Vaping Update

If there’s one lesson I hope people have learned and are learning in this internet social media age it is that are no founts of truth out there. Every media outlet, every scientific paper, every written and otherwise broadcast thing has a bias – whether deliberate or otherwise. In fact there is so much ‘stuff’ out there you can of course find papers, studies and articles to fit any particular bias you have. This becomes frustrating when you are actually looking for the ‘truth’ because you can find ‘facts’ on any subject that thoroughly contradict each other.

I recently stopped vaping (two weeks ago) and prior to that and up until now I’ve been trying to find out some truths concerning vaping and nicotine, and their effects on the lungs and cardiovascular system. You see, I don’t want to give up nicotine; I just want to give up having shitty lungs.

Medical articles on vaping are very often old ones about smoking retooled as anti-vaping propaganda. Rarely is the harm reduction mentioned i.e. vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. Elsewhere all the old bullshit is on display about ‘popcorn lung’ (disproven) and deaths from vaping (people vaping THC with vitamin E) accompanied of course by the cries of ‘think of the children!’ Particularly egregious is the stuff out of the USA where states get pre-emptive damages from cigarette companies, which they budget for and don’t want to give up, and which they would have to give up if everyone stopped smoking by switching over to vaping. And when it comes to nicotine, it’s difficult to find articles about its effects that are divorced from its method of delivery – as with the vaping hit pieces, nicotine is conflated with smoking and demonized.

It is in the end a field loaded with misinformation, disinformation and malinformation as the apparatchiks of Twitter label anything from those outside of their political tribe.

So you have to do your own research, figure out what to believe and what not to believe, and come to your own decisions.

I started smoking at about the age of 15. I smoked for 38 years. Initially I smoked unfiltered roll ups until my chest started to get crappy and wheezy and to hurt. I smoked filtered roll ups until the same occurred again (about 10 years later). I tried to give up many times, cold turkey and with NRT. Ten years ago I was delaying the first cigarette with nicotine gum and using an asthma inhaler to open up my lungs enough to be able to sleep. Leaving aside all the other influencing events at the time, I took up vaping about 9 years ago and, with a few hiccups over maybe 3 years, stopped being a smoker and became a vaper. My health improved immensely. Supposed acne rosacea cleared up, constant eye infections went away, the asthma inhalers went in the bin and within a year I found I could swim a mile straight without having to stop and cough my lungs up.

All of this made me an advocate of vaping and I am still mostly in agreement with everything the vaping community says about it. It has improved the lives of and in many cases saved the lives of millions. Meanwhile it is under constant attack by vested interests in Big Pharma, Big Tobacco and from the politicians in their pockets etc. You can check back through my blog here to find my relevant posts on the subject.

One of the big things about giving up smoking is that suddenly being healthy is an option. Taking up jogging, when you’re still on a pack a day, is a tad ridiculous. It’s twiddling with the 10% of the problem while ignoring the 90%. Having stopped smoking I went all in on exercise regimens and within a few years was a lot fitter and healthier than I had been in preceding decades. This has continued with swimming, weight training, kayaking, and mountain walking and so on. A year or so ago I had a crack at doing some running because I felt I wasn’t getting enough of the out-of-breath cardio I needed. My lungs hurt and I got very wheezy so I though no, I’ll just ease into it. I tried HIIT to the same effect, then cramp and an injury knocked that on the head. I thought nothing more of the way my lungs behaved until recently.

Over the last year I think I may have had covid so that really messed with the signal. I thought the morning cough I developed might have been an outfall from that. Anyway it soon went once I was on the move and, damn it, I could still swim a mile with no problem. I guess it took a few months before I properly understood that my lungs were getting a bit shitty. And then it took a little longer to let Occam’s razor in and accept that the more I vaped on one day the shittier my lungs felt the next morning.

Note: I’m not unaware of timings here. My lungs got worse during the period of ‘The Pandemic’ and my reluctant trips for two vaccinations because the authoritarian cunts in control made it likely that I would not be able to travel. And, as is becoming increasingly evident, by lung problems could be related to either the vaccines or the virus. A big source of annoyance to me is that having had the vaccines and getting the required app/paperwork, when I returned to Greece, nobody checked them at the airport! Anyway, I have to put all that aside and look at the reality: more vaping = shittier lungs.

There are options of course. I have learned that some people have a problem with the propylene glycol in vape juice. I learned how this can dry the lungs, but I also learned that the other component you replace it with, vegetable glycerine, does the same though to a lesser extent. In retrospect, I realise that when I made one attempt to reduce nicotine in the eliquid and just ended up vaping more, it made me feel worse. Interestingly, propylene glycol is in asthma inhalers and I have to wonder if maybe use of inhalers is related to adverse effects from the stuff while vaping. Also, with my distrust of the medical establishment on many matters, I have to wonder if many using asthma inhalers for their malady are in fact exacerbating it with their medication.

But changing eliquids I suspect would a stopgap for it seems to me that my vaping is tracking the same progression as my smoking. Maybe I could cure present my problem for the next few years, but it would come back because, however you do it, you’re still putting irritants into the lungs – you are still causing inflammation on a regular basis. When I started talking about this stuff I also learned of others having the same experience and, in the end, only one option remained: give it up. Stop putting anything other than air in my lungs.

But the jury is still out on nicotine by other routes.

Note: I could not give up smoking with NRT but I could give it up with vaping. However, I am finding it very easy to give up vaping using NRT. Perhaps those who want to give up smoking should go this route: smoking > vaping > NRT > freedom. But I’m also aware that every stage of ‘giving up’, for me, has been instigated by noticeable damage and not simply the knowledge of future damage.

2 thoughts on “Vaping Update

  1. I can only agree with Your thoughts regarding the seemingly “nebulous nature” of “unbiased truth/facts”. And I feel that is the case whether it’s concerning a “simple” fact such as “is x of the type A or B”, or much more complex questions such as “what strategy should I apply to get the best outcome from situation Y”.
    Unfortunately I’m leaning more and more towards the opinion that in very many cases there are almost no “real/unbiased/final truths” that can be divorced from the subjective perspective of the persons who have reached them. (With the possible exceptions of “Maths” and some other “purely axiomatic disciplines”)
    Some types of “truths/facts” are simply “unreachable” due to being of a intrinsically “subjective nature”. Many others are “just” at least partially dependent on “subjective factors”. (e.g. Placebo effect in medicine). And as such make the otherwise seemingly straight forward (although HIGHLY “procedurally and or mechanically complex”) “scientific truths” also become “tainted by subjectivity”. And other issues/questions seems (at least to my simple mind) so complex that they can easily have their “outcome” being decided by factors that influence each other in a way that is “chaotic”. Meaning that an absolute minuscule change in any of the contributing factors can result in a totally different “outcome”. So that even if all the “contributing factors” have “definitive true answers” in isolation, unless we can define these with “infinite precision” we can not know for certain whether we reach the “correct true outcome” when we are searching for their “combined truth”.
    And on top of this comes the inescapable subjectivity of “being human”, making it more or less totally totally impossible to reach final/total consensus on any topic.
    Or to put it in another way, “Sh1t gets complicated fast” if You want to “get the complete picture”.
    And I believe that is why “we humans” have evolved to be inclined to look for “simple answers”, even when we “analytically know” that we are at least partially fooling ourselves.
    So I believe that the best “strategy” is to make what seems a “reasonable decision” and then maybe adjust if You “need to” (or just feel like it).
    Regardless of that, I wish You the best and hope Your health keeps getting better.
    Best regards.

  2. Greetings from Canada!

    You must have done quite a lot of research to find those facts and thank goodness you did because you are on the right track with it.

    I noticed in the pictures you have here of these vape pens that they are fitted with premade coils, these are really convenient but the main issue with them is that they have a higher risk of bacteria and mold growth that forms inside of the closed off cotton and wire. Another reason they aren’t really the smoothest in my opinion, is the cotton they use in those pre made coils are not usually of great quality and the wires are often just a simple coiled wire nothing special. I don’t know if you have tried going up in quality from those pens but I’m gonna share anyways.

    In my experience the “cleanest” vape you can get is an RDA (Rebuildable Drip Atomizer) with a good quality Mod. It’s the cleanest because you have to wrap your own wire and place in your own cotton. It’s a lot more upkeep but much cleaner as you can choose your preferred cotton and preferred pattern of wrapped wire. The wire really makes a difference because there are so many different types of wires and wrapping techniques to choose from. Best of all you can simply buy a good quality premade one as there is no difference between premade and custom wrapped, what matters is the pattern you choose and the type of metal that the wire is made of such as Kanthal. This reminds me of The Weaver from your books since the different wire patterns can have a unique effect on the juice and how it vaporizes.

    I went from the premade coils and vape pens to these and instantly noticed better flavor smoother hits. You can still have a dry hit if you don’t add juice constantly which means you will carrying your juice and vape and if it goes upside down it spills out which is not convenient at all. Such is the price of luxury vapes.

    Incase you wanna check it out I personally have this in my Vape. Just note that my build is more for super dense clouds to blow smoke rings and do tricks but you can easily make it smoother and less dense by lowering the temperature on your Mod and not using Juggernaut Wire and instead something like a Clapton wire pattern (which is really the same pattern they use for guitar strings)

    – Vandy Vape Phobia RDA
    – Voopoo Drag Mod
    – Geek Vape Juggernaut Wire
    – Cotton Bacon Cotton

    I hope this helps and at the very least you find it interesting!

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