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Quit or Reduce Smoking with electronic cigarettes (SmokeTip e-cig review) by Todd Winkler I have been a smoker for over 30 years now, at some point averaging up to two packs a day. Back then cigarettes were cheap, you could smoke in restaurants, bars, hotel rooms, even on trains and airplanes (yes, I do remember that time). The associated health risks could be easily ignored and attributed to the lobbying of the pharmaceutical industry. Well, much has changed over the years: Cigarettes have become quite expensive. Smoking is prohibited almost everywhere. And getting older does not mean getting healthier either, and smoking warnings sink in a little more. My better half (who is also a smoker) has been trying to quit for some time now. I never had quitting in mind, but in order to help I started researching alternatives. After spending hours on various websites, reading user reviews and comparing pricing, I finally settled on one manufacturer - SmokeTip - and placed an order. Their prices for a starter pack (charger, 2 batteries and 6 cartridges) are among the best, and from what I had read in reviews, they also provide excellent customer service, moneyback-guarantee, and lifetime (!!) warranty on the batteries. The batteries are white and look like the tobacco part of the cigarette; the cartridges contain look like the filter and screw into the back of the battery, and they come in different strengths, from 16mg (comparable to regular) over 12mg (Light), 6mg (Ultralight) to 0mg of nicotine. The cartridges also can be ordered in different flavors. My favorite is "Cowboy" (previously called Marrlboro, I guess they had to change the name because of trademark issues), but there is also "Regular", and a variety of other flavors such as chocolate, strawberry, etc. To my big surprise, the electronic cigarettes really worked for me. From the first day, I reduced the "regular" cigarettes (which we now call "analogs") to about 2-4 per day - down from one pack. I go through approximately 1 cartridge per day. They say one cartridge is about the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes, although personally I think it is more like one pack. As I said before (and very much to my surprise), it really works, for me as well as for my better half. The Smoketip cigarettes have a good draw and produce nice "smoke" (of course it is water vapor); they are a longer than a regular cigarette, and of course heavier, but they do give you the illusion of smoking a real cigarette. Taste is different (personally I prefer the "Cowboy" taste), but as I said - it works for me. I keep it in an ash tray (which of course never sees any ashes), just to complete the illusion .. In the meantime I converted a number of friends to the idea, and they all like it. The e-cigarette crowd calls it "vaping", so you are not "smoking a cigarette" but "vaping a vaporette". Changing to electronic cigarettes also shows its effect on your wallet. After investing in the starter pack, a 10-pack of cartridges (pretty much equivalent to one carton of cigarettes) costs about $18 (after discount), so depending on the state you live in you may end up saving anywhere between $30 to $100 per carton .. and that's not so bad either ! The cartridges contain nicotine (except for the 0mg of course), water, and the flavor, plus some other chemicals, I guess. From a health point of view, they do not contain any of they chemicals which are added to the tobacco of regular cigarettes, they do not produce the harmful chemical which is produced in the process of burning tobacco (which is contributing to your cholesterol level), and of course they do not contain tar (which stains your teeth and contributes to lung cancer) or carbon monoxide. Of course they still contain nicotine (which can increase your heart rate and blood pressure) - unless you opt for the 0-mg cartridges (which still give you the "smoking" sensation of inhaling something), but my doctor who urged me for years to quit smoking is quite happy. Now, since they are not real cigarettes they are odorless, and the "smoke" they produce is just water vapor, so technically you can smoke (or better: "vape") anywhere you want to, but experience shows that some places might not like it. Airlines generally will not allow "vaping" on board (so you just go to the bathroom and vape there - it will not set off any smoke detectors), some restaurants or bars may not like it either (just try - you may have to explain). For sure your house, clothes or hair will not smell like smoke !!
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