketchy manner.

The actual scientific reviews all suggest that vaping is much more preferable to smoking as a cessation aid or as an alternative. For instance, the Cochrane Review or e-Cigarettes.



60 Days of Vaping

Another update as I’ve now hit the two month mark since smoking my last cigarette. For the last 60 days, I’ve been happily vaping and I’m not even tempted when standing next to someone smoking tobacco.

Which is nice.

I’m still mainly on 12mg liquid, but have been starting to experiment with 6mg during the day, and it’s slowly becoming normal. At some point I’ll need to just make the switch permanently…

60 Days of Vaping Totals:

  • 900 cigarettes not smoked.
  • £450 of cigarettes not bought.
  • Total cost of vaping so far: Kit £92. Liquids and coils £100.50. Total £192.50.
  • Savings: £257.50
  • Potentially: 150 hours of life, or 6.25 days regained.
  • And I’ve also managed 280+ push-ups and 280+ squats over the last 14 days.

So I’m healthier and £250 better off after two months. I’m pretty happy with that!


6 Weeks of Vaping

Just a quick check in to keep tracking my vaping progress. Today is the 6 week mark, or 42 days since I last smoked a cigarette.

Which is:

  • 630 cigarettes not smoked.
  • Roughly £315 of cigarettes not bought.
  • Cost of vaping: Initial set up £92. Liquids and coils: £52. Total: £144.
  • Saving: £171.
  • Health cost of smoking averaged at 10 minutes of lifespan means 6,300 minutes more. Or 105 hours. Or 4.4 days. Likely at a higher level of health.
  • And despite my resistance to mid-life Lycra, I’ve started exercising again. Just the 20+ press-ups and squats per day, but it’s noticeably easier in terms of breathlessness than it was. Although my arms and shoulders are as weak as they were before I started the first time before Christmas.
  • Plus my circulation has noticeably improved, particularly in my feet and toes. No more ice cold feet, or waking up in the middle of the night with cramp in my feet.
  • Finally my sense of smell is now like a cross between a superpower and a Bill Hicks sketch
    “Someone is smoking a cigarette 2 miles away”
    “Has someone 3 houses away used manure on their garden?”
    “Is that a dead body?”

And from today I’m going to be trying a lower nicotine level mixture, moving from 12mg of nicotine down to 6mg during the day. Fortunately with my back up Eleaf iStick as well as my Aspire, I can play around and it’s not a big deal if it doesn’t work out yet.


So there you go. Expect another update when I get to the 2 month mark.




The Digital Generation Gap in 3 sentences…

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been talking about going to the cinema with my son and my parents. And it perfectly illustrates the digital divide between 3 generations of my family. And it can also be summed up in 3 sentences.

  • The day before we plan on going to see a film, my parents drove 20 minutes to the nearest cinema. And went inside to book tickets.
  • The hour before I planned on taking my son to see a film, I went online to check the local cinema times and available seats. And book and pay online via a credit or debit card.
  • My son expects to be able to get a seat for any film almost instantly just by announcing that’s what he wants to do.

It’s easy to mock my parents spending so much time on a relatively trivial task. Then again, they also had the time to incorporate a nice walk, scope out some local eateries, and have a spot of lunch.

My version is more efficient in terms of time. But less pleasaent. And also more susceptible to the risks of online payments. Plus I didn’t get a nice lunch or any fresh air.

Meanwhile my son currently relies on me to fulfill his demands when he’s staying with me. But given the rise of voice assistants (Siri, Alexa, etc), it won’t be long before his expectations may become normal. (And I should make it clear that he’s not ill-mannered, or doesn’t get there’s a finite supply of seats in a cinema – he’s just increasingly used to games, TV, music etc all being available on-demand in the modern era. So sometimes it takes reminding that spaces might be limited on an opening weekend).

The Digital Generation Gap in 3 sentences

The challenge for any business is to decide which age group they need to serve. Or how to cope with all three demands in the best possible way.

That may mean being able to provide in-person service, an amazing website and app, and also making everything as available on-demand via voice search.

Or it could be convincing me that it’s worth making the trip in person. And persuading my son that the experience is worth any waiting required…


30 Days of Vapes and Hijinks

Yesterday marked 30 days since my last cigarette. And since then, I’ve gone through various stresses related to work and personal matters. And also managed to go on a couple of evenings in the pub. Yet, despite being in the company of various smokers, I haven’t been tempted…

I’m still noticing improvements to smell, taste, lung capacity and energy. I certainly seem to be able to exert myself more without being out of breath. And I’ve started feeling a strange urge to get more exercise. I’ve managed to avoid any worrying temptation to invest in lycra clothing, but I’m not sure how much longer I can hold out…

30 Days of Vapes and Hijinks

So as a smoking replacement/cessation method, vaping has been really working for me. And although it’s still not good for me, I’m happy with all the evidence of the risk reduced to around 90-95% of smoking. The more I think about what would happen if I had to stop vaping overnight, the more it seems likely I would just stop using anything than go back to smoking.

Which is why I’m looking forward to moving down nicotine strengths shortly. In the meantime, here are some quick scores:

  • Approximately 450 cigarettes not smoked.
  • Cost of 450 cigarettes roughly £210.
  • Cost of initial vaping kit, including back up tank: £92.
  • Cost of liquids and coils per month – approx £40.
  • Various estimates of the negative impact of cigarettes would say you lose between 5-14 minutes of life for each one you smoke. Obviously that’s an average based on typical lifespan etc, but taking it as 10 minutes, that’s 4,500 minutes, or 75 hours, per month. Or 37.5 days per year. By the time I’m around 60, that’s more than 2 years worth of potential extra days.
  • If I never stop vaping, and buy a new kit every year for the next 20 years, I’ll save:
    Cost of 20 years smoking: £50,400!
    Cost of 20 years vaping: £11,440.
    Saving: £38,960

Not rigorously scientific, but good encouragement to keep in mind. I’ve also decided that Peach flavour liquid works particularly well to compliment craft IPA, and without doing a side-by-side test, my one hangover appeared to be much less of a problem to deal with.

One other thing I’ve definitely benefitted from is using some of the money I’ve saved on relatively instant gratification (some much-needed new trainers and jeans). While it’s good to have a longterm goal for savings plans (which I also have), when you’re reinforcing a more positive habit, having some fairly quick rewards definitely makes a big difference.

For the record, I currently use:

  • An Aspire Zelos 50W kit with Nautilus 2 Tank.
  • Back-up Nautilus 2 Tank
  • Back-up Eleaf iStick 40W donated by a very nice friend.
  • 12mg eliquid (roughly 20-25ml per week)