I know I need to quit smoking, especially for the blind tasting portion of the exams. For all of you former smokers, what tools did you use to quit for good? I have attempted multiple times, and have not quit for good. Short of going back to boot camp, any ideas would greatly be appreciated!
I had a huge response that got deleted as I hit the back button by accident:(... here is what I can remember from all of it, shortened slightly:
Get a good vaporizer mod. The pen or stick style ones are satisfying for a couple of weeks at best. When people get frustrated with the learning curve of changing coils, finding juices they like, batteries dying etc. they go back to the analog. Stick with it, spend the extra few dollars, however annoying it may be, learn the ins and outs and tell yourself it's all for the betterment of your palate. I smoked for almost ten years, started with a "pen" style e-cig before taking the intro, was blown away at how much better I could taste and I am now in an advanced study group mentored by Christopher Bates MS. I currently use a $200 "mod" and haven't touched a real cigarette in over a year. $200 dollars!? yes, you will recuperate that very quickly when you consider how much money you are not spending on cigarettes.
As for the conversation to whether or not this is a health hazard: I have done HOURS of research. To boot, my Girlfriend(Soon to be Fiance :)) is getting her PhD in bio Physics... she also did research. I can only imagine how much better her knowledge is on some of the chemicals and reactions that take place in a vaporizer after her bit of reading. She gave me the green light to continue on with it.
Also, I make my own juice. Don't try it right away, but definitely go that route when you feel comfortable. For one, it is immensely cheaper. Second, you control what goes in. The bottles of e-juice you can buy at a store have way too much nicotine in my opinion. The recipes I make require over 180 "puffs" to equate to the nicotine content of a real cigarette. (Yes I know at that point why even vape, I don't know, I find it incredibly relaxing) Also, stay away from "custard flavors" as they are usually closely related to diacetyl, which irritates the lungs and causes "popcorn lung" in people that work at factories producing artificial butter flavors for popcorn. Alot of boutique e-juice producers use these flavors as they feel the dangers are negligable, and unfortunately it makes the stuff taste AMAZING>Stay away
If you have a local vape shop start there. People in the vaping community know how hard it is to get off cigarettes, no question is a dumb question. Their goal is to help people get off the cancer sticks.
Go on reddit, they have an incredibly helpful sub-reddit where again, no question is a dumb question reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette
If you need to order online and have no local shop - mtbakervapor.com
And the most trusted lab if you choose to eventually make your own juices - wizardlabs.com
Honestly, my palate wouldn't be where it is without my vaporizer. Don't listen to any of the flack you catch for trying to "be cool" using one, it's amazing/irritating how many people would rather see someone smoke. They don't understand the struggle. I've been there and finally decided it was time to quit and thought of vaping as a great tool, haven't looked back since. Send me a message if you need any help!
In reply to Mia Vandewater:
I actually quit before I was going through the court, but I just one day said I wanted to quit. I actually quit while I was full time college and working in restaurants. It's all in your mind and you have to be the one that decides to quit for whatever reason money, studying, life etc. If you don't want to quit, you'll never quit.
In reply to Dinah Leach:
In reply to Alexander Cornett:
I was a smoker for about 15 years, and I decided to do the same thing that you're planning on doing - to see if it would improve my tasting skills. I quit for two weeks in preparation for the exams and supremely bombed every single wine during a mock tasting. DON'T DO IT. It really recalibrates your palate like you wouldn't believe. The flavors were off - structure, acid, everything was whacked. So I 'restarted' smoking and even smoked until thirty minutes before doing the tasting portion of the exams (mainly to calm my nerves). I told myself that I would quit if I passed. I 'quit' for ten months then picked it back up for the next two years. As many have said, forgive yourself - it's not an easy habit to break especially if you've been doing it for so long. A combination of granola, chewing gum, and countless of ripped up stress balls helped me through it for the first few weeks. I never tried smoking patches even though a lot swear by it cause I heard it gives you weird dreams as a side effect. :-P Don't vape, I know a few people that contracted 'popcorn lung' from it. :-/